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Legislative Reference Library of Texas
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Current Articles

The Legislative Reference Library produces a weekly list of current journal articles for members of the legislative community. Each week, librarians select and abstract articles of interest to the legislature from the latest issues of over 300 journals, newsletters, state documents, and trade publications. Electronic copies of the Current Articles list are distributed to legislative offices each Friday.

The Legislative Reference Library is located on the second floor of the State Capitol building in Room 2N.3. For more information, please call the Library at 512 463-1252.

August 20, 2020 list Print (PDF)

"Millions flee the cities, but will they ever return?" By Alice Calder. American Conservative, July 27, 2020, pp. 1-3
Considers how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting population shifts between large cities and small towns in the United States.
See: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/m ...
"New study: Home visit doctors reduce emergency room visits." By Josh Umbehr. American Spectator, August 18, 2020, pp. 1-2
Explains the benefits of using a Direct Primary Care [DPC] model to access health care. Cites a report from the Society of Actuaries that evaluates the prevalence and effectiveness of the DPC model.
See: https://spectator.org/home-visit-doctors-society-o ...
Report at: https://www.soa.org/globalassets/assets/files/reso ...
"How difficult is it to challenge lines on a map?: Understanding the boundaries of good faith in Abbott v. Perez." By Aaron J. Horner. Baylor Law Review, Spring 2020, pp. 370-389
Examines the responsibility of plaintiffs to overcome a good faith presumption when challenging redistricting based upon discriminatory intent, as demonstrated in Texas in Abbott v. Perez. Describes the five-factor test for determining the existence of discriminatory intent from Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp., and considers what evidence may be sufficient to overcome the presumption.
Related information at: https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/ll/u ...
See: https://www.baylor.edu/law/review/doc.php/360088.p ...
Related information at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/17-586 ...
"How states can empower local ownership for a just recovery." By Elwood Hopkins, Jennifer S. Vey, and Tracy Hadden Loh. Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, July 2020, pp. 1-16
Offers specific suggestions for how state governments can increase wealth and economic mobility for residents of structurally disadvantaged communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Argues for facilitating the creation of financial instruments that enable local ownership of real estate.
See: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/ ...
"Considerations for building post-COVID early care and education systems that serve children with disabilities." By Mallory Warner-Richter and Chrishana M. Lloyd. Child Trends, August 2020, pp. 1-10
Discusses the intersections of disability, race, and ethnicity in early intervention and early childhood special education. Addresses the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on families with young children with disabilities, and provides action steps for states in reopening early care and education [ECE] programs.
See: https://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/202 ...
"From life in prison to out on parole: One group easing the transition." By Patricia Leigh Brown. Christian Science Monitor, August 14, 2020, pp. 1-8
Highlights the work of California's Peer Reentry Navigation Network [PRNN] and methods to assist paroled "lifers" in reentering society. Explains the group's leaders have successfully returned to life after incarceration and they help their newly-released peers through a blend of mutual aid, self-help, tips for defusing triggers and problems, and a network for sharing job leads and resources.
"Developing the future workforce: Revitalizing postsecondary education and training after COVID-19." Conference Board, July 2020, pp. 1-11
Offers recommendations to policymakers, business leaders, and educators on how to train the future workforce.
See: https://www.conference-board.org/pdfdownload.cfm?m ...
"Optimistic, baseline, pessimistic or dire? Dallas forecasts COVID-era property tax scenarios." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, August 14, 2020, pp. 1-3
Discusses Dallas economists' range of property tax revenue projections for the next five years. Notes any shortfalls in property taxes won’t affect this fiscal year’s revenues because property tax bills were paid in January.
"Reopening schools during COVID-19: Lessons learned from around the world." By Mark Lieberman. Education Week, August 13, 2020, pp. 1-4
Details the reopening of schools in Denmark, Israel, and South Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic and what schools in the United States can learn from these countries. Mentions the coronavirus positivity rate in Texas.
Related information at: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/individual-sta ...
"Congressional watchdog says feds should be more proactive on kinship care." Imprint, August 12, 2020, p. 1
Highlights a recent United States Government Accountability Office [GAO] report that finds the Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] could be doing more to help states provide critical support to relative caregivers in the foster care system.
See: https://imprintnews.org/kinship-care/congressional ...
Report at: https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/708020.pdf
"Principles for building better health insurance." By Chris Pope. Issue Brief (Manhattan Institute), August 2020, pp. 1-6
Offers four key principles to restructure the health insurance market.
See: https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/sites/defau ...
"What health reform tells us about American politics." By Lawrence R. Jacobs and Suzanne Mettler. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, August 2020, pp. 581-593
Discusses how politics and public attitudes toward health care have changed since the passage and initial implementation of the Affordable Care Act [ACA].
See: https://read.dukeupress.edu/jhppl/article-pdf/45/4 ...
"It's time to abolish nursing homes." By Sara Luterman. Nation, August 24/31, 2020, pp. 18-21
Discusses the evolution of nursing homes, the institutionalization of elder care, and development of home- and community-based services waivers. Identifies barriers to Medicaid-funded home care, including waiting lists, the nursing home lobby, and the cost of expanding the home care workforce. Notes that over 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths, or about 62,000 people as of July 2020, have been linked to long-term care facilities.
"Liberalizing land use regulations: The case of Houston." By Nolan Gray and Jessie McBirney. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), August 2020, pp. 1-7
Discusses how minimum-lot-size rules affect new housing development. Comments on Houston’s system of urban land use regulation and the city's successful experience with subdivision liberalization.
See: https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/gray_and_mcb ...
"Unemployment in the SLC region amid the COVID-19 pandemic." By Roger Moore. SLC Policy Analysis (Southern Legislative Conference), August 6, 2020, pp. 1-4
Tracks unemployment insurance claims reported weekly by the United States Department of Labor in the fifteen states of the Southern Legislative Conference [SLC]. Includes figures for initial claims filed, insured unemployment (number receiving unemployment benefits), and insured employment rate (percentage of the workforce receiving unemployment benefits).
See: http://www.slcatlanta.org/research/index.php?pub=6 ...
"What scientists know about airborne transmission of the new coronavirus." By Jim Daley. Smithsonian Magazine, August 12, 2020, pp. 1-4
Reviews various journal articles that focus on the what is known about the airborne spread of COVID-19. Points out how understanding aerosolized virus transmission affects short- and long-term responses to combat the virus and protect individuals.
See: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what ...
"State uses of the CARES Act coronavirus relief funds." By Emily Maher. State Legislatures, August 5, 2020, pp. 1-3
Examines how legislatures are allocating their federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security [CARES] Act relief funds. Points out spending strategies differ due to state population and the coronavirus's regional impact.
See: https://www.ncsl.org/research/fiscal-policy/state- ...
"A new study finds a link between flaring and an increase in premature births." By Amal Ahmed. Texas Observer, August 18, 2020, pp. 1-3
Discusses the findings of a study conducted on the effects of flaring, the open combustion of natural gas, on the health of residents in South Texas. Addresses the disproportionate impact of flaring on pregnant Latina women and the lack of air monitoring by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality [TCEQ] in the area.
Report at: https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/pdf/10.1289/EHP6394
See: https://www.texasobserver.org/a-new-study-finds-a- ...