Did the governor take any virus-related action this week?
Yes. He issued the following press release yesterday (July
“Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the U.S. Department
of Defense has activated additional U.S. Army Urban Augmentation Medical Task
Forces (UAMTF) to assist the state's efforts to combat COVID-19. At the
Governor's request and as part of a whole-of-nation approach, one UAMTF
arrived in San Antonio on July 6th, an additional task force arrived in
Texas to support the Houston region today, and four UAMTFs, along with a
U.S. Navy Acute Care Team and four U.S. Navy Rapid Rural Response teams, will
be deployed to additional locations across Texas as identified by ongoing
assessments. These teams consist of medical and support professionals which
are being deployed to support medical needs in hospitals throughout the
‘Our ongoing partnership with the federal government is
crucial to meeting the medical needs of Texans as we combat COVID-19 in our
communities,’ said Governor Abbott. ‘Texas is grateful to the U.S. Department
of Defense as well as President Trump and Vice President Pence for providing
these additional resources and for working alongside our communities to keep
Texans safe and mitigate the spread of this virus.’”
What’s the latest issue to crop up in relation to the
postponed city general elections?
State Representative Mayes Middleton filed a request for an attorney general opinion. The
request relates to the filing period for candidates for that new November
election date. It provides that:
“The Governor, through his emergency orders, allowed certain
jurisdictions to move elections with a date set for May to the November
uniform date. He was silent in his orders, however, on the filing period. The
Secretary of State and several jurisdictions claim that the filing deadline
However, a plain reading and strict construction of the filing
period statutes require the filing period to remain open, or re-open and then
close in accordance with a November 3, 2020 election day. Implementation of
the filing period deadline must be confined to Texas Election Code statutes.
Therefore, my questions to you are:
First, if an eligible candidate seeks a place on the ballot
for a May election moved to November, but has not filed previously, are they
afforded an opportunity to do so?
Second, can a jurisdiction deny them a place on the ballot if
they now file within the statutorily prescribed timeframe, but did not
previously do so?
I can imagine several candidates would be interested in filing
to give voters more choices (especially considering the events that have
taken place across this State over the past few months). In fairness to them,
and to not give those who previously filed any more of an advantage, I would
ask that the response to this request be expedited.”
The Secretary of State’s Election Division issued an election
advisory related to cities that postponed their elections. The guidance
states that “By postponing their election date, the political subdivision is
preserving all candidate filings and ballot order actions that have already
been taken. The postponement does not have the effect of reopening candidate
filings.” League attorneys have no reasons to question that advice.
Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus
TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.