What are the latest developments regarding the governor’s
comments on mask requirements?
In a television interview yesterday (6/17), the governor
indicated his belief that local governments can require businesses to require
customers to wear masks, and that doing so is consistent with Executive Order GA-26. Although the governor’s order
prohibits a local jurisdiction from imposing a civil or criminal penalty for
failure to wear a face covering, according to the governor this prohibition
only applies to regulating the behavior of individuals, not businesses. In
other words, cities may issue local orders imposing fines on businesses for
failure to require employees and customers to wear masks, but may not issue
local orders imposing fines on individuals for not wearing masks.
Governor Abbott’s comments were made in reference to an order issued by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. Since
those comments, a handful of other mayors and county judges have issued similar
In spite of the governor’s comments yesterday voicing support
for these orders, any city interested in imposing similar public health
measures is strongly encouraged to consult its city attorney before doing so.
Will Texas public school students attend classes on campus in
Apparently so. Media reports indicate that, on a call with state
lawmakers today (6/18), Governor Abbott stated that Texas public schools will
open for in-person classes in the fall. Further, according to the Texas
Education Agency (TEA), school districts will not be required to mandate that
students wear masks on campus. Independent school districts will also have the
flexibility to provide for instructional alternatives for students.
The TEA is expected to release further guidance for school
districts regarding in-person class attendance next Tuesday (6/23).
What information does TML have for cities as they start to prepare
for the upcoming budget year?
TML has developed a special-edition, mid-year fiscal conditions
survey to help cities navigate the upcoming budget planning process. With an
unexpected public health crisis and an economic recession, most cities will
have to make difficult decisions over the next coming months. Survey questions
center on current budget shortfalls, as well as the anticipated impact on next
The full text of the survey is available here, but we prefer that you complete it online.
We ask that one official from each city complete
the survey no later than tomorrow (Friday, June 19). Please contact
JJ Rocha with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?
TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.