AUSTIN, Texas - The City of Austin has asked the Texas Office of the Attorney General to suspend certain deadlines under the Texas Public Information Act for seven calendar days due to Winter Storm Uri.
The city says the suspension will allow the different departments involved in the response to the winter weather to continue to provide life-saving assistance to its residents.
The City of Austin submitted the catastrophe notice on February 22, in accordance with section 552.233 of the Texas Government Code.
This provision, which was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2019 in response to Hurricane Harvey, authorizes a governmental body to suspend the applicability of the requirements of the Public Information Act if the governmental body is affected by a catastrophe.
Several governmental entities have used this procedure during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the City of Austin. This extreme winter weather event is the first time the City of Austin has implemented this notice.
The suspension would expire on March 1, 2021.
Departments whose operations were not affected by the winter weather will continue to respond to public information requests under normal procedures.