This Week in Texas: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Posted March 18, 2020 in The Mignon Memo

Only in Austin…

Texas Waives STAAR Testing Requirements

Governor Greg Abbott announced the state of Texas will waive all STAAR testing requirements for the current school year amid the coronavirus pandemic that is necessitating the closure of school districts during the normal testing window.  Gov. Abbott and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) are working to ensure schools continue to deliver instruction to students while schools are closed and that students are learning and ready to succeed at the next grade level once the crisis is over.  The Governor’s announcement came shortly after TEA Commissioner Mike Morath warned that many Texas schools could be closed through the remainder of the academic year due to the virus.

So that children and families do not lose access to nutritious meals during this time, the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, the Texas Hunger Initiative and other state partners have compiled information on Texas school closures and food resources being offered.

Texas Driver’s License Expiration Dates Extended During Coronavirus

The Texas Department of Public Safety is temporarily waiving expiration dates for Texas driver’s licenses due to the coronavirus.  Gov. Abbott’s recent disaster declaration for Texas allowed for the waiver of laws and regulations that hinder agencies’ abilities to respond to the pandemic; as a result, for 60 days after the end of the state of disaster, Texas driver’s licenses, commercial driver’s licenses, identification cards and election identification certificates will still be considered valid if the expiration date is on or after March 13, 2020.

Texas Capitol Closed to the Public

The Texas Capitol is now closed to the public indefinitely as the state works diligently to tamp down the spread of the coronavirus.  Legislators, their staffs and the offices that support them are working remotely to continue government business.  This temporary closure extends to the Capitol Visitors Center, the Texas State Cemetery, the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage, the Capitol Grill and the Capitol gift shops.

Friends:  You may hear from us more frequently over the coming weeks, as we’ll be posting news pertinent to the Texas Legislature as it is received.  In the meantime, take care of yourselves and your loved ones as we all navigate this new reality.