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            HGN NEWS Southwest™

Coverage for the ARKLATEXOMA

TEXAS, LOUISIANA, NEW MEXICO ARKANSAS, OKLAHOMA

 

 

 

OAG Seal

MIKE HUNTER
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA

 

 

 

Oklahoma State Senate

Office of the President Pro Tempore

Senator Greg Treat


For Immediate Release: April 2, 2020

Senate leader agrees with Governor’s health emergency declaration;

Says Senate will meet Monday to take action

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat said he agrees with the governor’s health emergency declaration issued Thursday and that the Senate will convene Monday to take action on the order.

“This particular kind of order hasn’t ever been issued by the executive branch, but I agree it’s needed now during these extraordinary and unprecedented times. We must take this pandemic seriously as a state. Life, at every stage, is precious and we must do everything to protect it. The health emergency declaration gives the governor and his team greater authority to coordinate Oklahoma’s overall coronavirus response. Oklahoma will come through this health care crisis, and with a unified and statewide response, that comeback will happen quicker and more effectively,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City.

On Thursday, Governor Kevin Stitt issued an health emergency declaration in accordance with the provisions of 63 O.S. § 6101 - 6900 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s Office said:

Under 63 O.S. § 6104 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the governor is granted broader powers during a health emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, to waive statutory or regulatory requirements as well as the ability to coordinate a cohesive statewide response among city and county health departments.

This declaration also gives the governor the authority to allow health care professionals who have left the workforce to quickly rejoin the front lines against COVID-19 and protect first responders by helping them manage their personal protective equipment (PPE). By loosening some restrictions, first responders will be able to know if the home they are dispatched to has a resident who has tested positive for COVID-19. Patient names and other identifying information will still be restricted.

The issuance of the health emergency also triggers a special legislative session to approve or deny the governor’s actions. The special session is set for 8 a.m. Monday.

Treat said the Senate consulted with the Attorney General’s Office and legal staff since these statutes and provisions have never been invoked.

“The legal opinion is that the governor’s executive order is effective upon its issuance. The Senate is not currently in session; however, attorneys inform us the special session can be held next week. That will help us minimize the amount of time the Legislature meets so that we can adhere to social distancing guidelines,” Treat said.

Treat said the Senate was finalizing logistical plans for session, which include utilizing a minimum amount of Senate staff and rotating senators’ time on the Senate floor so that proper social distancing practices could be observed.

###

SpeakerBanner

April 2, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: John Estus
Office of House Speaker Charles McCall
Capitol: (405) 557-7439
Cell: (405) 706-0084

Legislature to return next week

OKLAHOMA CITY – Under strong health and safety protocols, the Legislature will convene on Monday to address the expected state revenue failure and an expanded state health emergency requested by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

“The Legislature will complete important business next week while putting safety at the forefront of all activities at the Capitol,” said House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka. “Extraordinary precautions will be taken to ensure health and safety within the Capitol during these necessary proceedings. We are going to stabilize the budget so services can continue uninterrupted and affirm the governor’s health emergency declaration to step up Oklahoma’s battle against COVID-19. The Legislature’s time to act is here, and we are prepared to do so in a safe manner that is compliant with current health guidelines.”

McCall said the Legislature will address the pending state revenue failure by accessing reserve funding in regular session, and affirm the governor’s emergency health declaration request in special session. The governor was required to call the special session under the state law outlining expanded powers the governor can be given during emergency health situations.

The House will convene at 8 a.m. Monday under the following revised protocols necessary to protect against COVID-19 while in session.

WHO WILL BE AT THE CAPITOL

  • Capitol access remains restricted to elected officials, essential Capitol staff, the press, state officials invited for critical meetings and construction personnel.
  • Most House staff will continue to work remotely; only essential staff will be at the Capitol.
  • No gatherings of more than 10 will be allowed in any House room at any time.
  • House members and staff will not be allowed into the Capitol if they:
    • Have COVID-19 or its symptoms
    • Live with someone who has COVID-19 or its symptoms
    • Are immunocompromised or otherwise at risk
    • Live with someone who is immunocompromised or otherwise at risk
  • Before entering the Capitol, House members and staff will have their temperature taken. No one with a temperature above 100.4F will be admitted.
  • House members unable to enter the Capitol for these reasons or others can vote remotely via a proxy under House Rule Fifteen.

HOW HOUSE PROCEEDINGS WILL WORK

  • Skeleton crews of less than ten people will run floor and committee proceedings.
  • Members and staff must listen to proceedings in their offices.
  • Members will be brought into floor and committee proceedings individually or in small groups to vote, ask questions, debate and present legislation in order to comply with orders limiting gatherings of ten or more.
  • Press will be permitted in the enclosed press gallery above the House Chamber, and will be required to maintain social distancing within the gallery.
  • The House Chamber public gallery will be closed.
  • Livestreaming video online of floor and committee proceedings will continue.

The Legislature has not been in the Capitol since March 17, when a staffer tested positive. Since then, the Legislature and its staff has worked remotely and the Capitol has received a deep cleaning.

Further details on next week’s session activities will be released in the near future.

-30-

 

LOUISIANA MEETINGS

House Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works     Monday, April 13, 2020  9:00 am

 

 

House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure     Monday, April 13, 2020  9:30 am

 

 

House Committee on Commerce     Monday, April 13, 2020  9:30 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEXAS

 

 

2nd PROCLAMATION

 

 

OAG Seal

MIKE HUNTER
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 26, 2020

Attorney General Hunter Clarifies Governor’s Executive Order Regarding Law Enforcement Action for Non-Compliance

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following information regarding law enforcement action relating to individuals or business owners that do not comply with the governor’s March 24 executive order.

“The guidelines in the governor’s executive order call for Oklahomans to act in the best interest of their fellow citizens,” Attorney General Hunter said. “What we are calling on more than anything, is for Oklahomans to be good citizens, good neighbors and comply with the governor’s executive order, as well as the ordinances of local governments, to protect one another from this deadly illness.​

“While a violation of an executive order can be a misdemeanor, law enforcement officers are counseled to inform and persuade to effect compliance when confronted with violations, emphasizing the gravity of the ongoing public health emergency we are experiencing.

“This is not intended to undercut law enforcement’s ability to make decisions based on their training, discretion and the facts of any given situation. Rather, this statement is provided to support and enable law enforcement to make sound, fact based decisions given the circumstances while appropriately balancing the interests of public safety and public health.

“We are in an unprecedented time. The Coronavirus has and will continue to cause profound disruptions in everyone’s lives and livelihoods and we are all painfully aware of those who have become ill or tragically, have died. But rest assured, by following the advice of our state, municipal, county and federal leaders, and complying with the measures laid out in the governor’s executive order, we will save lives.”

Facts Concerning the Governor’s Executive Order

  •  It does not impose martial law; 

 

  • Individuals can still be charged with a misdemeanor. However, it is up to law enforcement’s discretion on who does or does not need to be arrested for violating the executive order or another misdemeanor crime;

 

  • The guidelines in the governor’s executive order call for Oklahomans to do what is in the best interest of the public health of their fellow citizens; and

 

###


Learn more about the Office of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott


03/26/2020 03:53 PM CDT

Gov. Abbott issued an Executive Order mandating a self-quarantine of 14 days for individuals traveling to Texas as their final destination through an airport from the Tri-State Area of NY, NJ, or CT as well as the city of New Orleans, LA.

WHEREAS, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, certifying under Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) poses an imminent threat of disaster for all counties in the State of Texas; and

WHEREAS, the Texas Department of State Health Services has determined that, as of March 19, 2020, COVID-19 represents a public health disaster within the meaning of Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code; and

WHEREAS, I issued Executive Order GA-08 on March 19, 2020, Executive Order GA-09 on March 22, 2020, and Executive Order GA-10 on March 24, 2020, all in response to the COVID-19 disaster; and

WHEREAS, many cases of COVID-19 in the State of Texas were caused by people who transmitted the virus to Texans after flying here from other states and countries; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, recently urged everyone who traveled from the New York metropolitan area to self-quarantine for 14 days to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread to others; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, likewise called for 14 days of self-quarantine of travelers from New York so that New York does not act as a “seeding point to the rest of the country;” and

WHEREAS, after the Governor of Florida imposed a quarantine on all air travelers arriving from the New York Tri-State Area, which is experiencing substantial community spread of COVID-19, the Mayor of New York City remarked to the press, “I understand it.  We are the epicenter;” and

WHEREAS, the “governor is responsible for meeting . . .  the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” under Section 418.011 of the Texas Government Code, and the legislature has given the governor broad authority to fulfill that responsibility; and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.012, the “governor may issue executive orders . . .  hav[ing] the force and effect of law;” and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.017(a), the “governor may use all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions that are reasonably necessary to cope with a disaster;” and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.018(c), the “governor may control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area and the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises in the area;” and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.173, failure to comply with any executive order issued during the COVID-19 disaster is an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both fine and confinement.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following on a statewide basis effective at noon on March 28, 2020:

Every person who enters the State of Texas as the final destination through an airport, from a point of origin or point of last departure in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or the City of New Orleans, or in any other state or city as may be proclaimed hereafter, shall be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Texas or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter.  This order to self-quarantine shall not apply to people traveling in connection with military service, emergency response, health response, or critical-infrastructure functions, as may be determined by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.  Each person covered under this order to self-quarantine shall be responsible for all associated costs, including transportation, lodging, food, and medical care. 

A covered person shall use a form prescribed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to designate a quarantine location in Texas, such as a residence or a hotel, and provide a full name, date of birth, home address, telephone number, and driver license or passport information.  DPS Troopers, or other approved peace officers, shall collect a completed form from each covered person immediately upon disembarking and verify it against the person’s driver license or passport.  Providing false information on this form is a criminal offense under Section 37.10 of the Texas Penal Code.  Questions about this form should be directed to DPS at (800) 525-5555. 

A covered person shall proceed directly from the airport to the designated quarantine location entered on the DPS form.  Any covered person exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 shall be escorted to the designated quarantine location by a DPS Trooper.

A covered person shall remain in the designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter, leaving only to seek medical care or to depart from Texas.  During that period, a covered person shall not allow visitors into or out of the designated quarantine location, other than a health department employee, physician, or healthcare provider, and shall not visit any public spaces.

DPS Special Agents will conduct unannounced visits to designated quarantine locations to verify compliance by confirming the physical presence of covered persons.  Any failure to comply with this order to self-quarantine shall be a criminal offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both.

This executive order shall remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the governor.

Given under my hand this the 26th day of March, 2020. 

Governor Greg Abbott

 

 

Learn more about the Office of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott

03/24/2020 05:31 PM CDT

The Executive Order requires all hospitals, excluding psychiatric hospitals, to submit daily reports on hospital bed capacity to DSHS who will then share this information with the CDC.

WHEREAS, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, certifying under Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) poses an imminent threat of disaster for all counties in the State of Texas; and

WHEREAS, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has determined that, as of March 19, 2020, COVID-19 represents a public health disaster within the meaning of Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code; and

WHEREAS, I issued Executive Order GA-08 on March 19, 2020, and Executive Order GA-09 on March 22, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 disaster; and

WHEREAS, timely information about COVID-19 testing and hospital bed capacity is crucial to efforts to cope with the COVID-19 disaster; and

WHEREAS, Vice President Mike Pence, leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has requested that every governor in the United States order daily reporting of these crucial pieces of information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and

WHEREAS, the “governor is responsible for meeting . . .  the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” under Section 418.011 of the Texas Government Code, and the legislature has given the governor broad authority to fulfill that responsibility; and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.012, the “governor may issue executive orders . . .  hav[ing] the force and effect of law.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following on a statewide basis effective 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020:

All hospitals licensed under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, and all Texas state-run hospitals, except for psychiatric hospitals, shall submit to DSHS daily reports of hospital bed capacity, in the manner prescribed by DSHS.  DSHS shall promptly share this information with the CDC.

Every public or private entity that is utilizing an FDA-approved test, including an emergency use authorization test, for human diagnostic purposes of COVID-19, shall submit to DSHS, as well as to the local health department, daily reports of all test results, both positive and negative.  DSHS shall promptly share this information with the CDC.

This executive order shall remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding governor.

Given under my hand this the 24th day of March, 2020. 

Governor Greg Abbott

 

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR EDWARDS ISSUES STAY IN PLACE ORDER FOR LOUISIANA CITIZENS WITH EXCEPTIONS READ BELOW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officials announce temporary closure of Government Plaza

 

OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF GOVERNMENT PLAZA

A Parish of Caddo employee who works at Government Plaza has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has received medical care and is currently self-isolating at home.  The Parish is working closely with local and state officials to identify the employee’s close contacts and provide necessary guidance to those individuals.

In an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of our citizens and employees, the Parish of Caddo along with the City of Shreveport and the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office will be closing Government Plaza Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20. Citizens will not be able to access Government Plaza at this time. This closure will allow for the disinfection of the facility. Essential staff from all agencies will be working remotely.  Employees are expected to return to Government Plaza on Monday.

 “During this time in our community, the Parish’s top priority is to protect the health and welfare of our citizens and employees.  Taking these measures allow us to disinfect and sanitize our public spaces and make sure that they are safe,” said Erica R. Bryant, Assistant Parish Administrator.

 “The City of Shreveport is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of City employees and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 through our community, while maintaining essential city services. We will disinfect the building and work spaces before employees return,” said Mayor Adrian Perkins.

“Our administrative employees are valuable to us. We will do whatever necessary to catch up on the two lost work days in order to sanitize our offices.  All essential services remain operational and we are there for you,” said Sheriff Steve Prator.

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March 18, 2020 01:38 PM

SHREVEPORT CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

 Read on

Date Every day from March 18, 2020 - March 24, 2020
Time 1:38 PM
Location Shreveport, LA 71101

 

CITY OF NEW ORLEANS SUSPENDS DISCONNECT OF WATER SERVICE FOR NON-PAYMENT AMID COVID-19

The City of New Orleans has suspended all water shut-offs due to non-payment and has restored those services for those who were shut off according to their website https://ready.nola.gov/incident/coronavirus/city%e2%80%99s-tap-water-is-safe-to-drink-and-well-protect/?utm_campaign=City_of_New_Orleans&utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=©2020 HGN News®

UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT

LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT

 

LOUISIANA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION RE: UTILITIES CUTOFF ORDER

WARNING: MAKE SURE THE UTILITY COMPANY YOU BELIEVE THIS ORDER RELATES TO IS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE LOUISIANA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

 

March 17, 2020

Parish COVID-19 Information (Updated as new information becomes available)

In abundance of caution and for the health and safety of our citizens and parish employees, the Parish has made several changes that alter the way we provide our...… Read on

 

FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT (1ST JDC) COVID-19 ORDER

 

 

OKOCC Banner

News from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission Public Utility Division

 

March 16, 2020 

Media Advisory 

 

Covid-19 and utility customers  

 

The  Commission’s Public Utility Division (PUD) is coordinating a voluntary effort by the state’s utilities to help Oklahomans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, plans are being developed to help impacted customers who may be facing service disconnection.  

 

The agency’s PUD staff is coordinating with the regulated utilities to consider moratoriums for those residential customers who are directly affected by the COVID-19 virus and for high-risk residential customers. 

 

Please contact your utility to obtain more specific information about that company’s COVID-19 response plan.  

- OCC-

All OCC advisories and releases are available at

www.occeweb.com

 

 

text logo

Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-07 the State of Oklahoma is under a state of emergency declared March 15, 2020 and effective until April 13, 2020.  The Oklahoma Department of Labor (ODOL) as an agency of the state is currently closed to the public and all meetings in the building have been canceled until April 30, 2020.  All interactions with ODOL will be conducted by telephone or electronically in adherence to the directives of Governor Kevin Stitt. 

The ODOL can be reached by telephone at (405)521-6100 or toll free 1-(888)269-5353 and by fax at (405)521-6018. 

If you have questions regarding the following please email the division directly

Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our citizens and in an effort to prevent the spread of illness, we are following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding social distancing. ODOL regrets any inconvenience this may cause and will continue to ensure a high level of public service.  If we can be of assistance, please contact us.

 

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA

LOUISIANA

 

 

 


03/16/2020 12:10 PM EDT

This Order is being issued in response to the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus in the United States and the State of Louisiana. The World Health Organization has declared that COVID-19 qualifies as a global pandemic, having spread across more than 120 countries with more than 1,600 confirmed cases in the United States.

Louisiana State Meetings

 

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development     CANCELLED     Tuesday, March 17, 2020  10:00 am

 

Senate Committee on Environmental Quality     CANCELLED     Tuesday, March 17, 2020  2:00 pm

 

ALL SENATE STANDING COMMITTEES SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 17TH AND WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18TH HAVE BEEN CANCELLED

 

Senate Select Committee on Homeland Security     CANCELLED     Tuesday, March 17, 2020  12:00 pm

 

Legislative Audit Advisory Council     CANCELLED     Wednesday, March 18, 2020  9:00 am

 



 

March 13, 2020

Cancellation of Caddo Parish Parks and Recreation events

 CancellationDue to the potential high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 for older adults/senior populations, below are upcoming programs hosted by the Caddo Parish...… Read on

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOUISIANA GOVERNOR'S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON USING PRISONER OR JAIL LABOR

The Office of the State Register will publish the following Executive Order in the February 20, 2020 issue of the Louisiana Register:

JBE 20-01  Offender Labor--Jetson

To view Executive Orders on our website archive, go to:

 

http://www.doa.la.gov/Pages/osr/other/JBE-2020.aspx

 

 

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

 

 

SHREVEPORT OFFICE OF THE MAYOR

February 03, 2020

Mayor Perkins to Create CFO Position for City of Shreveport

Mayor Adrian Perkins will introduce legislation to create a Chief Financial Officer at the February 11th City Council meeting. He will appoint Sherricka Fields...… Read on

 

 

Office of the Press Secretary

President Donald J. Trump Announces Judicial Nominee
 

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate:
 
David C. Joseph of Louisiana, to serve as Judge on the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

David Joseph is the United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, where he serves as the chief Federal law enforcement officer for the District.  Before becoming United States Attorney in 2018, Mr. Joseph served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Louisiana, where he prosecuted a wide variety of offenses, with a focus on fraud, public corruption, white-collar crime, and crimes committed on the district’s military installations.  Mr. Joseph also served as a prosecutor in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and as an attorney in the Professional Liability & Financial Crimes Section of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and he practiced civil litigation in the private sector.  Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Joseph served as a law clerk for Judge Jeffrey P. Victory of the Louisiana Supreme Court and Judge John V. Parker of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.  He earned his B.B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and his J.D. from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University, where he was a member of the Louisiana Law Review.

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ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

 

LOUISIANA MEETINGS

 

 

 

U.S. Department of Justice

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

 

 

_______________________TRANSPORTATION

Links:

Alexandria International Airport

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport

Lafayette Regional Airport

Lake Charles Regional Airport

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Monroe Regional Airport

Shreveport Regional Airport

 _____________

___________

DOTD: Ferry and Moveable Bridge Status

_TEXAS______

 

Learn more about the Office of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott


03/19/2020 03:51 PM CDT
The four orders serve to limit public gatherings and help reduce exposure for people across the state.

WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus (COVD-19) has been recognized globally as a contagious respiratory virus; and

WHEREAS, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, certifying that COVJD-19 poses an imminent threat of disaster for aH counties in the state of Texas; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 continues to spread and to pose an increasing, imminent threat of disaster throughout Texas; and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised that person-to-person contact heightens the risk of COVID-19 transmission; and

WHEREAS, the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, as promulgated by President Donald J. Trump and the CDC on March 16, 2020, call upon Americans to slow the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people, using drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options at restaurants and bars, and avoiding visitation at nursing homes, among other steps; and

WHEREAS, the Texas Department of State Health Services has now determined that, as of March 19, 2020, COVID- 19 represents a public health disaster within the meaning of Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code; and

WHEREAS, under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, “[t]he governor is responsible for meeting . . . the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” (Section 418.001 of the Texas Government Code), and the legislature has given the governor broad authority to fulfill that responsibility.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following on a statewide basis effective 11:59 p.m. on March 20, 2020, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, subject to extension thereafter based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC:

Order No. 1 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
Order No. 2 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
Order No. 3 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
Order No. 4 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.

This, executive order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This executive order does not mandate sheltering in place. All critical infrastructure will remain operational, domestic travel will remain unrestricted, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services. For offices and workplaces that remain open, employees should practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVD-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this executive order will expire.

This executive order supersedes all previous orders on this matter that are in conflict or inconsistent with its terms, and this order shall remain in effect and in full force until 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, subject to being extended, modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding governor.

Given under my hand this the 19th day of March, 2020.

Governor Greg Abbott

View the executive orders

 

Learn more about the Office of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott


03/19/2020 03:37 PM CDT

The actions, taken immediately, will reduce and delay the spread of COVID-19.

TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:

I, John W. Hellerstedt, M.D., Commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, do hereby certify that the introduction and spread of the communicable disease known as COVID-19 in the State of Texas has created an immediate threat, poses a high risk of death to a large number of people and creates a substantial risk of public exposure because of the disease’s method of transmission and evidence that there is community spread in Texas.

THEREFORE, in accordance with the authority vested in me by Section 81.082(d) of the Texas Health and Safety Code, I do hereby declare a state of public health disaster for the entire State of Texas.

Pursuant to Section 81.002 of the code, each person shall act responsibly to prevent and control communicable disease. The following actions, taken immediately, will reduce and delay the spread of COVID-19:

• People, businesses and communities should immediately undertake hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation practices that are accessible, affordable and known to be effective against COVI D-19.

  • Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.
  • If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. o Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away. o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often. o Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• People who are known to have, or are under investigation or monitoring, for COVID-19, should adhere to the direction provided to them by duly authorized persons, including public health officials. Failure to abide by such direction may result in involuntary quarantine or isolation for the purposes of preventing further community spread of COVI D-19.

People who are ill, especially those with symptoms consistent with influenza or COVID 19, should isolate themselves at home until they recover. Such persons should only present for medical evaluation and treatment if their symptoms are such that they cannot continue to be cared for in their home. And, when seeking medical care should call their doctor or health care facility before arriving to allow them to prepare.

• Limit trips into the public to essential outings. Traveling to work, the grocery store, the pharmacy or to seek medical care would be considered essential trips.

• Limit as much as possible close contact with other people. Stay six feet away.

• Do not gather in social groups of more than ten (10) individuals.

• Employers should allow work at home alternatives to the greatest extent possible.

• Restaurants should not allow dine-in options, either inside or outside. Take-out and curbside options with minimal contact are permitted and highly encouraged.

The Texas Department of State Health Services will continue to provide the most current and practical advice on how to control the spread of COVID-19 and encourages all Texans to seek additional information from a trusted source such as https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ or from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.

Adherence to these rules and the sound public health principles that support them will provide optimal protection for the people of Texas. These measures are necessary to advance the health and safety of all Texans. Copies of this proclamation will be filed with applicable authorities.

Given under my hand this the day of March, 2020.

JOHN W. HELLERSTEDT, M.D. Commissioner of Public Health

Read the declaration 
 

12/31/2019 12:00 AM EST

A 34-year-old Nigerian man who resided in Houston has been charged with conspiracy, bank fraud and aggravated identify theft

 

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ARKANSAS

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
March 16, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
STATEMENT: Rep. Sean Roberts on COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) today released the following statement regarding COVID-19:

“Constituents and members of the media,

The threat of coronavirus is quite real. The next several weeks are paramount in determining the impact this virus has on our communities. Awful national tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina have shown us what happens when government fails to aggressively act preemptively. We have a chance to change our trajectory.  We must mitigate the impact and realize that this virus impacts all age groups. It is important that we fight this virus with an ‘Oklahoma Strong’ mentality. We must all work together to protect our seniors, high risk patients, and our healthcare providers. Even if you, as an individual, are not classified in a high risk sector for the coronavirus, if necessary precautions are not taken, you are potentially putting our senior citizens, high risk patients and healthcare providers at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

The deaths, hospitalization rates and effects that coronavirus have had on European countries, as well as China and South Korea, show that this is extremely far from just being the flu. It took an extreme, mandated quarantine for China to even limit its mortality rate to 5%. That level of quarantine is incompatible with our culture. That Europe has seen young people hospitalized with grave damage, and in large significant percentages, should give us extreme concern as to the risk this invisible enemy poses.

As Chairman of the House Public Health Committee, I implore our citizens to actively limit their exposure. This would include looking at keeping their families safe, be it their child going to school virtually or telecommuting to work. Wherever possible, I encourage families to look at options where they can stay home and limit their exposure. This limits them to risk from both people displaying symptoms, as well as those who do not yet qualify to test for the virus but may be actively spreading the disease. 

We see this storm front on the horizon. The impact of this disease, if looking at infection rates and mortality rates seen in other countries, shows that this can be the most threatening enemy to our society in living memory. Action absolutely MUST be taken, and NOW. Even a low estimate of a 2% mortality rate and a cursory discussed British infection rate translates to thousands of Oklahomans dying in the next 12 months due to coronavirus. We must stand together as a community and limit our exposure to protect not only ourselves, but also our neighbors and to hopefully get ahead of this virus before it is too late and we are simply reacting to it.”

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Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
Feb. 27, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Kyle Hilbert
Phone: (405) 557-7353

Utilities Committee Passes Hilbert Bill to Limit Telemarketers and Scam Calls

OKLAHOMA CITY – The House Utilities Committee today passed legislation to prevent telemarketers from replicating phone numbers and misrepresenting the origin of a phone call.

House Bill 3081, authored by Rep. Kyle Hilbert (R-Bristow), would prohibit callers from tampering with information displayed on caller IDs to disguise their identities. This practice is known as “caller ID spoofing” and is a common tactic used by telemarketers and scammers.

“House Bill 3081 prohibits telemarketers from replicating phone numbers or misrepresenting the origin of a phone call in order to deceive call recipients,” Hilbert said. “Until this issue is resolved at the federal level, we must do everything we can as a state to help cut down on these predatory and time-consuming practices.”

“I was happy to hear this bill in the Utilities Committee and to vote for it. We need to make sure we stop the deceptive practices behind these calls that are harmful to our senior citizens and other vulnerable adults,” said House Majority Leader Mike Sanders (R-Kingfisher), the chair of the House Utilities Committee.

Hilbert said Texas passed similar legislation last year.

HB3081 passed the House Utilities Committee 10-0. It is co-authored in the Senate by Sen. James Leewright (R-Bristow) and is now available to be considered by the House.

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OAG Seal

MIKE HUNTER
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma House of Representatives Banner

Communications & Public Affairs
Feb. 10, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

House Passes Bill Requiring Law Enforcement to Comply with Federal Immigration Agencies

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed legislation directing all sheriffs, jailers and deputies to comply with any request made in an immigration retainer request provided by the federal government.

House Bill 3195 is authored by Rep. John Pfeiffer (R-Orlando), who pointed to instances in Oklahoma where illegal immigrants have been released by local law enforcement despite their immigration status having been confirmed.

Pfeiffer said the bill was requested by members of law enforcement to help define their role in these situations.

“I repeatedly heard from law enforcement in my district and from across the state that they needed clarification as to their roles in these situations,” Pfeiffer said. “House Bill 3195 requests that they comply with federal immigration agencies by alerting them to a person’s immigration status and holding a person for no longer than 48 hours while federal officials arrive.”

House Bill 3195 was co-authored by Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy).

“Our local law enforcement should be cooperating with federal immigration agencies in instances where a person’s status as an illegal immigrant has been confirmed,” Roberts said. “We’ve seen unfortunate situations in Oklahoma where our existing laws failed to keep our citizens safe by releasing an illegal immigrant before federal agents arrived.”

The legislation would require the person identified in the immigration detainer to be informed they are being held in accordance with the request from federal agencies. The bill states that a sheriff, jailer or deputy is not required to comply if the person has provided proof that the person is a citizen of the United States.

House Bill 3195 passed the House by a 78-21 vote. It is now available to be considered by the Senate, where it is authored by Sen. Julie Daniels (R-Bartlesville).

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OAG Seal

MIKE HUNTER
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 16, 2020

Attorney General Hunter and U.S. Attorney Downing Announce Indictments in Home Title Conspiracy

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter and U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing today announced a federal grand jury has indicted three individuals after an investigation uncovered allegations of a scheme involving home title fraud.

Laura Johnson, 44, Thomas Johnson, Sr., 51, and Cheryl Ashley, 69, all of Oklahoma City, have been indicted for conspiracy, fraud, identity theft and other related crimes. The trio is accused of using falsified documents to obtain titles on at least 12 homes without the owners’ knowledge. 

Home title fraud typically occurs when someone steals an individual’s identity, forges the individual’s name on a deed and takes the title to the individual’s home. Abandoned, rarely used or unoccupied homes are the primary targets of deed fraud. However, occupied homes can also be targeted.

“The elaborate coordination by these defendants and lengths to which they defrauded property owners is disturbing,” Attorney General Hunter said. “They not only preyed on victims whose properties were vacant, but they also used forged eviction notices and court documents to remove people from their homes and even targeted the deceased. I appreciate the leadership of U.S. Attorney Downing and our other law enforcement partners for making this case a priority.”

According to court documents, some homeowners in this case claim to have vacated their homes based on phony eviction notices posted as part of the conspiracy. When certain victims fought the takeover of their homes in court, the defendants filed pleadings and submitted affidavits signed by attorneys who do not exist.

Along with the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the United States Secret Service assisted in the investigation.

“Oklahomans have to be able to rely on records county officials maintain to establish ownership of real property,” said U.S. Attorney Downing. “When federal charges help uphold the integrity of governmental property records, the Department of Justice will eagerly work with state investigators and prosecute fraud. Thank you to Attorney General Hunter and his team for this outstanding example of federal-state cooperation.”

Another method the defendants used to obtain home titles was targeting properties with delinquent property taxes that were subject to auction by the Oklahoma County Treasurer’s Office.

The defendants would pay one or more years of taxes on the properties to avoid auctions. Then, the defendants would file fraudulent warranty deeds to transfer properties into the names of companies and individuals that did not exist.

One home, of which the defendants gained possession, had been owned by a woman who died in 2012. Once they occupied the property, the defendants used records found in the home to abscond with $63,950 from the deceased’s bank accounts and $45,000 from her oil and gas interests.

If convicted, the defendants face fines and prison time.

Individuals seeking to protect themselves against deed fraud should regularly monitor their credit reports. All home owners should watch for potential deed fraud red flags and report them to authorities, such as: no longer receiving typical monthly bills, receiving a foreclosure notice on a property that does not have a mortgage or discovering evidence of activity at a vacation home or empty rental property.

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NEW MEXICO

 

MISSISSIPPI

Office of the Press Secretary

President Donald J. Trump Approves Mississippi Disaster Declaration

 
Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Mississippi and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding from January 10 to January 11, 2020.
 
Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding in the counties of Bolivar, Choctaw, Clay, DeSoto, Oktibbeha, Panola, Prentiss, Sunflower, Tishomingo, and Washington.
 
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
 
Pete Gaynor, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Terry L. Quarles as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas. 
 
Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT:  FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@FEMA.DHS.GOV

 

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