What’s the latest with regard to the effect of the pandemic on
the upcoming legislative session?
The Texas Tribune ran a story with some interesting commentary on the upcoming
session. The article states that:
“Some of it [other than the state budget and redistricting]
can wait. And if the coronavirus is thriving in January anything like it’s
thriving now, lawmakers will be faced then – like educators and parents and students
are faced today – with decisions about what’s safe and what’s right.
And they’re going to have some explaining to do if what they
do for themselves is much different from what they prescribe for the rest of
Has the governor made additional statements about school
re-opening in the fall?
No, but confusion remains. The Texas Tribune reported on the issue today (August 7).
What additional information has the Secretary of State sent
out regarding postponed elections?
Today (August 7), the Secretary of State’s Elections Division
issued the following related to election forms for postponed elections:
“Dear Election Officials and Vendors:
As part of the July 27, 2020 proclamation issued by Governor Abbott suspending certain
provisions of the Texas Election Code, a number of forms had to be
updated. The following forms have been updated to reflect the changes
related to the Governor’s proclamation. These forms will be posted to the SOS website. Please note, these
revisions only apply to the November 3, 2020 elections. If you have
already printed your forms or you have old stock that you planned on using,
you may modify the form to include the changed language with a
sticker. I’ve attached the documents as Word versions in case you need
to make modifications related to the forms. Please remember that
modifications to official forms need to be approved by the Secretary of
-“Dear Voter” Letter (English/Spanish)
-Information about Returning Your Carrier Envelope
(Carrier Insert) (Form 5-22b)
-Information about Returning Your Carrier Envelope (FPCA
Carrier Insert) (Form 5-35)
-Roster for Voters Hand-Delivering Carrier Envelope (Form
-Ballot Envelope (Form 5-21f, Word) (will provide language for sticker if envelopes
Additionally, the updated November 3, 2020 calendar should be
released next week. Please let us know if you have any additional
questions or concerns.
Christina Worrell Adkins
Legal Director – Elections Division
Office of the Texas Secretary of State
1019 Brazos Street | Rudder Building, 2nd Floor | Austin,
What’s the latest from NLC related to congressional action on
the next stimulus bill?
The National League of Cities sent the following yesterday
Talks Continue As Differences Remain
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) both sounded an optimistic tone this morning
“Exactly when that deal comes together, I can't tell you, but
I think it will at some point in the near future,” McConnell said on CNBC.
Speaking just after McConnell on CNBC, Pelosi said, “will we
find a solution? We will. Will we have an agreement? We will.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Pelosi, White
House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met
at 5 p.m. today in the Capitol. The meeting, the 10th meeting between the
foursome, lasted more than three hours.
After the meeting, it appears that the two sides are not any
closer to an agreement on the major issues. Mnuchin said afterwards “on
things like state and local ... we're still very far apart on
that.” Meadows said “we still don't have a deal” for a COVID relief
package and called the differences “still significant.”
“The president wants us to get a deal or move on and take
actions,” Meadows added.
Schumer and Pelosi called the meeting disappointing. With The
White House threatening to go it alone with executive actions, Schumer warned
that any such action would be met with “litigation.”
The White House appears to be running out of patience with the
Democratic negotiating pair and might act unilaterally the President tweeted
today. “Upon departing the Oval Office for Ohio, I've notified my staff
to continue working on an Executive Order with respect to Payroll Tax Cut,
Eviction Protections, Unemployment Extensions, and Student Loan Repayment
Options,” the President tweeted.
Pelosi, during a Thursday morning press conference, said that
The White House must be confused if they think they can take these types of
actions. And Schumer added that the best result would be a legislated result,
not unilateral action.
Meadows put a Friday deadline for reaching a deal in principal
or else The White House would go its own way.
Other senators also did not sound optimistic that a deal is
close at hand. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate
Appropriations Committee and a key senator to negotiations, said “We might
not get a deal. ... I think there's a lot of pessimism here -- will we get an
agreement? Are we too far apart?”
He went on to add: “We’re at an impasse right now. I would
hope over the next few days we can get together and do something that will
help a lot of working people in America. Republicans and Democrats, get
together. At the moment, it doesn't look promising.”
McConnell said on Wednesday that the Senate would be in next
week, despite a planned recess for August. However, Politico is reporting
that with no deal in sight, some senators might not come back next week
unless there is a breakthrough.
Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said that “some senators are
going home” and “some are staying here” and they will return immediately if
there's something to vote on. The House is also scheduled to be out next
Leap Forward For State and Local Aid
The top issue holding up negotiations is enhanced unemployment
insurance, and at what level the benefits should be set.
This morning during her press conference, Pelosi linked
unemployment and state and local aid together.
She said that 1.5 million state and local employees have been
laid off since the pandemic began and nearly 4 million more could be laid off
if nothing is done.
This week, NLC began pushing the message that relief for state
and local aid will ensure that millions of people are not added to the
unemployment rolls in the coming months. Our message was reiterated by
Tying these two democratic priorities together will help
ensure that state and local will not be left behind in negotiations.”
Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus
TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.