June 24, 2022, Number 25

Download the full .pdf version here: TML Legislative Update Number 25

big city mayors request special session on gun reform

The Big City Mayors, a bipartisan group of Texas’ major cities, issued a statement on Tuesday calling for state leadership to take immediate action to prevent mass shootings in Texas. The mayors of Amarillo, Arlington, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Laredo, Plano, San Antonio, and Sugar Land signed a letter asking Governor Abbott to call a special session centered on gun reform. The mayors specifically request action on the following items:

  • Require universal background checks for gun purchases;
  • Increase the age to purchase assault weapons in Texas to 21;
  • Pass Red Flag laws to identify threats before shootings;
  • Significant increase in mental health support funding; and
  • Train and properly resource school safety officers

The full letter can be found here.

comment period for proposed civil rules of procedure for municipal courts

The Supreme Court of Texas tasked the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center (TMCEC) and several city attorneys and municipal judges to participate in a workgroup to propose civil rules for application in municipal courts. The workgroup has created a survey to solicit feedback for the proposed rules prior to their submission to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee. 

Click here to access a draft of the proposed rules and here to access the survey to provide comments. The comment period will close on July 21, 2022. If the survey does not provide adequate space for your comments, please email further comments to civil-rules@tmcec.com.

texas supreme court issues 52nd and 53rd emergency order of the covid-19 pandemic

The Texas Supreme Court issued its 52nd and 53rd Emergency Orders renewing previous orders issued by the Court. The 52nd Emergency Order continues to allow remote participation in court proceedings with limitations. The Order is set to be effective July 1 and expires September 1 unless extended by the Chief Justice.

The 53rd Emergency Order renewed its 50th Emergency Order which pertains to the Texas Eviction Diversion Program. The Order, among other things, continues the closure of the program to new applicants.

resolutions for 2022 annual conference

Resolutions for consideration at the Annual Conference are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 22, 2022. The TML Constitution provides that resolutions must be submitted by any member city, TML region, or TML affiliate to the TML headquarters 45 calendar days prior to the first day of the Annual Conference. 

The League’s advocacy efforts are based on a legislative program that is developed by member city officials in two ways. 

First, a member city, TML region, or TML affiliate may submit a resolution for consideration at the business meeting of each year’s Annual Conference. Each city is asked to provide one delegate to serve as its liaison at the meeting. The representatives will be briefed on the content of the resolutions and given a chance to discuss and vote on whether they merit inclusion in the legislative program. The resolutions form the basis of a fixed legislative program, under which – each session – modifications to the program will be made only if needed. 

Second, member city officials can participate in the League’s Municipal Policy Summit during the summer of 2022. The report of the Summit takes the form of a resolution that is submitted to the Annual Conference in interim years. The summit participants will be appointed by the TML President based on volunteers and others chosen to balance the demographics of the TML membership at large. 

Details on the submission process can be found here.

house and senate committee interim hearings

The Texas House and Senate Committees are underway studying interim charges outlined by Speaker Phelan and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

Below is a full list of committee hearings set to hear certain city-related charges. All hearings will be held at the Texas Capitol unless otherwise indicated. If a committee has newly posted notice and was not included in last week’s edition of the Legislative Update, it is indicated as such.

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

The committee will meet on June 27 at 10:00 a.m. to hear invited and public testimony on the following interim charge:

Public Health Data: Review the processes for public health data collection and coordination by local and state entities as well as regional trauma centers. Identify any continuing barriers to the real-time dissemination of data concerning health care facility capacity – inducing data that can expedite timely care – and morbidity rates, as well as other information that can assist in public policy decisions.

Information on the hearing, including how to register and testify at the committee hearing, can be found here.

Senate Business and Commerce Committee

The committee will meet on Wednesday, June 29 at 9:00 a.m. to hear invited and public testimony on the following interim charges:

Broadband and Telecommunications: Study broadband and other telecommunications related issues impacted Texans including:

  • Monitoring the implementation of House Bill 5 and House Bill 1505, 87th Legislature; discuss anticipated federal infrastructure funding dedicated to broadband initiatives;
  • Reviewing the Texas Universal Service Fund and reporting what, if any, changes should be made through a review of both the fund’s contributions and disbursements, as well as the impact of technology on the long-term stability of the Texas Universal Service Fund; and
  • Monitoring the implementation of House Bill 2911, 87th Legislature, relating to next generation 9-1-1 service fund and the establishment of a next generation 9-1-1- service fund.

Electricity: Study issues impacting the Texas electric grid, including weather preparedness and the natural gas supply chain. Evaluate potential benefits of real-time transparency of the intrastate gas market with respect to the functions of ERCOT and the Texas Energy Reliability Council.

Information on the hearing, including how to register and testify at the committee hearing, can be found here.

Senate Finance Committee

The committee will meet on Monday, July 11 at 10:00 a.m. to hear invited and public testimony on the following interim charges:

Federal Funds: Report on the state use of federal COVID-19 relief funds provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the American Rescue Plan Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Acts, and similar federal legislation. Examine local use of federal relief funding, including funding provided to school districts through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. Evaluate the overall fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on state agencies, including costs incurred due to federal mandates. Identify barriers to the effective utilization of funds and make recommendations on the expenditure of unappropriated funds. In addition, evaluate and report on the spending by state agencies that have been utilizing "one-time" federal funding (temporary enhancements, e.g. FMAP and ESSER) sources, where federal funding will likely be significantly reduced in future biennia.

Information on the hearing, including how to register and testify at the committee hearing, can be found here.


TML member cities may use the materials 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.