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)
- 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.