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May 13

May 13, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #43

Posted on May 13, 2020 at 3:17 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


How much in Local Coronavirus Relief Funds would the HEROES Act make available to cities and how would the money be allocated?


The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (HR 6800) would allocate $187.5 billion to cities across the United States as follows:


-$125 billion would be awarded within 30 days of enactment to all cities using a modified CDBG formula with $87.5 billion to entitlement cities (generally defined as those with a population of at least 50,000).

-$37.5 billion would go to non-entitlement cities (generally defined as those with populations less than 50,000), and these funds will be awarded to states and allocated to non-entitlement cities based on population.

-One year after enactment, an additional $62.5 billion would be awarded to cities using a modified CDBG formula. $43.75 billion would go to entitlement cities and $18.75 billion to non-entitlement cites based on population.


The HEROES Act would also expand the use of funds to cover lost, delayed, or decreased revenue stemming from the COVID-19 public health emergency.


The House has indicated that it could vote on the HEROES Act as early as Friday, but that is – again – just the first step in the process. We urge you to continue telling your stories and communicating with those who represent you in Washington, D.C. Interested city officials should directly contact their member of Congress (find out who represents you) and Senators Cornyn and Cruz to express their needs. 


Continue to check these updates for ways that you can advocate on behalf of your citizens and your city during this critical time.


Further Updates


How can we apply what we’ve learned from COVID-19 to make our cities and state more resilient?

As state leaders begin to restart the Texas economy, policy experts from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston have issued a nine-point playbook for rebuilding a more equitable and inclusive future Texas.


The report, “A Playbook for Resiliency: Creating Opportunity for All Texans,” co-authored by Kirk Watson, founding dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs, and Steven Pedigo, professor of practice and director of the LBJ School’s Urban Lab, calls for state and local leaders to evaluate past policies and unequal growth and subscribe to a new set of principles to reshape the state’s future resiliency.


What action has the governor taken with regard to nursing homes?


On May 11, the governor issued the following press release:


“Governor Greg Abbott today directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to test 100% of residents and staff in Texas nursing homes. The Governor instructed HHSC, TDEM, and DSHS to develop and implement a plan based on the guidance of Vice President Mike Pence and Doctor Deborah Birx.


‘The State of Texas is working to rapidly expand our testing capacity—especially among vulnerable populations in Texas nursing homes,’ said Governor Abbott. ‘This important collaboration among HHSC, TDEM, and DSHS will ensure that any potential clusters of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes are quickly detected and contained.’”


What action has the governor taken with respect to occupational licenses?


Today (May 13), the governor issued the following press release:


“Governor Greg Abbott has waived license renewal late fees that accrued between March 13 and June 15, 2020 for occupational licenses issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). This waiver applies to licenses associated with a variety of occupations such as barbers, cosmetologists, electricians, speech-language pathologists, and dyslexia therapists.


‘This waiver removes financial barriers that could prevent Texans from getting back to work as we safely and strategically open the economy,’ said Governor Abbott. ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for the Texas workforce, and we are committed to restoring these hardworking Texans' livelihoods while protecting public health.’”


Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?


TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.