News & Press: Member Update

ACEC Texas Member Update: COVID-19 (March 27, 2020)

Friday, March 27, 2020  
Posted by: Michael Hancock
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ACEC Texas Member Update - COVID-19
March 27, 2020

As many are now under “shelter-in-place” orders, ACEC Texas has been working remotely/virtually to provide you with the most up-to-date information as we continue to respond to COVID-19. We are collaborating frequently with ACEC National and our local chapters to share pertinent industry information and make it available to you as soon as possible via email, social media, and our website.

We encourage you to utilize our COVID-19 webpage for regular daily updates, and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can access our webpage by clicking below:

ACEC Texas COVID-19 Homepage


As always, please do not hesitate to call or email us if you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance.

AG and TxDOT Provide Clarity for State Contractors

ACEC Texas spoke this morning with TxDOT’s Chief Engineer, Bill Hale, P.E., who provided guidance and clarity for member firms working with TxDOT or with the State. Mr. Hale stated that ACEC members working on TxDOT assignments are considered “agents working on its behalf” and continued work is permitted. This was clarified and confirmed by the Texas Attorney General’s (AG) office in a letter issued earlier this week, which stated the following:

“Nor does the Constitution allow local actions to impair the obligation of State contracts. Where, as here, fulfilling State functions may include utilizing the services of State contractors, the Constitution expressly prohibits enacting any law-state or local-that impairs that right.”

Mr. Hale has suggested that any worker traveling to and from a TxDOT worksite to please carry a copy of the Texas AG’s letter, which can be viewed and printed here: AG Letter.

Update Regarding TxDOT Materials and Tests Division

TxDOT PEPS Division Director Martin Rodin, P.E., contacted ACEC Texas today to give an update from the Materials and Tests Division (MTD) on continuity of operations for MTD consultants. The information was provided by TxDOT MTD Division Director Buddy Williams, P.E., and can be viewed by clicking on the following link: TxDOT MTD Document.

CARES Act Approved by U.S. Senate, Vote Expected in House on Friday

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act on Wednesday, approving $2 trillion in relief funding. The bill pinpoints several sectors to provide relief, including individuals, big and small businesses, the public health sector, and state and local governments. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she expects the House of Representatives to approve the bill on Friday, with President Trump stating he would sign it immediately.

ACEC National has provided helpful links to the CARES Act for review:

Please continue to utilize ACEC National’s Coronavirus Resource Center, which can be accessed by clicking on the following link: ACEC National Coronavirus Webpage.

ACEC Texas Advocates for Engineering to be Declared as an “Essential Business”

One of the most common questions being asked by our member firms is can we continue our business operations? Although State contractors are permitted per the Texas AG, we understand the need for complete surety for your business, and we continue to advocate on behalf of our industry in seeking statewide guidance.

In addition to our letter, ACEC Texas joined other trade associations and business organizations this week in submitting two different letters to Governor Abbott requesting statewide uniformity on critical infrastructure and essential businesses for all jurisdictions to model and follow. To view these letters, please click on the following links:

ACEC Texas Letter to Governor Greg Abbott with ACEC National Letter to President Trump

Texas Business Roundtable Letter to Governor Abbott

Trade Associations/Business Organizations Letter to Governor Abbott

To view a complete listing of jurisdictions with links to their COVID-19 webpages and issued orders, please click on the following link:Texas Local Government Weblinks, Ordinances, and Declarations. We will continue to keep our member firms updated as new information and guidance is made available.

Regional & ACEC Texas Local Chapter News

ACEC Texas has made available regional webpages that can be accessed on our COVID-19 homepage. A special thank you to our local chapters who continue to provide news and updates from their respective regions in Texas. To view regional news, please visit the ACEC Texas COVID-19 Webpage.

ACEC National Releases Second Wave of Survey Results

ACEC National has released the results from their "COVID-19 Business Impact Survey - Wave 2." This is the second survey conducted by ACEC National to poll member firms on how COVID-19 is affecting their business. To view the results, please click on the following link: ACEC Survey Results - Wave 2.

You can also view the results from the first survey, which can be found on the ACEC Texas COVID-19 website under “ACEC National News & Updates.”

News and Updates Making Headlines:

  • In his most recent Executive Order issued on March 26, 2020, Governor Abbott announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for those traveling to Texas as their final destination via air travel from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Orleans.

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released late last week an informal guidance document on emergency leave and associated tax credits. To view the document, please click on the following link provided on behalf of ACEC National: Guidance Document from IRS, DOL and Treasury.

  • Governor Abbott released a statement this week thanking President Trump for issuing a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Texas. To view more details, please click on the following link: Gov. Abbott Announces Approval of Major Disaster Declaration.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor has released new guidance on paid leave requirements: DOL Guidance on Paid Leave.

  • The IRS has released a frequently asked questions document regarding the delay in 2019 tax payments and tax filing deadline, which has been moved to July 15: IRS FAQ Document.


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