Has TML communicated to the governor the concerns of cities in
counties under 500,000 regarding TDEM’s restriction on the uses of Coronavirus
Relief Fund (CRF) funds?
Yes. Today (June 4), TML sent a letter to the governor asking that the state eliminate the
so-called “75 percent limitation” on the use of CRF funds for those cities.
With regard to an application-based allotment from TDEM for
cities in counties with less than 500,000 population, those cities must use the
funds in accordance with the guidance from the Treasury Department. In
addition, the point of the letter is that the state has placed further
limitations in the Coronavirus Relief Fund Terms and Conditions document,
which contains the following statement regarding the use of grant money
allocated from TDEM to cities:
“The subrecipient agrees that a minimum of 75% of its allotment
will be spent in the categories of medical expenses, public health expenses and
payroll expenses for employees substantially dedicated to mitigating or
responding to the public emergency. The remainder of the allotment may be spent
in any of the categories provided within the Treasury guidance.”
Every city is different and providing flexibility for the use of
CRF funds would allow cities to better tailor recovery efforts to the unique
challenges in each city.
What’s the latest in the mail-in ballot controversy?
The ping-pong match of court battles over the use of mail-in
ballots by those who fear contracting COVID-19 at the polls continues. The
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion that, for now, essentially precludes a voter from
voting by mail based on that fear.
The federal court controversy began when the Texas Democratic
Party and others sued the governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and
Travis and Bexar Counties in federal court seeking to allow mail-in ballots for
those afraid of contracting the virus.
The federal district court judge issued a 74-page order that would have allowed any voter to vote by
mail-in ballot. The attorney general immediately appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Fifth Circuit granted a temporary stay of the district judge’s ruling.
Today, that same appeals court issued the opinion ordering that
the stay continue permanently, pending further appeals.
Presumably, the Democratic Party will eventually appeal to the
U.S. Supreme Court.
Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?
TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.