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Jun 18

June 18, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #67

Posted on June 18, 2020 at 3:16 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


What are the latest developments regarding the governor’s comments on mask requirements?


In a television interview yesterday (6/17), the governor indicated his belief that local governments can require businesses to require customers to wear masks, and that doing so is consistent with Executive Order GA-26. Although the governor’s order prohibits a local jurisdiction from imposing a civil or criminal penalty for failure to wear a face covering, according to the governor this prohibition only applies to regulating the behavior of individuals, not businesses. In other words, cities may issue local orders imposing fines on businesses for failure to require employees and customers to wear masks, but may not issue local orders imposing fines on individuals for not wearing masks.


Governor Abbott’s comments were made in reference to an order issued by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. Since those comments, a handful of other mayors and county judges have issued similar orders.


In spite of the governor’s comments yesterday voicing support for these orders, any city interested in imposing similar public health measures is strongly encouraged to consult its city attorney before doing so.


Further Updates


Will Texas public school students attend classes on campus in the fall?


Apparently so. Media reports indicate that, on a call with state lawmakers today (6/18), Governor Abbott stated that Texas public schools will open for in-person classes in the fall. Further, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), school districts will not be required to mandate that students wear masks on campus. Independent school districts will also have the flexibility to provide for instructional alternatives for students.


The TEA is expected to release further guidance for school districts regarding in-person class attendance next Tuesday (6/23).


What information does TML have for cities as they start to prepare for the upcoming budget year?


TML has developed a special-edition, mid-year fiscal conditions survey to help cities navigate the upcoming budget planning process. With an unexpected public health crisis and an economic recession, most cities will have to make difficult decisions over the next coming months. Survey questions center on current budget shortfalls, as well as the anticipated impact on next year budgets.


The full text of the survey is available here, but we prefer that you complete it online.


We ask that one official from each city complete the survey no later than tomorrow (Friday, June 19). Please contact JJ Rocha with questions at or 512-705-3912. 


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


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