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)
- 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.