November 19, 2021, Number 44
Download the full .pdf version here: TML Legislative Update Number 44
president signs federal infrastructure bill
On Monday, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. As highlighted in last week’s Legislative Update, the IIJA is altogether a $1.2 trillion bill that invests in the nation’s infrastructure priorities including roads, bridges, rail, transit, airports, ports, energy transmission, water systems, and broadband. Of that amount, $550 billion is new spending, and will mostly take the form of formula grants to states and competitive grants over the next five years. The IIJA sets aside roughly $35 billion for infrastructure projects in Texas.
The League will monitor the rollout of the IIJA, and will provide information on how Texas cities can access funds as that information becomes available.
governor creates task force on concert safety
Last week, Governor Abbott announced the creation of the Texas Task Force on Concert Safety. The task force will bring together music industry representatives and law enforcement groups including the Texas Police Chiefs Association, a TML affiliate, for several roundtable discussions to analyze concert safety and develop ways to enhance security at live music events in Texas. The task force will be led by Texas Music Officer Brendon Anthony and consist of representatives from the following organizations:
- Texas Music Office
- Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas
- Sheriffs’ Association of Texas
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- Texas Municipal Police Association
- Texas Police Chiefs Association
- Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
- Texas State Association of Fire Fighters
The task force will produce a report of recommendations and strategies to ensure concert safety and protect concertgoers.
filing period for primary election now open; several legislators not returning
With the opening of the filing period for the 2022 primary election on November 13, many current legislators have announced their retirement or intent to seek election to a different office. In some cases, the new district maps have prompted a member to run for a different seat in the same chamber.
The members listed below have announced they will not run for their current seat, whether due to retirement or to run for other office. Again, some of the members listed below may return to the legislature representing a different district, or in a different capacity altogether:
- Rep. Michelle Beckley (D – Carrollton)
- Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R – Fredericksburg)
- Rep. Garnet Coleman (D- Houston)
- Rep. John Cyrier (R – Lockhart)
- Rep. Joe Deshotel (D -– Beaumont)
- Rep. Alex Dominguez (D – Brownsville)
- Rep. John Frullo (R – Lubbock)
- Rep. Dan Huberty (R - Houston)
- Rep. Celia Israel (D – Austin)
- Rep. Phil King (R – Weatherford)
- Rep. Matt Krause (R – Fort Worth)
- Rep. Lyle Larson (R – San Antonio)
- Rep. Ben Leman (R – Anderson)
- Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D – Brownsville)
- Rep. Ina Minjarez (D – San Antonio)
- Rep. Jim Murphy (R -– Houston)
- Rep. Claudia Ordaz-Perez (D – El Paso)
- Rep. Chris Paddie (R – Marshall)
- Rep. Tan Parker (R – Flower Mound)
- Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D – Austin)
- Rep. Scott Sanford (R – McKinney)
- Rep. James Talarico (D – Round Rock)
- Rep. John Turner (D – Dallas)
- Rep. James White (R – Hillister)
- Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R – Lakeway)
- Sen. Eddie Lucio (D – Brownsville)
- Sen. Jane Nelson (R – Flower Mound)
- Sen. Kel Seliger (R – Amarillo)
The filing period for the 2022 primary remains open until December 13, 2021. The League will continue to update the list above in future editions of the Legislative Update as more legislators announce their intentions for the upcoming election.
tcole proposes law enforcement rules
On November 5, 2021, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement published proposed rules that, in pertinent part: (1) distinguish between a dishonorable discharge from the United States armed forces and a dishonorable discharge from a law enforcement agency; (2) clarify that a waiver of a Class A and B misdemeanor is nontransferable without approval; (3) add CPR training to the legislatively required training that must be completed by a telecommunicator; (4) clarify the requirements for reactivating a peace officer’s license if the officer is not appointed within specific time periods; and (5) add the pre-employment screening procedures that law enforcement agencies must follow in order to comply with S.B. 24 (the League previously reported on S.B. 24 here).
Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Mr. Kim Vickers, Executive Director, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, 6330 E. Highway 290, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78723-1035.
covid-19 update (no. 209)
All pandemic-related updates, including information about the American Rescue Plan’s city-related provisions, will be in the Legislative Update Newsletter from now on.
Emergency Orders Issued by Texas Supreme Court
On November 10, 2021, the Supreme Court of Texas issued Emergency Order 44. In it, the court recognizes that the Texas Eviction Diversion Program is closed to new applications. The order: (1) requires specific language to be included in citations relating to eviction from residential property for nonpayment of rent; (2) details eviction abatement procedures; (3) requires trial courts to allow representatives from volunteer or legal aid organizations to be present or provide assistance to eligible litigants; and (4) includes other provisions relating to evictions.
TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.