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Dec 03

December 3, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #154

Posted on December 3, 2020 at 5:44 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates

 

Is there any news on vaccine distribution?

 

Yes, the Governor announced yesterday (December 2) that the first allotment of over 1.4 million vaccine doses will arrive in Texas from the Centers for Disease Control during the week of December 14. The Governor also reiterated the priority principles by which the first, and presumably subsequent, rounds will be distributed. 

 

There are obviously many unanswered questions at this point, one of the main ones being who is paying for what in the vaccination process? This question is especially pertinent given that some cities are being asked by state agencies to help identify potential distribution sources, but not being told what funding financial obligations that city involvement might place on the source or the city. League staff is talking now to our contacts in the Governor’s office about this and other related questions and will report as soon as any new information is learned.

 

Have there been any new bills filed by Texas legislators relating to Coronavirus or its impacts?

 

Yes. The following are the bills newly filed since we last reported on the issue. The League will monitor and report of the progress of all such bills once the Legislature convenes its session in January. 

 

H.B. 639 (White) – Emergency Services Districts: would allow an emergency services district to provide public health services, contract with a local government to provide those services, and charge a reasonable fee for performing those services for or on behalf of a person or entity.

 

H.B. 665 (Landgraf) – Emergency Rules: would provide, among other things, that an emergency rule that is adopted by a state agency during a period in which at least 75 percent of the counties in the state are declared to be in a state of disaster or emergency by the governor may be effective for not longer than 30 days, and may be renewed for not longer than 60 days.

 

H.J.R. 40 (White) – Disaster Management: would amend the Texas Constitution to prohibit the governor from suspending or limiting, by order or proclamation, the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, or combustibles regardless of whether the state is in a period of emergency resulting from a disaster.

 

H.B. 637 (Canales) - Disease Presumption: would, among other things: (1) provide that for purposes of reimbursement of medical expenses for public safety employees, including peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel who are exposed to a contagious disease, a disease is not an “ordinary disease of life” if the disease is the basis for a disaster declared by the governor for all or part of the state; (2) expand the applicability of the disease presumption statute to include detention officers, including such officers who are employed by a city; and (3) expand the disease presumption statute to provide that a detention officer, firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technician who contracts a disease that is the basis of a state declared disaster for all or part of the state and dies or is totally or partially disabled is presumed to have contracted such disease in the course and scope of employment as a detention officer, firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical technician. (Companion bill is S.B. 107 by Powell.)

 

Further Updates

 

How can we have an impact on the legislative issues that affect our community?

 

With the 2021 legislative session starting on January 12, it’s important to start engaging state lawmakers and citizens in tackling the challenges that directly impact your community. Join TML for our 2021 Legislative Series (four webinars and a workshop) where we’ll discuss the key city issues and our work ahead. Learn more and register.

 

Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?

 

TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.