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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Municipal and County Informational Resources

Seeking municipal and county information on COVID-19 (coronavirus)? We've compiled a list of current declarations, orders, and supplemental resources. Please use contact information on the respective organizations' websites for any questions specific to their purposes. 

 

National Association of Counties:  

National League of Cities:

Texas Association of Counties:

Texas Health and Human Services:

Texas Judicial Branch:

 

Information on this page is provided as a public service by the Legislative Reference Library. The Legislative Reference Library makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy and makes no warranty in regard to its use. Users assume all risk of reliance on the information included on this site.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 26

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Read about fraud relating to medical testing and vaccines targeting Medicare and Medicaid recipients. (AP News, March 23, 2020)
  • Review the City of Austin's stay-at-home order. (City of Austin, March 24, 2020)
  • Explore the emergency powers President Trump can exercise during a crisis. (Congressional Research Service, March 23, 2020)
  • Consider whether books are "essential" in a similar way as groceries right now. (Quartz, March 21, 2020)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • 20.03.43 / "Immediate and robust policy response needed in face of grave risks to the economy." By Sharon Parrott, et al. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 19, 2020, pp. 1-19.
    Outlines policy proposals to mitigate the decline in economic activity during the spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. Summarizes provisions in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of interest to states, including increased federal share of Medicaid funding, new paid sick leave, new flexibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and state unemployment insurance. Argues additional policy responses to address the broader economic consequences are necessary.
  • 20.03.44 / "Coronavirus: What child welfare systems need to think about." By John Kelly and Kim Hansel. Chronicle of Social Change, March 11, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Discusses the effect of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, on foster care and child welfare agencies, including the effects on child maltreatment investigations, nutrition, visitation and reunification, and other child welfare services.
  • 20.03.45 / "Climate change: Green Texas." Economist, March 14th-20th, 2020, pp. 20-21.
    Examines factors advancing the renewable energy boom in several oil-producing states. Questions whether the shift to greener energy will change attitudes towards climate change.
  • 20.03.46 / "Oil prices: Scorched earth." Economist, March 14th-20th, 2020, pp. 58-59.
    Considers the economic impact of an oil-price war, compounded by a viral pandemic, on shale oil and gas states, such as Texas, and on the American shale oil and gas industry.
  • 20.03.47 / "House coronavirus bill would direct billions to schools, fund remote learning." By Andrew Ujifusa. Education Week, March 23, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Breaks down $50 billion in emergency funding proposed by the United States House of Representatives to stabilize states' education budgets in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes a fact sheet about the education provisions of the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, along with the text of the bill.
  • 20.03.48 / "Governors' top education priorities in 2020 state of the state addresses." By Brian Kelley and Erin Whinnery. Internet Resource, March 16, 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Highlights trends in public education policy accomplishments and proposals featured in 43 governors' State of the State addresses delivered in 2020.
  • 20.03.49 / "How to protect the 2020 vote from the coronavirus." By Wendy R. Weiser and Max Feldman. Internet Resource, March 16, 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Recommends strategies for conducting free, fair, accessible, and secure elections considering the new challenges to election administration as a result of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. Offers suggestions related to polling place modification, expanded early voting, voting by mail, voter registration modification, including expanding online registration, and voter education.
  • 20.03.50 / "Paid sick leave is much less common for lower-wage workers in private industry." By Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt. Internet Resource, March 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Observes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought attention to employers' sick leave policies. Points out that lower-wage workers are much more likely to lack access to paid sick leave, and are also more likely to be in positions requiring considerable interaction with the general public.
  • 20.03.51 / "Schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic: How emergency education savings accounts can meet the needs of every American child." By Lindsey M. Burke. Internet Resource, March 20, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Suggests Education Savings Accounts [ESAs] could ease the transition of children learning from home as a result of the coronavirus disase, COVID-19, by providing parents resources to pay for education-related services and products. Recommends an ESA be established for each student with a prorated percentage of what each state would have spend on education.
  • 20.03.52 / "The effects of hospital consolidation in Colorado." By Jared Gaby-Biegel. Issue Brief (Center for Economic and Policy Research), March 2020, pp. 1-17.
    Examines the impact of hospital consolidation on residents across all regions of Colorado. Points out important lessons policymakers can learn from Colorado's experience when crafting future health care reforms.
  • 20.03.53 / "Discussing the ABCs of health security — antibiotic resistance, biothreats, and coronavirus" By Angel N. Desai. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), March 10, 2020, pp. 912-914.
    Interviews health security expert Dr. Tom Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, on topics including infections disease outbreaks (highlighting COVID-19), biothreats, and government and public health infrastructure preparedness.
  • 20.03.54 / "Innovation and 'new energy'." By Mark P. Mills. National Review, March 23, 2020, pp. 39-40.
    Argues comparisons of the digital technology revolution to the potential of a clean energy "revolution" are faulty because the same scale of growth cannot be reached with the energy technology and mining capabilities available today. Explains "clean technologies" such as batteries, windmills, and solar panels would require a hugh increase in the tonnage of minerals currently extracted.
  • 20.03.55 / "How COVID-19 could impact Texas' economy and real estate markets." By James P. Gaines, et al. Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, March 16, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Briefly discusses the possible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on oil prices, housing markets, and commercial real estate.
  • 20.03.56 / "State legislative responses to COVID-19." By Katherine Loughead, et al. Tax Foundation, Updated March 23, 2020, p. 1.
    Tracks state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of budet and tax policy. Includes legislative meeting and adjournment dates, possible schedule adjustments being contemplated or made in response to the pandemic, the status of the state's budget, and the state's rainy day fund [RDF] balance as a percentage of the prior year's general fund budget. Updated periodically.
  • 20.03.57 / "Oil and gas matters." By Bernard F. Clark and Ellen Conley. Texas Bar Journal, March 2020, pp. 156-158.
    Discusses the protection of oil and gas interests, first purchaser statutes, and the In re SemCrude, L.P. decisions related to the security interest of producers in bankruptcy estates. Compares the Texas First Purchaser Statute which predates SemCrude, and Oklahoma's Oil and Gas Owners' Lien Acts of 1988 and 2010. Argues Oklahoma's amended statute better protects producers' claims.
  • 20.03.58 / "The PMP requirement begins." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, March 2020, pp. 29-30.
    Points out that legislation is now in effect requiring physicians to check PMP Aware, the state's prescription monitoring program, before prescribing opioids. Notes that Representative J.D. Sheffield passed HB3284, 86th Legislature, to delay the effective date of the mandate and ensure smoother integration of systems.
  • 20.03.59 / "As the first coronavirus vaccine human trials begin, manufacturer is already preparing to scale production to millions." By Alice Park. Time, March 23, 2020 pp. 1-3.
    Reports on a study of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine being conducted by Moderna Therapeutics. Notes the vaccine testing will take at least a year to complete but valuable information regarding how the immune system can combat the virus can be obtained sooner.

 

 

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

 

Research Minute: Upcoming Primary Runoff and Special Elections

According to Texas Election Code § 172.003, "to receive a political party's nomination, a candidate in a primary election must receive a majority of the total number of votes received by all the candidates for the nomination." Following the March 3 primary elections, several House and Senate districts require a primary runoff before their candidates can be selected for the November election. Per Texas Election Code § 2.025, "a runoff election shall be held not earlier than the 20th or later than the 45th day after the date the final canvass of the main election is completed." The runoff date had been set for May 26, but the governor postponed it until July 14. 

 

Special elections may be called per the law set out in Texas Election Code § 3.003. However, they can be postponed as needed in a disaster, as will be the case for the Senate District 14 special election. That election had been set for May 2, but the governor postponed it until July 14. The governor also issued a proclamation that allows political subdivisions to postpone their elections until November.

Research Minute: Communicable Disease Statutes

On March 19, Commissioner John W. Hellerstedt, M.D., of the Texas Department of State Health Services, declared a state of public health disaster for the entire state of Texas. The authority to do so and explanation of what that means can be explored in the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Act, which is located in Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 81, Communicable Diseases. The legislation was enacted by SB 1064, 68R. A few years later, the Act was added to the Health and Safety Code as part of statutory revision. (Previously it was found in VACS Art. 4419b-1.) 

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 19

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Consider state action related to unregulated water wells. (National Conference of State Legislatures, March 2020)
  • Review Governor Abbott's People 2020 Report to the of Texas. (Office of the Texas Governor, March 9, 2020)
  • Read about legal considerations regarding authority to quarantine communities. (Health Affairs, March 10, 2020)
  • Explore the use of child safety seats in rideshare vehicles. (Texas A&M Transportation Institute, February 25, 2020)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • 20.03.31  /  "Solar and wind beat forecasts. Can they again?" By Timmy Broderick. Christian Science Monitor, March 2, 2020, p. 17.
    Documents the growth of renewable energy and considers the forecast for the future. Highlights the Texas situation in which wind briefly overtook coal as a power source in the state.
  • 20.03.32  /  "A shaky start for new data on sex trafficking victims, prenatal drug exposure." By John Kelly. Chronicle of Social Change, March 3, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Highlights the latest Child Maltreatment report from the federal government, which finds the number of child maltreatment investigations increased by nearly ten percent since 2014. Discusses statistics on human trafficking and prenatal drug exposure in the report. Mentions Texas.
  • 20.03.33  /  "Going nuclear ... or not." By Benjamin J. Hulac. CQ Weekly, February 24, 200, pp. 12-18.
    Explores why the nuclear energy industry in the United States is struggling, while the industry is growing globally overall. Addresses the potential role of nuclear energy in mitigating climate change.
  • 20.03.34  /  "High court leans toward support for religious schools." By Mark Walsh. Education Week, February 12, 2020, pp. 6-7.
    Summarizes oral arguments presented in the United States Supreme Court case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue on January 29, 2020, a case in which parents are seeking the reinstatement of a tax credit for funding scholarships for use at religious schools.
  • 20.03.35  /  "At what cost? A review of school police funding and accountability across the U.S. South." By Terrence Wilson. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), February 2020, pp. 1-2, 6.
    Examines the impact of school police in terms of previous problems at a time when increased funding is bringing more police on campus. Considers whether training and accountability standards are adequate. Offers recommendations for school safety policies.
  • 20.03.36  /  "Telemedicine and pregnancy care." By Gabriela Weigel, Brittni Frederiksen, and Usha Ranji. Internet Resource, February 26, 2020, pp. 1-18.
    Examines how telemedicine is currently used, financed, and regulated for obstetrical care. Outlines federal efforts to expand the use of telemedicine and its role in addressing maternal health disparities and improving outcomes among minority groups and women living in rural areas.
  • 20.03.37  /  "Macroeconomic feedback effects of Medicaid expansion: Evidence from Michigan." By Helen Levy, et al. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, February 2020, pp. 5-48 (Note Length).
    Analyzes the state-level fiscal impact of Medicaid expansion, using Michigan as a case study. Reports that Medicaid expansion yielded clear fiscal benefits for the state exceeding the program's costs every year.
  • 20.03.38  /  "The unbuildable American home." By Kevin Erdmann. National Review, March 9, 2020, pp. 30-32.
    Argues against the current "tangled web" of barriers, taxes, and subsidies that make the housing market unaffordable. Advocates for a housing policy based on free and open markets in terms of mortgage-funding and urban land use.
  • 20.03.39  /  "Arbitration law will be 'messy.'" By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, March 2020, pp. 8-9.
    Summarizes a panel discussion on physicians' concerns regarding SB1264, 86th Legislature, which addresses balance billing.
  • 20.03.40  /  "Making billing more balanced." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, March 2020, pp. 16-21.
    Describes federal efforts to address out-of-network billing disputes. Considers the influence of state laws on balance billing, including Texas legislation. Quotes Representative Tom Oliverson.
  • 20.03.41  /  "Underwater." By Sophie Novack. Texas Observer, March/April 2020, pp. 40-44.
    Addresses flooding in colonias on the Texas-Mexico border in Hidalgo County and efforts by community organizers to assist residents.
  • 20.03.42  /  "2019 legislation lowdown: What you need to know." By Rusty Adams. Tierra Grande, December 2, 2019, pp. 1-7.
    Summarizes bills relating to real estate that passed during the 86th Legislature.

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form (if connected to the Capitol intranet) or by calling 512-463-1252.

Resource Highlight: Governor's Statements on COVID-19

Under the authority of Texas Government Code Chapter 418 and the state of disaster proclamation, Governor Abbott has worked with various agencies to waive regulations and guide Texas' response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

 

You can access all of these proclamations and statements in our governor's database, where we have a link to COVID-19 documents listed with our "popular searches." The most recent additions are today's Governor's Executive Order No. GA-08 and the declaration of a public health disaster. The LRL will continue adding documents to the database as they are released.

Research Minute: Emergency Management Statutes

Wondering where to find statutes regarding emergency management, in light of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and Governor Abbott's disaster proclamationTexas Government Code Chapter 418 on emergency management was added to the statues with the Texas Disaster Act of 1975. In addition to setting out the governor's powers and duties in a disaster, the chapter also sets out guidelines for the Texas Division of Emergency Management, local emergency management, and addresses some financial aspects of disaster response. The Texas Disaster Act has been amended many times since 1975, including several bills from the 86th Legislature (2019) that added to and amended the chapter.  

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Texas Informational Resources

Seeking information on COVID-19 (coronavirus) and how it may affect different aspects of life in Texas? We've compiled this list of resources from various Texas leaders, agencies, and other organizations. Please use contact information on the respective organizations' websites for any questions specific to their purposes.

 

From Texas leadership:

Texas state agency resources:

From other Texas organizations:

And national organizations:

Information on this page is provided as a public service by the Legislative Reference Library. The Legislative Reference Library makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy and makes no warranty in regard to its use. Users assume all risk of reliance on the information included on this site.

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 12

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • See which states are considering or have enacted legislation related to Daylight Saving Time. (National Conference of State Legislatures, March 4, 2020)
  • Review federal and state laws that may have an impact on workplace leave for individuals affected by the coronavirus. (Congressional Research Service, March 6, 2020)
  • Read about the 39-state investigation of Juul Labs. (Attorney General of Texas, February 25, 2020)
  • Note that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 6, 2020)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • 20.03.17  /  "An introduction to police and fire pensions." By Jean-Pierre Aubry and Kevin Wandrei. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, February 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Compares the pension and retiree health benefits for police officers and firefighters with those of other local government employees. Finds police and fire retirement benefits are substantially more expensive due to earlier retirement ages, but still a very small share of total local government spending.
  • 20.03.18  /  "Unraveling the complexity of America's student debt." By Don Troop, Bennett Leckrone, and Danielle McLean. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 28, 2020, pp. A8-A11, A13.
    Considers the student loan debt problem in terms of which groups are most likely to default, finding it is not necessarily those with the largest debt. Includes profiles of five individuals with debts from $11,000 to $93,000.
  • 20.03.19  /  "Trump budget 2021: Family First enhancements, block grants, unaccompanied minors." By John Kelly. Chronicle of Social Change, February 20, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Analyzes President Trump's 2021 budget on child welfare programs, implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, block grants, and immigrant children. Includes Trump Budget 2021, a table of spending per program.
  • 20.03.20  /  "Privacy battles spread." By Copal Ratnam and Dean DeChiaro. CQ Weekly, February 10, 2020, pp. 28-30.
    Examines data-privacy legislation being addressed at the state level. Reports tech companies are shifting their focus to the states to shape data protection legislation because the federal legislation has stalled.
  • 20.03.21  /  "Is explosive growth in Frisco creating Orange County 2.0?" By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, February 28, 2020, pp. 10-12.
    Highlights the drivers and demographics of the explosive growth in Frisco and surrounding counties. Provides updates on high-profile projects underway in Frisco.
  • 20.03.22  /  "Covid-19 and market turmoil: Spread and stutter." Economist, February 29th-March 6th, 2020, pp. 55-56.
    Considers how the covid-19 virus will impact financial markets, specifically the market's volatility and corporate debt. Suggests interest-rate cuts can help to soothe credit markets, but cannot do much to remedy the disruption.
  • 20.03.23  /  "Young Texans: Demographic overview (Part one of a two-part series)." By Olga Garza, et al. Fiscal Notes, February 2020, pp. 6-10.
    Discusses demographic characteristics of young Texans and the primary drivers of under-eighteen population growth in the state.
  • 20.03.24  /  "The latest on homelessness." By Rick Mauch. Fort Worth Business Press, February 10-23, p. 26.
    Examines recent data trends relating to the homeless population in Fort Worth and the city's continuum of care service areas.
  • 20.03.25  /  "How the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board went rogue." By Jeremy Bagott. Houston Business Journal, February 20, 2020, p. 46.
    Questions the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board's practice of "incorporation by reference," which allows a nonprofit to draft and approve regulations that Texas real estate appraisers must follow.
  • 20.03.26  /  "Lights out in Mexico's upstream market?" By Miriam Grunstein. Issue Brief (Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy), February 27, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Tracks the change in direction of Mexico's energy policy under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and its effect on global investors.
  • 20.03.27  /  "Rebates — the little-known factor behind increasing drug list prices." By Rita Rubin. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), March 3, 2020, pp. 812-813.
    Details the drawbacks of the drug rebate model that currently underlies much of the pharmaceutical market.
  • 20.03.28  /  "Critical power: Supporting customers with medical needs." By Susan Partain. Public Power, January/February 2020, pp. 14-19.
    Highlights how several public power utilities have adapted for customers who depend on electricity for life support-related purposes.
  • 20.03.29  /  "Reaching for the cure." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, February 2020, pp. 38, 40.
    Observes that Texas' rules regarding Medicaid coverage for hepatitis C medications are among the nation's strictest. Notes that the 86th Legislature passed a budget measure and requested a feasibility study on new methods to make hepatitis C medications affordable for Medicaid patients.
  • 20.03.30  /  "Home front." By Joshua Roberson. Tierra Grande, January 2020, pp. 19-21.
    Examines how military communities influence the housing markets in Texas.

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

Updated Poets Laureate Exhibit

"WHEREAS, There is a close connection between the long growth of civilization and the development of literature; and WHEREAS, It has been customary in all ages for governments to recognize this relation by elevating the poet to the same plane as statesmen and military leaders; and WHEREAS, The recognition of outstanding poets in this State and their elevation to places of honor will have a wholesome and beneficial effect on literature in this State ... "

 

So was it resolved in SCR 82, 43R, that every two years, “some outstanding and recognized poet, who is a citizen of Texas” would be designated as state poet laureate.

 

In 2019, the 86th Legislature named Carrie Fountain (HR 903, SR 455) and Emmy Pérez (HR 897SR 456) as the latest poets laureate. Learn about them and other recently honored Texas poets laureate in our display on the north end of the library.

 

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