February 18, 2022, Number 7
Download the full .pdf version here: TML Legislative Update Number 7
monthly reporting required on federal funds for city ems providers
Senate Bill 809 passed in 2021, creating a requirement that “health care institutions” report to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission on federal money received pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Included within the definition of “health care institution” in the bill is an emergency medical services provider.
Under the new law, EMS providers are required to submit a report to HHSC on a monthly basis. Additionally, EMS providers were required to submit an initial report on federal funds received between January 31, 2020 and August 21, 2021.
HHSC adopted rules implementing the new reporting requirements in November 2021, and the deadline for the initial report was November 30, 2021. Monthly reports are due by the first day of each month and cover the time-period two months prior. As of the date this article is being published, there are five reports due: initial (January 2020 – August 2021), September 2021, October 2021, November 2021, and December 2021. The January 2022 report is due March 1, 2022.
City EMS providers that have not yet submitted these reports are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Reports can be submitted using the following links:
Initial Report (January 2020 - August 2021)
Based on the language of the new statute and rule, all EMS providers are required to complete these reports, even if the EMS provider received nothing from the listed federal sources. In that scenario, there is an option to enter an amount of zero on the reporting forms.
More information on the new reporting requirement can be found on HHSC’s Provider Finance Department’s webpage (see links referencing S.B. 809). This information includes an FAQ and a list showing providers that haven’t submitted a report and those that HHSC staff is helping complete a report.
Questions about the new reporting requirements can be directed to HHSC at ProviderFinanceDept@hhs.texas.gov.
federal infrastructure bill update
In November 2021, the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law. The IIJA is altogether a $1.2 trillion bill that will invest in the nation’s core infrastructure priorities including roads, bridges, rail, transit, airports, ports, energy transmission, water systems, and broadband.
The League will monitor state and federal agencies and work with the National League of Cities (NLC) to access the latest information relating to the IIJA. We will be providing periodic updates in the Legislative Update on resources for Texas cities on how to access IIJA funding for local infrastructure projects.
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
The FHWA recently released program guidance on the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, which is designed to help states create a network of electric vehicle charging stations along designated “alternative fuel corridors.” The five-year funding total for Texas under the NEVI program is nearly $408 million, with over $60 million available for fiscal year 2022.
Of interest, the program requires each state to submit a plan describing how the state will use NEVI funding. If the state fails to submit the plan, the Secretary of Transportation may withhold funds from the state and instead offer program funds on a competitive basis to local jurisdictions within the state for use on eligible projects.
Additional information on the NEVI formula program can be found here.
The White House recently released its Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook. The guidebook is meant to serve as a roadmap for state and local governments to use to access funding from the more than 350 programs included in the IIJA. The guidebook has 13 chapters separated out by issue area and will be updated to reflect emerging details and dates for the different programs. Interested city officials can read more about the guidebook here and access additional information on the guidebook from NLC here.
The White House also released this fact sheet for local governments to use to prepare for funding opportunities under the IIJA.
reminder: deadline for water utilities to submit preparedness plan is march 1
The deadline for a municipally owned water utility (MOU) located outside of Harris and Fort Bend counties to submit its emergency preparedness plan (EPP) to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is March 1, 2022. Such MOUs that serve residential customers or that provide overnight accommodations at their facility must maintain water pressure at a minimum of 20 psi during an extended power outage lasting 24 hours or more. In addition to submitting its EPP to TCEQ by March 1, an MOU must implement its EPP by July 1, 2022. TCEQ has created an Emergency Preparedness Plan Homepage that includes a template for MOUs to use in developing their EPPs.
An MOU can apply for an extension of the deadlines and/or a waiver of the EPP requirement. An MOU seeking a waiver of the EPP requirement should review the Emergency Preparedness Plan Homepage as well as this TCEQ guidance on the waiver. Requesting a waiver will not extend the deadline to submit an EPP.
deadline approaching: mandatory hotel occupancy tax reporting
The 50-day window for reporting local hotel occupancy tax information opened January 1, 2022. The reporting deadline is February 20, 2022.
Tax Code Section 351.009 requires cities to file an annual report with the comptroller that includes the city’s hotel occupancy tax rate, the amount of revenue generated by the tax, and the amount and percentage of the revenue spent for each of the following purposes:
• Convention or information centers
• Convention delegates registration
• Advertising to attract tourists
• Arts promotion and improvement
• Historical restoration and preservation projects
• Signage directing the public to sights and attractions
Cities have two reporting options: (1) use the comptroller’s online reporting form to submit all required information; or (2) clearly post and maintain all required information on the city’s website and provide the comptroller’s office with a link to the information. For cities selecting the second option, the comptroller provides an optional format template to post on the city’s website.
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.