In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.
- See how states are planning for more extreme weather events and natural disasters. (Stateline, January 29, 2020)
- Explore the differences among Americans relating to their preferred news sources. (Pew Research Center, January 24, 2020)
- Read about federal funding for women's health services in Texas. (Texas Health and Human Services Commission, January 24, 2020)
- Consider how Americans like to spend their spare time. (Gallup, January 24, 2020)
- 20.01.44 / "IDEA turns 45." By Michelle Healy. American School Board Journal, February 2020, 16-20.
Reviews the positive impact of the Individuals with Disabilities Act [IDEA] since its passage in 1975 but argues its full potential hasn't been realized due to funding challenges. Discusses the effects of IDEA's funding shortages and what can be done to improve and modernize the law.
- 20.01.45 / "General counsel's report." By Jim Allison. County Progress, January 2020, pp. 6, 52-55.
Provides an overview of the 86th Texas Legislature and the issues assigned to legislative committees to study during the interim. Lists almost two dozen bills as assigned to legislative committees that affect county governments.
- 20.01.46 / "California exit: Amid an exodus, Golden State loses its luster." By Mark Calvey. Dallas Business Journal, January 17, 2020, pp. 16-19, 22-23.
Reports the corporate exodus out of California is showing signs of accelerating, and area businesses are bracing for further departures. Points out the top ten states where Californians are moving.
- 20.01.47 / "Housing: No place like home." Economist, January 18th-24th, 2020, pp. 3-12.
Presents special report highlighting shortcomings in current housing policies. Suggests flexible planning systems, appropriate taxation, and financial regulation can turn housing into a force for social and economic stability.
- 20.01.48 / "California ride share contracting legislation is a solution in search of a problem." By Ryan Radia. Internet Resource, December 17, 2019, pp. 1-11.
Argues California's Assembly Bill 5, 2019-2020 Regular Session, which redefines whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor, will negatively impact ride share companies like Uber and Lyft. Discusses how minimum wage, health insurance, employee expenses, and employee leave will result in reduced pay and flexibility for drivers, higher costs for the companies, and higher fares for customers.
- 20.01.49 / "A field guide to the taxes of Texas (2020)." Internet Resource, January 27, 2020, pp. 1-26 (Note Length).
Provides a graphical overview of major Texas state and local taxes, including sales and use, motor vehicle sales, motor fuel, franchise, oil production, and natural gas production taxes. Describes revenue by source, future revenue growth, historical volatility, and major exemptions for each tax. Includes charts on local property and sales taxes.
- 20.01.50 / "Municipalities feel the chill of Knick in the air." By Abigail M. Jones. Natural Resources & Environment, Winter 2020, pp. 57-58.
Summarizes Knick v. Township of Scott, a case recently decided by the United States Supreme Court, which overturned a precedent barring plaintiffs from bringing actions in federal court under the Fifth Amendment's takings clause unless they had already lost in state court. Discusses how this ruling may effect federal challenges to local zoning ordinances by oil and gas companies and fracking moratoriums by municipal governments.
- 20.01.51 / "The Texas Pension Review Board: A model for nationwide reform." By Josh B McGee. Report (Manhattan Institute), January 14, 2020, pp. 1-15.
Commends the Texas Pension Review Board [PRB] for its positive impact on state pension funding policy and offers model legislation for states who wish to create a PRB-style agency. Mentions Senators Paul Bettencourt, Joan Huffman, and Royce West, as well as SB322, 86th Legislature.
- 20.01.52 / "Texas sees job, output gains from 2018 U.S. tax cut." By Anil Kumar. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Fourth Quarter 2019, pp. 10-13.
Looks at the effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 on state tax calculations, state-level tax breaks, job growth, and economic activity in Texas.
- 20.01.53 / "Filling in for the Feds." By Alan Greenblatt. State Legislatures, January/February 2020, pp. 10-16.
Reports Congress' lack of legislative productivity is placing the burden on states to address the perennial issues that Washington has either failed to address or refused to fund, including infrastructure funding, Medicaid costs, immigration, and gun rights.
- 20.01.54 / "Shell's crude awakening." By Justin Worland. Time, January 27, 2020, pp. 40-46.
Examines how oil and gas companies are responding to concerns regarding climate change. Profiles the Royal Dutch Shell company and discusses its strategies to remake itself and survive in a time when shifting political and economic tides threaten the future of fossil fuels. Mentions oil firms in Texas.