Members,

It is rare that I do a back-to-back update regarding Coronavirus, however, today is an exception. Some pertinent information has come in and feel obligated to disseminate it to our members, friends, and partners. I will make the update short.

  1. U. S. Moves Tax Day to July 15th – The income tax filing date has been pushed back from April 15, to July 15, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.  Mnuchin announced the decision in a tweet Friday saying that at President Donald Trump’s direction “we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”
  2. VIA to Temporarily offer free rides – VIA Metropolitan Transit is suspending fares for all its fixed-route bus services, VIAtrans trips and VIA Link on-demand services from March 21 through 1 a.m. April 1.  The measure is meant to provide some social distancing for its operators and offer a bit of respite for people who have been impacted by COVID-19. The fare-free service eliminates the need for passengers to use the farebox, speeds boarding and minimizes crowding at the front door, according to an emailed statement.  “We realize that public transit is a necessity for many in our community every day and perhaps especially during a crisis, including those whose work is essential during emergencies, or who may rely on transit as their only means of travel to workplaces, meal distribution sites, critical service centers or other necessary trips,” VIA President and CEO Jeffrey Arndt said in a statement.  VIA will evaluate and provide an update after April 1 regarding what its next steps could be, as it continues to monitor developments, according to the statement.  Please ensure your employees are aware of this and it does not mean Via busses are canceled.
  3. Manufacturing COVID-19 Letter – The Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) is drafting a letter to all levels of government officials; that chambers, trade associations such as SAMA, and manufacturers can use to inform them that although some states, counties, and localities across the country have imposed “shelter in place” orders, restricting the work and activities of employees in “non-essential businesses.”  While we believe these orders are well-intentioned and can be necessary, we believe that manufacturers have much to contribute to the public welfare in this difficult time. As such, we are requesting that any potential “shelter in place” order include an exemption for industries included in the March 19, 2020 Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency guidance on essential critical infrastructure workers.  I’ll be coordinating with TAM and ensure our elected leaders receive this letter expressing our views on this very important matter.
  4. Video Message from Dr. William L. Henrich, President of UT Health SA – Our State Rep, Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, Dist. 120, sent this video to me and during these times, it’s good to hear from a medical authority some comforting words.  During these times many can be stressed, especially the young, because they have never seen anything like COVID-19 and its impact on our daily lives.  This short 4-minute video is a must to see and share.  As a person who has seen so much in my lifetime, and knowing history well, this too shall pass.  Keep the faith, give comfort and words of encouragement to those who need it.  Be safe, stay healthy and keep all in a clean and sanitized environment. https://vimeo.com/398907576

Kept it short! Please have a safe and healthy weekend with family and friends.