Has the governor issued clarification regarding his order from
Yes, although not in relation to how the order interacts with
local orders or whether local orders can be more stringent than the
governor’s. Yesterday, the governor issued a new executive order
that supersedes his original social distancing order. The Texas Division
of Emergency Management today issued further guidance regarding
which businesses are essential services. Beyond that, what cities can
and cannot do relative to the governor’s order remains unclear. The
League is attempting to obtain clarification from the Governor’s office.
In yesterday’s action, the governor suspended Section 418.108 of the Texas
Government Code (The Texas Disaster Act) and several other laws,
some of which are unnamed, “to the extent necessary to ensure that local
officials do not impose restrictions inconsistent with this executive order,
provided that local officials may enforce this executive order as well as
local restrictions that are consistent with this executive order.” Section
418.108 is the core authority for mayors to declare, and city councils to
extend, local states of disaster, including movement of persons and
occupation of premises. One thing that seems clear is that a city
can at least continue its basic local declaration (which is probably needed
to seek future FEMA reimbursement).
How can we help the National League of Cities with its
Coronavirus efforts on behalf of cities?
The National League of Cities (NLC) is working to obtain
funding for all cities, regardless of size. To effectively do that, they
need data on municipal budgets.
NLC, along with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, has prepared a
very short, easy-to-complete survey to ascertain
how much revenue cities expect to lose, both short- and long
term. Please complete the survey by Friday, April 3. Results will
be analyzed and shared.
What more can be done to ensure that cities under 500,000
population receive direct federal funding to respond to local challenges
created by COVID-19?
While the Department of Treasury weighs city arguments in
favor of allowing cities under 500,000 in population to directly access
funding under the Coronavirus Relief Fund created by the CARES Act, NLC is
encouraging cities nationwide to urge their congressional delegation to sign
onto a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arguing that federal funding of
these cities should be a priority in any future federal relief package. The form
letter can be found here.
Has the Department of Labor issued final regulations related
to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?
Yes. This afternoon, the Department issued a 124-page final rule (pending
publication) implementing the emergency paid sick leave and expanded family
and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. League staff will review and
provide more information in a future update.