UPDATED April 8, 2020
Texas Governor Abbott Updates:
Governor Abbott Announces Incoming Shipments Of PPE, Provides Update On Distribution In Texas (News Release Here)
Download the presentation on PPE distribution in Texas here
Governor Abbott Announces Care.com Initiative To Increase In-Home Child Care Access For Frontline Workers (News Release Here)
Texas WIC Expands Eligible Foods, Launches Updated App (News Release Here)
Texas Comptroller Hegar, Update on Economy and State Budget – The Texas Tribune
New revenue projection: likely coming in July for revised FY20-21. Reduction will be “several billions”.
Special Session: We will not need to have a special session to deal with the crisis for the current biennium. There are enough tools in the tool-kit to move money around until next January. “Tools” mentioned by Hegar: ask agencies to reduce expenses, move money around, federal funding, borrow from the Rainy Day Fund.
Agency Reductions: Leadership needs to direct agencies to start reducing costs now – reductions should be over a long period of time to be most effective. Can’t start in 6 months. Hegar has already started implementing cost savings measures at his office – no new hires, cut IT projects. He is advising other agencies to do the same.
Data Collection: Current data is lagging. Won’t collect March sales tax receipts until April 20, etc. Right now, looking at impact of previous downturns and major events like 9/11, but nothing is really comparable. Example: After 9/11 hotel occupancy (which impacts hotel occupancy tax) was down 28% at its worst point. Right now it is down 67%. Therefore, won’t start to see true picture until data collection catches up. We know we are in a recession, we just don’t know how wide and deep.
Tax Relief: Hegar is getting requests from multiple industries for relief. Service industry asking for sales tax deferral, oil and gas industry asking for deferrals in severance tax. Hegar said he is trying to work with the various industries, but he only has blanket authority to do a sales tax deferral across the board, which will impact all the local governments collection of sales tax. He doesn’t have ability to pinpoint specific industries. Doesn’t seem likely he is considering this option at the moment.
Federal Funds: “Feds have the power to print money, Texas does not”. Texas expects to receive $11B from the CARES Act to cover COVID expenses – 55% to Texas, 45% to local governments. Hegar discussed package #4 being discussed by Congress – may be more about helping states recover (non-COVID expenses). Package #2 included an increase FMAP of 6.2% for two quarters, which will save Texas $1 Billion in GR. Hegar hopes that will continue in package #4.
New Taxes/Revenue: Hegar was asked if he had a list of new revenue options to give to the Legislature if we need new revenue sources next session. Hegar replied that he always points people to his report on tax exemptions and exclusions – which lists out all services/products exempted or excluded from various taxes the state currently collects. Ross Ramsey (Texas Tribune) mentioned that report lists $58-60 billlion in items. Hegar cautioned to be careful how you read it – one item may be exempted from one tax, only to be picked up in another.
UPDATED MARCH 30, 2020
UPDATED MARCH 19, 2020
Dr. Pat Rabjohn provides some great information about viruses. Check out his video concerning COVID-19
UPDATED MARCH 15, 2020
Due to the recent pandemic of COVID-19, we are temporarily suspending campaign activity to serve our community and we need your help. We are planning to volunteer along side Common Ground Mansfield to serve MISD students, not as a campaign, but as servants.
Right now the help seems to be everything from helping direct people as they drive through to get food at the schools to making phone calls. To learn more about what Common Ground Mansfield is doing click this link. To sign up for volunteer opportunities click this link.
We ask that you don't wear any campaign material while volunteering. Lets make this about the people and serve them as we have been called to do.
*This is what the school district is doing according to Karen Marcucci
Starting March 16, free healthy and delicious meals will be available to all children ages 18 years and younger at the following distribution sites:
Glenn Harmon Elementary School
D.P. Morris Elementary School
Annette Perry Elementary School
Mary Jo Sheppard Elementary School
Della Icenhower Intermediate School
Danny Jones Middle School
The packaged meals will be distributed from 11 a.m. to noon on Monday through Friday in a drive-thru fashion. No one will need to exit their personal vehicles, but all participating children must be in the vehicle. Children do not have to be a student at the campus to qualify for the meal, and families can visit any of the participating sites.
Meals will consist of whole grains, lean protein, fruits, vegetables and lowfat milk. We will include a lot of the kids’ favorites (yogurt boxes, pizza packs, chicken tenders, etc.). The menu will be posted online over the weekend.
Michael Evans for Mayor campaign!