July 29, 2022, Number 30

Download the full .pdf version here: TML Legislative Update Number 30

treasury releases updated slfrf reporting guidance

The Treasury Department released Version 3.1 of its State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) Project and Expenditure Reporting Guide. Prior Treasury guidance required a city using the standard allowance for revenue replacement to make a one-time, irrevocable election to take the standard allowance on their April 30th filing. That deadline has now been extended. According to Treasury, “[b]ased on recipient feedback and in anticipation of additional questions related to the revenue loss election, Treasury has decided to keep this portion of the reporting portal open for recipients in upcoming reporting cycles, which will permit recipients to update their prior revenue loss election, as appropriate.” In other words, cities who failed to elect to use the standard allowance by the April 30th deadline can now choose to use it. Treasury indicates that they will keep this option open until April 2023.

The updated SLFRF Project and Expenditure Reporting Guide is available here. The discussion related to these deadline changes can be found starting on page 42.

fedeal 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. 

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

Updating a previous item, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced the availability of over $573 million in grant funding for the competitive Railroad Crossing Elimination Program, which “will help improve safety, eliminate lengthy delays at railroad crossings in communities across the country, and ultimately lower the costs of transporting goods, making them more affordable for American families.” At least 20% of funding will go to rural and tribal areas, and political subdivisions, including cities, are eligible applicants. Interested city officials can access a fact sheet on the grant program and the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Applications are due no later than 4:00 p.m. CST, October 4, 2022. Interested city officials can also access an FRA webinar from July 14 on the program here.

National League of Cities (NLC)

The Local Infrastructure Hub, sponsored by NLC and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, among others, is now live. The Hub is designed to help city officials navigate the funding programs made available by the IIJA. Interested city officials can sign up for the mailing list, attend virtual learning events, and access articles and other resources on some of the key IIJA funding opportunities. Upcoming events include:

  • August 2: Reconnecting Communities + Equity: Engagement & Environmental Justice
  • August 16: Focusing on Broadband

NLC recently published an article titled “America’s Small Cities Aren’t on the Infrastructure Sidelines,”  highlighting survey data from small cities about use of the IIJA for local infrastructure needs. The article includes examples of how small cities plan to use IIJA funding for water and transportation projects.

red-light camera data required by txdot

Each city that still operates a red-light camera system must continue to compile and submit annual reports showing the number and type of crashes that have occurred at the intersection to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The required data must be provided to TxDOT by October 28, 2022. More information on the reporting requirements can be found here.

With the passage of H.B. 1631 in the 2019 session, cities are no longer permitted to install or operate red-light cameras. The law contained an exception that allowed cities with an ordinance enacted before May 7, 2019 that entered into a contract for the administration and enforcement of red-light cameras to continue operation until the expiration date specified in the contract.

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.

House Committee on Natural Resources

The committee will meet on Tuesday, August 23 at 10:00 a.m. to hear the following interim charges:

Review the adequacy and efficiency of current mechanisms used to compensate water right holders when the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality temporarily transfers a water right under an emergency authorization. Make appropriate recommendations for the protection of private property rights of water right holders.

Information on the hearing, including how to register and submit electronic comment, can be found here.

House Committee on Natural Resources

The committee will meet on Wednesday, August 24 at 10:00 a.m. to hear the following interim charges:

Examine the condition of Texas’ water and flood mitigation infrastructure capabilities and consider future infrastructure needs. Evaluate sustainable funding sources to provide for water project development and infrastructure repair and replacement. Examine and make recommendations for cost-effective improvements that enhance the state’s available water supply.

Note: the desalination portion of this charge will be held at a later date. 

Examine the state’s groundwater management policy and regulatory framework. Include a review of large-scale water transfers and their impact on groundwater resources. Make appropriate recommendations for legislation or state agency action to:

  • Promote the achievement of planning goals under Chapter 36, Water Code, including those involving desired future conditions;
  • Provide adequate transparency to the permit application process;
  • Further the state’s groundwater quality protection efforts, including an assessment of risks posed to groundwater by abandoned and deteriorated water wells and orphan oil and gas wells; and
  • Promote conservation and waste prevention.

Information on the hearing, including how to register and submit electronic comment, can be found here.

*NEW* House Committee on Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services

The committee will meet on Thursday, August 25 at 11:00 a.m. to hear the following interim charge:

Review the impact of investments by public retirement systems of their endowment and other trust funds in businesses and funds owned or controlled by the Russian government or Russian nationals, and determine the need for investment restrictions. Consider the impact of any proposed investment restrictions on fund performance.

Information on the hearing, including how to register and submit electronic comment, can be found here.

don't forget: resolutions for 2022 annual conference due august 22

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 have been 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.


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.