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

  • Read about how small rural businesses have struggled with getting help through the Paycheck Protection Program. (Stateline, June 1, 2020)
  • Review details about the unemployment benefits 13-week extension in Texas. (Texas Workforce Commission, June 2, 2020)
  • Consider how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the child care industry. (The Council of State Governments, June 2, 2020)
  • Explore an FAQ about renewing driver's licenses by appointment. (Texas Department of Public Safety, May 26, 2020)

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

  • 20.06.01 / "How changes to the 2020 Census timeline will impact redistricting." By Yurij Rudensky, Michael Li, and Annie Lo. Brennan Center for Justice, May 4, 2020, pp. 1-26 (Note Length).
    Examines redistricting deadlines states will need to adjust due to the delay in the 2020 Census and how these changes will impact state and federal elections in 2021 and 2022. Includes state-by-state assessments.
  • 20.06.02 / "Maintaining legislative continuity through emergencies." By Victoria Bassetti and Daniel I. Weiner. Brennan Center for Justice, May 20, 2020, pp. 1-18.
    Discusses why it's vital legislatures remain fully engaged during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, including their role in maintaining state appropriations, continuing essential government functions and emergency responses, and oversight of the executive branch. Provides recommendations on how to alter legislative procedures and rules.
  • 20.06.03 / "Family First Act: Why outcomes oriented contracting should be part of the plan." By Debra Solomon. Chronicle of Social Change, May 20, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Discusses contract considerations for state and county child welfare agencies in implementing the Family First Prevention Services Act (H.R. 1892, 115th Congress, Title VII).
  • 20.06.04 / "Tsunami of bankruptcies threatens Texas." By Mark Curriden. Dallas Business Journal, May 22, 2020, pp. 14-16.
    Reports a 133 percent increase in Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings by Texas companies between January 1 and May 5, compared to the same period in 2019. Expects a surge of restructurings in the retail, energy, hospitality, and healthcare sectors.
  • 20.06.05 / "Eye of the hurricane: America Inc faces a wave of bankruptcies." Economist, May 16th-22nd, 2020, pp. 51-53.
    Describes early-warning signs that might reveal the scale of the coming wave of bankruptcies. Considers whether there are alternatives to outright bankruptcy.
  • 20.06.06 / "College blues: Could a fifth of America's colleges really face the chop?" Economist, May 30th-June 5th, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Suggests COVID-19 is likely to accelerate the closure of small colleges struggling with declining enrollment and budget deficits.
  • 20.06.07 / "Pandemic drives record unemployment: Texas Workforce Commission flooded with claims." By Peggy Fikac and David Green. Fiscal Notes, May 2020, pp. 1, 3.
    Describes the record increase in unemployment insurance claims due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Texas Workforce Commission's response.
  • 20.06.08 / "Recessions and revenues: Perspectives on the downturn." By Courtney King, Chris Dittmar, and JoJo Estrada. Fiscal Notes, May 2020, pp. 4-13.
    Examines the early stages of the recession and economic challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, including unemployment, travel, oil prices, and tax revenue. Presents a historical analysis of the year-over-year change in sales and use tax revenue, motor vehicle sales and rental taxes, motor fuels taxes, oil and natural gas production taxes, and hotel occupancy taxes.
  • 20.06.09 / "Holding up half the sky: Mothers as workers, primary caregivers, & breadwinners during COVID-19." By Elyse Shaw, et al. Institute for Women's Policy Research, May 2020, pp. 1-12.
    Highlights the need for targeted programs, policies, and interventions that put the needs of breadwinner mothers at the forefront of COVID-19 recovery efforts.
  • 20.06.10 / "Digital smartphone tracking for COVID-19: Public health and civil liberties in tension." By I. Glenn Cohen, Lawrence O. Gostin, and Daniel J. Weitzner. JAMA (Journal of the American Medial Association), May 27, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Compares manual tracing to digital tracking and user-controlled approaches to a centralized strategy in relation to contact investigations for COVID-19. Discusses balancing public health strategies with individual privacy.
  • 20.06.11 / "The short-term outlook for the Texas economy." By M/ Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Forecasts a significant drop in state business activity in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the contraction in the energy sector. Expects a return to economic growth in 2021.
  • 20.06.12 / "Outlook for the Texas economy." By Luis B. Torres, et al. Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, May 20, 2020, pp. 1-34 (Note Length).
    Details key state economic indicators and trends in housing, energy, employment, manufacturing, construction, services, and trade, with data current as of May 18, 2020. Accounts for the initial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting the economy through March 2020.
  • 20.06.13 / "This disaster season, 'everything is complicated by COVID-19'." By Alex Brown. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), May 28, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Reports the coronavirus is likely to upend nearly every plan in the disaster response playbook, complicating the jobs of emergency management personnel.
  • 20.06.14 / "Can the 'Texas Miracle' survive?" By Christopher Hooks. Texas Monthly, June 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Examines how the Texas economy, with its unique regulatory and political system, will fare during a recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes discussion of the role of the Texas Legislature, recent legislation that has affected the state budget, including HB3, 86th Legislature, and the upcoming election.
  • 20.06.15 / "The Permian Basin: Enriching Texas: A study of the financial contributions of the Permian Basin to the Texas State Treasury through the years 2014-2019." Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, Spring 2020 (released May 26, 2020), pp. 1-18.
    Presents a special report for the Permian Basin Petroleum Association detailing the oil and gas industry as the economic engine of the Permian Basin and the region's financial contributions to state and local governments through oil and gas taxes and royalties.


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.