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Current Articles & Research Resources, May 28

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

  • Review recommended health protocols for voters and election sites in Texas. (Texas Secretary of State, May 26, 2020)
  • Read about how the pandemic may affect higher education spending and funding. (Pew Charitable Trusts, May 18, 2020)
  • Search revenue and expenditures by category or state agency. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed May 27, 2020)
  • Find out which Texas parks are accessible and open for day use. (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, updated May 26, 2020)

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

  • 20.05.44 / "Accessing the vote during a pandemic." By Christopher Thomas and Matthew Weil. Bipartisan Policy Center, May 2020, pp. 1-11.
    Discusses issues state and local election administrators should consider during the COVID-19 pandemic for both the remaining primary elections and the November general election. Addresses voting by mail and absentee voting.
  • 20.05.45 / "Unemployment compensation: A guide for child care stakeholders during the coronavirus pandemic." By Rebecca Ullrich. Center for Law and Social Policy, May 6, 2020, pp. 1-12.
    Presents an overview of the federal Unemployment Insurance [UI] system, federal aid options available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security [CARES] Act, and how unemployment compensation can support child care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 20.05.46 / "Can we sue our way out of quarantine?" By Larry Salzman. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), May 20, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Assesses states’ use of five budgeting tools for natural disaster funding: statewide disaster accounts, rainy day funds, supplemental appropriations, transfer authority, and state agency budgets. Accompanies a new Pew Charitable Trusts report.
  • 20.05.47 / "North Texas outlook: Manufacturing." By Evan Hoopfer. Dallas Business Journal, May 15, 2020, pp. 8-9.
    Discusses how North Texas manufacturing companies are fighting the effects of COVID-19 and establishing their recovery plans.
  • 20.05.48 / "The business of health: Prognosis mixed." Economist, May 9th-15th, 2020, pp. 49-50.
    Points out how the COVID-19 pandemic will reshape the health care industry, noting the winners and losers.
  • 20.05.49 / "Health data and privacy: Looking without looking." Economist, May 16th-22nd, 2020, pp. 69-70.
    Highlights a new way of studying medical records that does not require the copying of patient records and leaves behind a log of the researcher's actions.
  • 20.05.50 / "State policies that treat prenatal substance use as child abuse or neglect fail to achieve their intended goals." By Danielle N. Atkins and Christine Piette Durrance. Health Affairs, May 2020, pp. 756-763.
    Examines the effects of state-level policies related to prenatal substance use. Finds no evidence that punitive substance abuse policies reduced neonatal abstinence syndrome [NAS] or maternal narcotic exposure, but did find these policies may deter women from seeking treatment.
  • 20.05.51 / "Texas after COVID-19: Report dives into what the state should learn." By Daniel Salazar. Houston Business Journal, May 18, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Reviews a report coauthored by former Senator Kirk Watson that explores what Texas can do to prepare for economic downturns, such as the current one tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 20.05.52 / "Opportunities and barriers for telemedicine in the U.S. during the COVID-19 emergency and beyond." By Gabriela Weigel, et al. Issue Brief (Kaiser Family Foundation), May 11, 2020, pp. 1-15.
    Discusses changes to telemedicine policies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including efforts by the federal government, state governments, commercial insurers, and health care providers to expand access and coverage. Recommends additional permanent measures to sustain and increase access to telemedicine.
  • 20.05.53 / "Reopening schools in the context of COVID-19: Health and safety guidelines from other countries." By Hanna Melnick, et al. Learning Policy Institute, May 15, 2020, pp. 1-13.
    Discusses guidelines and strategies used in five countries that have continued or reopened schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Provides insight on how state policymakers can safeguard students and staff when schools are reopened.
  • 20.05.54 / "How wastewater could help track the spread of the new coronavirus." By Katherine J. Wu. Smithsonian Magazine, May 14, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Highlights a potential method for tracking COVID-19 infections using sewage..
  • 20.05.55 / "Workers fit for the future." By Suzanne Hultin. State Legislatures, May/June 2020, pp. 38-39.
    Discusses the transformation of today's workplace and how state legislatures are helping workers evolve with technology.
  • 20.05.56 / "How remdesivir became the first and biggest hope for treating COVID-19." By Alice Park. Time, June 2020, pp. 58-65.
    Examines how the experimental drug remdesivir has emerged as a possible new therapy for COVID-19 patients. Addresses how the drug works, the humans studies conducted on it, and its safety and efficacy.

 

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, May 21

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

  • Read about elder law issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (American Bar Association, May-June 2020)
  • Find coronavirus testing sites across the state. (Texas Department of Public Safety, accessed May 20, 2020)
  • Review recommendations aimed at preventing another pandemic. (National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, May 19, 2020)
  • Consider whether law enforcement and first responders should have access to COVID-19 case data. (AP News, May 19, 2020)

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

  • 20.05.30 / "Being healthy and ready to learn is linked with socioeconomic conditions for preschoolers." By Gabriel Piña, et al. Child Trends, May 2020, pp. 1-21.
    Analyzes the influence of social, demographic, and economic factors on the preschool readiness of children ages three to five. Discusses findings relating to income levels, food insecurity, access to private health insurance, educational attainment of parents, language spoken at home, and race and ethnicity.
  • 20.05.31 / "Going rogue: The electoral college." Economist, May 9th-15th, 2020, p. 19.
    Discusses a case before the United States Supreme Court, Chiafalo v. Washington, which examines whether a state has the power to legally enforce how a presidential elector casts his or her ballot.
  • 20.05.32 / "With costs on the rise, how does my state pay for natural disasters?" Fact Sheet (Pew Charitable Trusts), May 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Assesses states’ use of five budgeting tools for natural disaster funding: statewide disaster accounts, rainy day funds, supplemental appropriations, transfer authority, and state agency budgets. Accompanies a new Pew Charitable Trusts report.
  • 20.05.33 / "Wide state-level variation in commercial health care prices suggests uneven impact of price regulation." By Michael E. Chernew, Andrew L. Hicks, and Shivani A. Shah. Health Affairs, May 2020, pp. 791-799.
    Compares commercial prices for inpatient and outpatient facility services and professional health care services with Medicare rates by state. Argues the extreme gap between commercial and Medicare prices and the variation in costs by state suggests there is a role for regulation, but cautions uneven effects on hospital revenue warrant a slow transition.
  • 20.05.34 / "Americans: Who deserves tuition-free college." By Elizabeth Bell. Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, May 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Explores what Americans think about tuition-free college programs, who deserves to be eligible, and how the programs should be structured.
  • 20.05.35 / "Important new features in the USMCA." By David A. Gantz. Issue Brief (Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy), May 5, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Explains new features in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement [USMCA] that could have a significant impact on the interpretation, application, and longevity of the USMCA in the future.
  • 20.05.36 / "A state-by-state look at coronavirus in prisons." By The Marshall Project. Marshall Project, May 8, 2020, pp. 1-14.
    Provides data on COVID-19 infections and deaths among prisoners and staff in state and federal prisons. Updates statistics by state frequently.
  • 20.05.37 / "What mutual aid can do during a pandemic." By Jia Tolentino. New Yorker, May 11, 2020, pp. 1-14.
    Considers mutual-aid projects initiated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Compares and contrasts these informal networks shaped by volunteers and recipients of services with similar movements from the past.
  • 20.05.38 / "Legal liability and COVID-19 recovery." By Tyler Cowen and Trace Mitchell. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), May 8, 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Examines how policymakers can reopen businesses while avoiding the most egregious instances of harm to workers and customers. Recommends that policymakers limit COVID-19 liability to reckless behavior for the short run, rely on regulation to limit egregious risks, and establish a COVID-19 compensation program for the longer run.
  • 20.05.39 / "COVID-19 impact projections on Texas economy." By Luis B. Torres. Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, May 14, 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Considers the economic impact of COVID-19 in Texas, based on data through May 2, 2020. Explains the methodology behind a new weekly Texas leading economic activity index.
  • 20.05.40 / "Hispanic adults in families with noncitizens disproportionately feel the economic fallout from COVID-19." By Dulce Gonzalez, et al. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, May 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on family employment, financial security, and material hardship among nonelderly Hispanic adults by family citizenship status. Discusses the unique challenges of noncitizen Hispanics in overcoming economic shocks.
  • 20.05.41 / "Did that drone just tell us to stay 6 feet apart?" By Lindsey Van Ness. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), May 15, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Raises concerns that law enforcement agencies' use of drones for coronavirus-related surveillance could pose unnecessary and significant risks to privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.
  • 20.05.42 / "No double-dipping." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, May 2020, pp. 25-27.
    Highlights Virlar and Gonzaba Medical Group v. Puente, a case recently before the Fourth Court of Appeals in which a physician tried to reduce a damage award to a patient based upon a family member's separate settlement. Argues medical tort reform in 2003 (HB4, 78th Legislature, R.S.) should keep plaintiffs from manipulating their settlements.
  • 20.05.43 / "A century of advocacy: 100 years of realtors shaping Texas." By Jaime Lee. Texas Realtor, May 2020, pp. 24-26.
    Celebrates the Texas Association of Realtors' centennial. Highlights significant legislative milestones that have positioned the association as the go-to information source elected officials rely on when implementing real estate public policy.

 

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.

 

National EMS Week 2020

May 17-23, 2020, marks the 46th annual National Emergency Medical Services Week. This year's theme is "Ready Today. Preparing for Tomorrow."

 

In 1974, President Gerald Ford proclaimed November 3-10, 1974, as the first national EMS week in order to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation's communities. Texas followed suit designating May 12-18, 1991, as the first Texas EMS week with the passage of HCR 223, 72R. You can find statutes governing emergency medical services in the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 773.

 

Please join the LRL in thanking EMS professionals on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current Articles & Research Resources, May 14

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

  • Track health trends at the state and county level related to COVID-19 cases. (The Heritage Foundation, updated May 11, 2020)
  • Consider the fate of America's meat packing industry. (Human Events, May 6, 2020)
  • Read about strategies to sustain and improve domestic manufacturing during the pandemic. (National Conference of State Legislatures, May 2020)
  • Explore the federal spending landscape. (U.S. Department of Treasury, accessed May 13, 2020)

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

  • 20.05.17 / "Charters' costly failure to launch." Advocate (Texas State Teachers Association), Spring 2020, pp. 6-7.
    Considers whether the charter school system in Texas is economically sustainable. Discusses Texas legislation on charter school funding and expansion. Highlights a recent report by the Network for Public Education.
  • 20.05.18 / "States are leveraging Medicaid to respond to COVID-19." By Jessica Schubel. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, May 7, 2020, pp. 1-14.
    Surveys recent state Medicaid initiatives to strengthen home- and community-based services [HCBS] programs and improve access to health care coverage. Discusses ways Medicaid agencies can respond to COVID-19.
  • 20.05.19 / "Misplaced benevolence." By Rafael A. Mangual. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), May 4, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Argues "decarceration" bail reform initiatives have resulted in serious and avoidable new crimes, putting the public at risk.
  • 20.05.20 / "COVID-19 changes nursing and the nation's health-care needs." By Laura Williams-Tracy. Dallas Business Journal, May 8, 2020, pp. 12-13.
    Reports COVID-19 may resurrect public health nursing, which focuses on the health risks of a community and disease prevention. Points out the ongoing debate about the necessity of physicians to oversee the work of nurse practitioners. Includes sidebar, "States Grant Nurse Practitioners Full Practice Authority."
  • 20.05.21 / "Designing a state and local government relief package." By Jared Walczak. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), May 2020, pp. 1-15.
    Discusses declining state and local tax revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with fifteen to twenty percent state tax revenue losses projected by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Outlines five considerations in designing a future state and local government relief package, including spending flexibility.
  • 20.05.22 / "Young people and vote by mail: Lessons for 2020." Internet Resource, May 6, 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Considers how and why young people voted by mail in 2016. Offers insights to state and local governments looking to expand the practice in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 20.05.23 / "The role of employer repayment programs in tackling student loan debt." By Joe Valenti. Issue Brief (AARP Public Policy Institute), May 2020, pp. 1-9.
    Discusses the basics of student loan repayment, types of employer repayment programs, and some implementation obstacles. Presents emerging approaches to workplace student loan benefits.
  • 20.05.24 / "Double jeopardy: Low wage workers at risk for health and financial implications of COVID-19." By Rachel Garfield, et al. Issue Brief (Kaiser Family Foundation), April 29, 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Analyzes the risks low-wage workers face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the effects on their jobs, health, and financial security. Provides an appendix with the number of low-wage workers by state and by industry for each state.
  • 20.05.25 / "Privileges and immunity certification during the COVID-19 pandemic." By Mark A. Hall and David M. Studdert. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), May 6, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Discusses the issues with COVID-19-related immunity certifications, documentation that gives individuals who have immunity to the disease certain work and social freedoms. Argues issues with testing and unproven assumptions of immunity cast doubt on the merits of certifications and additional negative consequences such as invidious discrimination and intentional infection could follow.
  • 20.05.26 / "Seasick." By Spencer Aronfeld. Texas Lawyer, May 2020, pp. 20-21.
    Examines cruise lines' liability in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. Offers recommendations for the adoption of clear and uniform protocols to prevent and contain disease outbreaks on cruise ships.
  • 20.05.27 / "A boost for behavioral health." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, May 2020, pp. 43-45.
    Describes new mental health initiatives for children that were made possible by SB11, 86th Legislature, and the creation of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, including the Child Psychiatric Access Network [CPAN] and the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine [TCHATT]. Quotes former Representative John Zerwas, M.D.
  • 20.05.28 / "Houston is not prepared for the oil bust." By Evan Mintz. Texas Monthly, May 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Discusses the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic could have on the Houston economy. Points out Houston was already preparing for an economic downturn and continues to rely on the oil and gas industry.
  • 20.05.29 / "Texas health officials undercount COVID-19 cases by excluding some prisoners who tested positive." By Michael Barajas, Sophie Novack, and Lise Olsen. Texas Observer, May 7, 2020, pp. 1-9.
    Reports on Texas Department of State Health Services statistics related to COVID-19 cases in state prisons. Explores what the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is doing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

 

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, May 7

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

  • Explore tax help resources related to COVID-19 pandemic relief. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, April 27, 2020)
  • Track business formation statistics by state. (U.S. Census Bureau, April 15, 2020)
  • Consider the role telecommuting will play even as the COVID-19 pandemic fades. (Brookings, April 6, 2020)
  • Read about decisions from Apple and Google not to allow location tracking in contact tracing apps. (Reuters, May 4, 2020)

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

  • 20.05.01 / "Will cars still be king? 'More people in less vehicles'." By Daniel Salazar. Austin Business Journal, May 1, 2020, pp. 4, 6.
    Provides an in-depth look at what an Austin commute will look like in twenty years. Considers how COVID-19 could alter the timelines for the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan.
  • 20.05.02 / "Rightsizing fed ed: Principles for reform and practical steps to move in the right direction." By Mary Clare Amselem, et al. CATO Policy Report, May 4, 2020, pp. 1-12.
    Describes federal involvement and recommends reforms in seven specific areas of education: elementary and secondary education funding, curricular standards and testing mandates, state and local planning mandates, school choice, higher education, early childhood education and care, and civil rights.
  • 20.05.03 / "Streamlining Medicaid enrollment during COVID-19 public health emergency." By Jennifer Wagner. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, April 7, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Discusses how states can streamline Medicaid enrollment processes during the COVID-19 pandemic, to expedite health coverage for eligible individuals, particularly children, pregnant women, parents, senior citizens, and people with disabilities, and reduce the administrative burden on eligibility staff.
  • 20.05.04 / "How coronavirus will change the US, from where we live to the way we connect." By Peter Grier. Christian Science Monitor, April 28, 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Considers the changes the COVID-19 pandemic may bring to the United States. Discusses the increased role of online activities, a potential dispersion from urban areas, and the concept of patriotism expanding to honor all who serve our communities, such as health care workers and teachers.
  • 20.05.05 / "The post-pandemic university." By Allison Schrager. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), May 3, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Reports that the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate progress toward a more customizable and affordable system of higher education, one that includes a hybrid system of online and in-person instruction, expands consumer choice, and preserves the core functions of the university.
  • 20.05.06 / "COVID-19: Tests of reason." Economist, April 25th-May 1st, 2020, pp. 70-72.
    Explains that countries will have to build and deploy testing systems at an unprecedented scale to end their pandemic-related lockdowns safely. Notes that this scale of testing infrastructure will cost far less than the estimated $400 billion per month cost of the pandemic to the United States.
  • 20.05.07 / "The crisis in carmaking: From 60 to zero." Economist, April 25th-May 1st, 2020, pp. 60-61.
    Recommends ways to save a precarious car industry: adaptation to new health protocols for redesigning and operating assembly lines, investments in green technologies, and consolidation to pool scarce resources.
  • 20.05.08 / "A blueprint for back to school." By John Bailey and Frederick Hess. Education Next, May 4, 2020, pp. 1-15.
    Details a number of considerations that education leaders and public officials should consider while developing plans for reopening schools when the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
  • 20.05.09 / "Schools struggle to meet rising demand for food." By Corey Mitchell. Education Week, April 29, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Examines how school meal distribution programs implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic are faring in Texas and other states. Discusses school districts in Dallas and San Antonio.
  • 20.05.10 / "A basic demographic profile of workers in frontline industries." By Hye Jin Rho, Hayley Brown, and Shawn Fremstad. Issue Brief (Center for Economic and Policy Research), April 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Documents the number of workers in six groups of frontline industries and the characteristics of the workforce in each of these industry groups. Points out these essential workers remain unprotected and undercompensated under the COVID-19 legislation passed to date.
  • 20.05.11 / "The current plague considered as a deregulatory opportunity." By Casey B. Mulligan. National Review, May 4, 2020, pp. 21-22.
    Argues the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of centralized planning and regulations. Explains the Right to Try Act, which grants patients access to experimental drugs and may allow for quicker development of COVID-19 treatments.
  • 20.05.12 / "What is the value of public education?" By Frederick M. Hess. National Review, May 4, 2020, pp. 28-30.
    Suggests the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a reminder of the roles schools play in providing socialization and social services, purposes not captured by test scores. Argues many schools have not met the challenge of providing appropriate distance learning to fulfill public education's mission.
  • 20.05.13 / "How health costs might change with COVID-19." By Cynthia Cox, et al. Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, April 15, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Discusses the higher health care costs that private health insurers and government health programs could face as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Includes factors that could increase and decrease health costs as well as special considerations for Medicare and Medicaid programs and enrollees.
  • 20.05.14 / "Six things states can do to support learning during coronavirus." State Policy Network, April 27, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Provides policy recommendations related to public education that address the new challenges school districts, teachers, and families are facing due to school closures. Includes links to proposals by state think tanks.
  • 20.05.15 / "Blocked in the digital age: Constitutional dimensions of elected officials silencing critics on social media." By John G. Browning and Reginald A. Hirsch. Texas Bar Journal, May 2020, pp. 324-326.
    Addresses the issue of elected officials blocking or censoring critics on social media platforms. Mentions the federal lawsuit brought against Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen by Lone Star Gun Rights activists, relating to HB357, 86th Legislature.
  • 20.05.16 / "School district tax rate compression and tax ratification elections." Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, April 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Describes school finance provisions in HB3, 86th Legislature, relating to maintenance and operations [M&O] tax rates and new requirements for voter approval of higher rates through tax ratification elections.

 

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.