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

  • Explore how states are responding to COVID-19 by implementing policies related to occupational licensing. (Council of State Governments, ©2020)
  • See what states are doing to close budget gaps resulting from decreased revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (National Conference of State Legislatures, August 12, 2020)
  • Read about facility-wide COVID-19 testing in nursing homes. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 11, 2020)
  • Track which businesses received CARES Act stimulus funding and how much they received. (Good Jobs First, ©2020)

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

  • 20.08.13 / "End affirmative action for white people." By Anthony P. Carnevale, Peter Schmidt, and Jeff Strohl. Chronicle for Higher Education, June 24, 2020, pp. 22-25.
    Argues higher education's perception of education merit hides deep-seated racism and class-based elitism guaranteeing the intergenerational reproduction of class and racial privilege. Explains COVID-19 and the ensuing economic and demographic changes offer an opportunity for federal and state governments to require more transparency and seek improved outcomes for public institutions.
  • 20.08.14 / "Inside the challenges Texas women face." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, August 7, 2020, pp. 10-15.
    Examines how economic factors related to education, housing, health insurance, and child care affect women's lives in the Lone Star State. Uses data from the Texas Women's Foundation report Economic Issues for Women in Texas.
  • 20.08.15 / "Taxing and spending: From unthinkable to universal." Economist, August 8th-14th, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Reports the idea of a universal basic income [UBI] is gaining momentum in America. Points out the launch of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a network of mayors experimenting with UBI-like schemes that includes the mayors of Atlanta, Los Angeles, Newark, and St Paul.
  • 20.08.16 / "The economic impact of Texas community colleges." By Patrick Graves, et al. Fiscal Notes, June/July, 2020, pp. 7-10.
    Highlights a recent Comptroller's office study that found a total economic impact of $9.8 billion annually for Texas public community colleges. Discusses the important dual role community colleges play in access to higher education and workforce training.
  • 20.08.17 / "Community use of face masks and COVID-19: Evidence from a natural experiment of state mandates in the US." By Wei Lyu and George L. Wehby. Health Affairs, August 2020, pp. 1419-1425.
    Reports on a natural experiment on the effects of state government mandates for face mask use in public issued by fifteen states and Washington, D.C., between April 8 and May 15, 2020. Finds that states mandating the use of face masks in public had a greater decline in daily COVID-19 growth rates after issuing these mandates.
  • 20.08.18 / "Incarceration and its disseminations: COVID-19 pandemic lessons from Chicago's Cook County Jail." By Eric Reinhart and Daniel L. Chen. Health Affairs, August 2020, pp. 1412-1418.
    Evaluates how arrest and pretrial detention practices may be contributing to the spread of COVID-19. Uses data from Cook County Jail to analyze the relationship between jailing practices and community infections at the ZIP code level.
  • 20.08.19 / "Key questions about nursing home regulation and oversight in the wake of COVID-19." By MaryBeth Musumeci and Priya Chidambaram. Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, August 3, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Discusses nursing home regulation and oversight in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Examines the evolution of federal nursing home requirements and their enforcement as well as how oversight has changed as a result of the pandemic. Includes discussion of the role of state survey agencies and an appendix of related statutory citations.
  • 20.08.20 / "State hybrid retirement plans." National Association of State Retirement Administrators, June 2020, pp. 1-12.
    Examines two hybrid public retirement plan designs: a cash balance plan and a combination defined benefits [DB] and defined contribution [DC] plan. Includes Texas municipal, county, and district pension plans. Notes heightened attention to hybrid plans amid recent state reforms to public pension benefits and financing.
  • 20.08.21 / "I don't want to be anybody's employee." By Kim Kavin. Reason, August/September 2020, pp. 46-51.
    Considers legislative attempts to reclassify independent contractors as traditional salaried employees with benefits. Highlights the 2019 passage of California Assembly Bill 5, and argues it has unintended consequences and should serve as a cautionary tale for future legislative efforts.
  • 20.08.22 / "Balancing act: Protecting critical infrastructure and peoples' right to protest." By Dan Shea. State Legislatures, July 21, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Reports several states have passed laws that either criminalize unlawful entry to critical infrastructure facilities or enhance the penalties associated with those offenses. Points out these laws' penalties and prison terms have the potential to limit civil demonstrations and may infringe on conduct protected under the United States Constitution.
  • 20.08.23 / "Pandemic poses legal pitfalls." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, August 2020, pp. 38-40.
    Argues in favor of temporarily extending existing liability protections for volunteers to all physicians, health care practitioners, and facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mentions a recent letter by the Texas Medical Association and other groups to Governor Greg Abbott requesting liability protection.
  • 20.08.24 / "After the protests: Four perspectives on the state's criminal justice system." By Christopher Hooks. Texas Monthly, August 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Interviews four individuals with different perspectives on how police departments and the criminal justice system in Texas can be reformed in consideration of recent public demonstrations following the death of George Floyd. Includes comments by Representative James White.
  • 20.08.25 / "The plague election." By Molly Ball. Time, August 17-24, 2020, pp. 30-37.
    Examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed political campaigns and the election system in the United States. Addresses political conventions and vote-by-mail 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.