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Current Articles & Research Resources, September 17

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

  • Read about how diet can affect hearing ability. (Consumer Reports, September 14, 2020)
  • Consider the current climate related to state legislation about internet gambling. (National Conference of State Legislatures, September 2020)
  • Review some of the federal and state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Law Library of Congress, September 2020)
  • Track wildfires and how far wildfire smoke travels. (AirNow.gov, home of the U.S. Air Quality Index, accessed September 16, 2020)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and onlines sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, September 10

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

  • Read about the use of face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Consumer Reports, September 4, 2020)
  • See when and were to view fall foliage. (smokymountains.com, ©2020)
  • Track statistics related to e-cigarette sales over the last six years. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 9, 2020)
  • View the progress of the sunset review schedule through late August of this year. (Sunset Advisory Commission, August 26, 2020)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

Current Articles & Research Resources, September 3

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

  • Consider how a felony conviction can affect a person's right to vote. (Stateline, August 31, 2020)
  • Read about how American restaurants are doing during the pandemic, city by city. (Wolf Street, August 29, 2020)
  • Explore how the Main Street Lending Program works. (Congressional Research Service, August 27, 2020)
  • Get ready for fall hunting and fishing by purchasing licenses online. (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, accessed September 3, 2020)

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

  • 20.09.01 / "How states can use early care and education provider surveys to develop COVID-19 response strategies." By Mallory Warner-Richter. Child Trends, August 2020, pp. 1-12.
    Details the important role states play in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing access to child care for essential workers and issuing guidance for early care and education [ECE]. Presents strategies for state leaders to help child care systems stabilize, rebuild, and strengthen, while protecting racial and ethnic equity in child care.
  • 20.09.02 / "How do you 'defund the police' in Texas? Very carefully." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, August 21, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Highlights the discussions in Texas cities about changes in police funding, including the redistribution of funds among the police, social and mental health services, and other city departments. Suggests potential savings could come from improved hiring and firing practices in police departments as a strategy to decrease expensive lawsuits.
  • 20.09.03 / "Budget crunch: North Texas cities grapple with COVID-19's financial bite." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, August 28, 2020, pp. 8-11.
    Explores the COVID-19 pandemic's financial impact on local governments and the cost-saving measures these local governments plan to take.
  • 20.09.04 / "Back to school: Learning and COVID." Economist, August 29th-September 4th, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Reports continued school disruptions due to COVID-19 will widen educational inequality, disproportionately hurting poorer pupils.
  • 20.09.05 / "Teachers with COVID-19 health risks: Who gets to stay home?" By Madeline Will. Education Week, August 18, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Considers the return of teachers to school campuses and the challenges some face when seeking health accommodations due to being at higher risk for COVID-19 complications. Addresses medical exemptions and the few options offered when the exemptions are denied.
  • 20.09.06 / "Who will pay for the roads?" By Ulrik Boesen. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), August 2020, pp. 1-20.
    Discusses the evolution of the motor fuel tax and the discrepancy in state and federal tax revenues compared with highway finance expenditures. Outlines the possible solution of taxing vehicle miles traveled [VMT], including GPS monitoring and privacy concerns.
  • 20.09.07 / "Texas' electricity resources: Where power comes from — and how it gets to you." By Lisa Minton. Fiscal Notes, August 2020, pp. 1, 3-6.
    Details the electricity resources of Texas, the only state in the 48 contiguous United States with its own stand-alone electricity grid, managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas [ERCOT]. Describes ERCOT's responsibilities in ensuring a competitive electricity market and sufficient generating capacity. Addresses Texas' "fuel mix" of natural gas, coal, and wind energy and the impact of COVID-19 on power demand.
  • 20.09.08 / "Fewer youth in foster care, but family reunifications hit record low." By John Kelly. Imprint, August 24, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Presents recent federal child welfare data on foster care, family reunifications, and adoptions, according to the latest annual report of the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System [AFCARS], published by the Children's Bureau, an office of the Administration for Children and Families. Includes state-level statistics found within state data tables in the Children's Bureau's related report and data visualization.
  • 20.09.09 / "Attacks on public health officials during COVID-19." By Michelle M. Mello, Jeremy A. Greene, and Joshua M. Sharfstein. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 25, 2020, pp. 471-472.
    Highlights the increased harassment of public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic, including discussion of how the decline in civility in political discourse has contributed. Argues elected leaders should provide public health officials protection from illegal harassment.
  • 20.09.10 / "The 7,383-seat strategy is working." By Joan Walsh. Nation, September 7/14, 2020, pp. 12-17, 26.
    Discusses recent trends in the political affiliation of state legislatures and speculates on the possibility Democrats will regain control of state legislatures in the 2020 election. Includes maps comparing the party control of state legislatures in 2009 and 2019.
  • 20.09.11 / "Fundraising & gender parity in state legislatures remains elusive." National Institute on Money in Politics, August 17, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Analyzes median campaign contributions to state legislators by gender from 2016 to 2019, including Texas.
  • 20.09.12 / "In policing, race matters." By James R. Copland. National Review, September 7, 2020, pp. 27-29.
    Explains that African-American men are the principal beneficiaries of good policing, but also disproportionately bear a cost of that same proactive policing due to their higher percentage of interactions with police. Considers police reform proposals represented by two bills before Congress: Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere [JUSTICE] Act of 2020 and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020.
  • 20.09.13 / "Health care workforce reform: COVID-19 spotlights need for changes to clinician licensing." By Shirley V. Svorny and Michael F. Cannon. Policy Brief (CATO Institute), August 4, 2020, pp. 1-24.
    Suggests third-party certification as an alternative to direct government licensing of health care professionals.
  • 20.09.14 / "Preparing for the post-pandemic: Repurposing tools." By David Boonin. Public Utilties Fortnightly, July 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Considers how existing tools can be adapted to address post-pandemic circumstances applicable to electric utilities. Focuses on cash flow and system hardening and effectiveness.
  • 20.09.15 / "Black history instruction gets new emphasis in many states." By Marsha Mercer. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), August 20, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Reports on efforts by states and school districts to incorporate the African American experience into the broader social studies curriculum.
  • 20.09.16 / "Parental rights in Texas public schools: Does in loco parentis still have meaning?" By Miles T. Bradshaw. Texas Bar Journal, September 2020, pp. 542-543.
    Explains the basic framework of parental rights available by law in a school setting, including part of the school reform movement that culminated in the passage of SB1, 74th Legislature.
  • 20.09.17 / "The statues are coming down. Maybe that's a missed opportunity." By Stephen Harrigan. Texas Monthly, September 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Examines recent efforts to remove public monuments to slaveholders, Confederate soldiers, and Texas Rangers. Discusses the author's involvement in erecting Texas-related monuments through the organization Capital Area Statues, Inc. [CAST]. Mentions monuments on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol.
  • 20.09.18 / "It's a trap!: Responsible enforcement of Texas disaster evacuation orders." By William S. Gribble. Texas Tech Law Review, Summer 2020, pp. 725-742.
    Examines the legal basis for mandatory evacuation orders related to a disaster, the civil and criminal enforcement mechanisms in Texas, and the need for a statutory exception.

 

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, August 27

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

  • Find resources for disaster relief and assistance in Texas. (Texas Department of Housing and Community Development, accessed August 26, 2020)
  • Discover how the United States Postal Service got started. (Smithsonian Magazine, August 21, 2020)
  • Explore data related to immigrants in the United States. (Pew Research Center, August 20, 2020)
  • Consider how upcoming elections might be conducted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Cato Institute, August 26, 2020)
  • Read about a potential coronavirus vaccine. (Politico, August 26, 2020)

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

  • 20.08.44 / "A road map to reemployment in the COVID-19 economy: Empowering workers, employers, and states." By Brent Orrell, Mason M. Bishop, and John Hawkins. American Enterprise Institute, July 2020, pp. 1-18.
    Discusses reforming the workforce system to support the needs of newly unemployed workers in the competitive job market and uncertain economy that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Argues for shifting away from federal policies and focusing on flexible state, regional, and local approaches to making decisions and allocating resources.
  • 20.08.45 / "State legislation to declare racism a public health crisis and address institutional racism." Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, August 12, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Presents an overview of state-level efforts to declare racism a public health issue, establish political bodies and procedures to assess the disparate impact of current policies on populations of color, and implement policy changes to ensure that future policies are enacted with a racial equity lens.
  • 20.08.46 / "Close the door behind you: How the Texas Supreme Court left the constitutionality of Section 5.014(b) open in In re Geomet Recycling." By Tyler Ray Hannusch. Baylor Law Review, Spring 2020, pp. 355-369.
    Discusses the legislative history and recent case law related to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 51.014(b), Appeal from Interlocutory Order, in light of the Texas Supreme Court opinion in In re Geomet Recycling, LLC. Highlights the implications of the ruling, and argues a future Texas Supreme Court may find Section 51.014(b) unconstitutional.
  • 20.08.47 / "The status of local government pension plans in the midst of COVID-19." By Jean-Pierre Aubry and Kevin Wandrei. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, August 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Describes the status of local government pension plans as of fiscal year 2020 and projections of financial metrics to 2025. Discusses strains on state and local government revenue due to COVID-19 and the potential impact on public pension obligations.
  • 20.08.48 / "How Texas policymakers understand and support early childhood brain development: Learnings from a recent survey." By April Wilson, et al. Child Trends, August 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Highlights a recent survey by Episcopal Health Foundation, partnered with TexProtects and Child Trends, to evaluate Texas state and local policymakers' knowledge of early childhood brain development [ECBD] and which programs policymakers believe have the highest return on investment and the greatest benefits for young children.
  • 20.08.49 / "Supporting families and child care providers during the pandemic with a focus on equity." By Sarah Daily and Asiya Kazi. Child Trends, August 2020, pp. 1-9.
    Explores challenges for families and child care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those disproportionately affected, including young children in low-income households or rural areas and child care providers who have permanently closed. Offers strategies for state and local policymakers to support the accessibility and affordability of child care.
  • 20.08.50 / "America's State Department: The dereliction of diplomacy." Economist, August 15th-21st, 2020, pp. 52-54.
    Discusses the state of American diplomacy. Recommends reforms to the United States Department of State's career structure and the training of foreign service officers.
  • 20.08.51 / "Most states require some youth to be on sex offender registries." Imprint (Formerly Chronicle of Social Change), August 16, 2020, p. 1.
    Describes a new Juvenile Law Center survey that finds 42 states require youth to register as sex offenders.
  • 20.08.52 / "Universal masking to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission—The time is now." By John T. Brooks, Jay C. Butler, and Robert R. Redfield. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 18, 2020, pp. 635-637.
    Examines the community use of face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic, including new data emphasizing that masking helps prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Argues public health officials and leaders need to ensure that the public understands clearly when and how to wear cloth face coverings.
  • 20.08.53 / "Mental health, substance use, and suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020." By Mark É Czeisler, et al. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), August 14, 2020, pp. 1-9.
    Notes considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers. Argues the public health response to the pandemic should increase intervention and prevention efforts to address these associated conditions.
  • 20.08.54 / "The color of contagion." By Patricia J. Williams. Nation, September 7/14, 2020, pp. 22-25.
    Describes the racial disparities in COVID-19 mortality rates, prioritization of a national vaccine for certain racial groups and vulnerable populations, and the role of race in previous disease outbreaks. Notes a complaint filed on July 22 by Disability Rights Texas against the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council, challenging the exclusion of individuals with preexisting conditions and disabilities from intensive care admission.
  • 20.08.55 / "In-person and online learning go together." By John B. Taylor and Jack Mallery. Policy Brief (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research), August 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Offers solutions to bridging the digital divide in education. Points out the benefits of getting students acclimated to working online.
  • 20.08.56 / "The most powerful instrument: Voting by mail in Texas." By Joshua Houston and Audrey Balliette. Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, August 2020, pp. 1-24.
    Presents a brief history of voting by mail and details the legislative history of absentee balloting and voting by mail in Texas. Discusses the advantages and disadvantages of voting by mail and the challenges caused by COVID-19.
  • 20.08.57 / "From boom to bloodbath." By Justin Miller. Texas Observer, July 27, 2020, pp. 1-9.
    Examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the oil and gas industry and the renewable energy sector in Texas and discusses related legislation. Mentions Representatives Rafael Anchia, Terry Canales, Brooks Landgraf, and Erin Zwiener.
  • 20.08.58 / "When COVID-19 doesn't go away." By Jaime Ducharme. Time, August 31, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Describes the devastating health and economic consequences "long-haul" COVID-19 patients face. Addresses the challenges of treating patients with long-term symptoms.

 

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, August 20

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

  • Read about a court case related to compelling Texas to provide Medicaid beneficiaries with hepatitis C medications. (Stateline, August 14, 2020)
  • Review an FAQ related to testing for COVID-19. (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, August 18, 2020)
  • Find out what to put in a home disaster-ready kit. (Texas Department of State Health Services, August 19, 2020)
  • Explore the ever-evolving field of precise nutrition. (JAMA, August 7, 2020)

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

  • 20.08.26 / "Millions flee the cities, but will they ever return?" By Alice Calder. American Conservative, July 27, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Considers how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting population shifts between large cities and small towns in the United States.
  • 20.08.27 / "New study: Home visit doctors reduce emergency room visits." By Josh Umbehr. American Spectator, August 18, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Explains the benefits of using a Direct Primary Care [DPC] model to access health care. Cites a report from the Society of Actuaries that evaluates the prevalence and effectiveness of the DPC model.
  • 20.08.28 / "How difficult is it to challenge lines on a map?: Understanding the boundaries of good faith in Abbott v. Perez." By Aaron J. Horner. Baylor Law Review, Spring 2020, pp. 370-389.
    Examines the responsibility of plaintiffs to overcome a good faith presumption when challenging redistricting based upon discriminatory intent, as demonstrated in Texas in Abbott v. Perez. Describes the five-factor test for determining the existence of discriminatory intent from Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp., and considers what evidence may be sufficient to overcome the presumption.
  • 20.08.29 / "How states can empower local ownership for just a recovery." By Elwood Hopkins, Jennifer S. Vey, and Tracy Hadden Loh. Brookings Metrolpolitan Policy Program, July, 2020, pp. 1-16.
    Offers specific suggestions for how state governments can increase wealth and economic mobility for residents of structurally disadvantaged communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Argues for facilitating the creation of financial instruments that enable local ownership of real estate.
  • 20.08.30 / "Considerations for building post-COVID early care and education systems that serve children with disabilities." By Mallory Warner-Richter and Chrishana M. Lloyd. Child Trends, August 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Discusses the intersections of disability, race, and ethnicity in early intervention and early childhood special education. Addresses the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on families with young children with disabilities, and provides action steps for states in reopening early care and education [ECE] programs.
  • 20.08.31 / "From life in prison to out on parole: One group easing the transition." By Patricia Leigh Brown. Christian Science Monitor, August 14, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Highlights the work of California's Peer Reentry Navigation Network [PRNN] and methods to assist paroled "lifers" in reentering society. Explains the group's leaders have successfully returned to life after incarceration and they help their newly-released peers through a blend of mutual aid, self-help, tips for defusing triggers and problems, and a network for sharing job leads and resources.
  • 20.08.32 / "Developing the future workforce: Revitalizing postsecondary education and training after COVID-19." Conference Board, July 2020, pp. 1-11.
    Offers recommendations to policymakers, business leaders, and educators on how to train the future workforce.
  • 20.08.33 / "Optimistic, baseline, pessimistic or dire? Dallas forecasts COVID-era property tax scenarios." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, August 14, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Discusses Dallas economists' range of property tax revenue projections for the next five years. Notes any shortfalls in property taxes won’t affect this fiscal year’s revenues because property tax bills were paid in January.
  • 20.08.34 / "Reopening schools during COVID-19: Lessons learned from around the world." By Mark Lieberman. Education Week, August 13, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Details the reopening of schools in Denmark, Israel, and South Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic and what schools in the United States can learn from these countries. Mentions the coronavirus positivity rate in Texas.
  • 20.08.35 / "Congressional watchdog says feds should be more proactive on kinship care." Imprint (Formerly Chronicle of Social Change), August 12, 2020, p. 1.
    Highlights a recent United States Government Accountability Office [GAO] report that finds the Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] could be doing more to help states provide critical support to relative caregivers in the foster care system.
  • 20.08.36 / "Principles for building better health insurance." By Chris Pope. Issue Brief (Manhattan Institute), August 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Offers four key principles to restructure the health insurance market.
  • 20.08.37 / "What health reform tells us about American politics." By Lawrence R. Jacobs and Suzanne Mettler. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, August 2020, pp. 581-593.
    Discusses how politics and public attitudes toward health care have changed since the passage and initial implementation of the Affordable Care Act [ACA].
  • 20.08.38 / "It's time to abolish nursing homes." By Sara Luterman. Nation, August 24/31, 2020, pp. 18-21.
    Discusses the evolution of nursing homes, the institutionalization of elder care, and development of home- and community-based services waivers. Identifies barriers to Medicaid-funded home care, including waiting lists, the nursing home lobby, and the cost of expanding the home care workforce. Notes that over 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths, or about 62,000 people as of July 2020, have been linked to long-term care facilities.
  • 20.08.39 / "Liberalizing land use regulations: The case of Houston." By Nolan Gray and Jessie McBirney. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), August 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Discusses how minimum-lot-size rules affect new housing development. Comments on Houston’s system of urban land use regulation and the city's successful experience with subdivision liberalization.
  • 20.08.40 / "Unemployment in the SLC region amid the COVID-19 pandemic." By Roger Moore. SLC Policy Analysis (Southern Legislative Conference), August 6, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Tracks unemployment insurance claims reported weekly by the United States Department of Labor in the fifteen states of the Southern Legislative Conference [SLC]. Includes figures for initial claims filed, insured unemployment (number receiving unemployment benefits), and insured employment rate (percentage of the workforce receiving unemployment benefits).
  • 20.08.41 / "What scientists know about airborne transmission of the new coronavirus." By Jim Daley. Smithsonian Magazine, August 12, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Reviews various journal articles that focus on the what is known about the airborne spread of COVID-19. Points out how understanding aerosolized virus transmission affects short- and long-term responses to combat the virus and protect individuals.
  • 20.08.42 / "State uses of the CARES Act coronavirus relief funds." By Emily Maher. State Legislatures, August 5, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Examines how legislatures are allocating their federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security [CARES] Act relief funds. Points out spending strategies differ due to state population and the coronavirus's regional impact..
  • 20.08.43 / "A new study finds a link between flaring and an increase in premature births." By Amal Ahmed. Texas Observer, August 18, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Discusses the findings of a study conducted on the effects of flaring, the open combustion of natural gas, on the health of residents in South Texas. Addresses the disproportionate impact of flaring on pregnant Latina women and the lack of air monitoring by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality [TCEQ] in the area.

 

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, August 13

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, August 6

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

  • Consider COVID-19's impact on agriculture in the United States. (The Hill, August 4, 2020)
  • Learn how to look for signs of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 2020)
  • Read about how the Texas Department of State Health Services changed the way COVID-19 fatalities are counted. (Texas Department of State Health Services, July 27, 2020)
  • Review the deadline calendar for the upcoming November 3 general election. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed August 5, 2020)

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

  • 20.08.01 / "Failing grades: States' responses to COVID-19 in jails & prisons." By Emily Widra and Dylan Hayre. American Civil Liberties Union, June 25, 2020, pp. 1-20.
    Rates state responses to COVID-19 within correctional facilities based upon the availability of testing and personal protective equipment [PPE] for staff and inmates, the reduction in county jail and state prison populations, and the public availability of data on COVID-19 in the state prison system. Notes over 570 incarcerated individuals and over 50 correction staff have died of COVID-19 as of June 22, 2020.
  • 20.08.02 / "Economists weigh in on Austin's recovery prospects as pandemic lingers." By Mike Cronin. Austin Business Journal, July 31, 2020, pp. A4-A5.
    Presents the views of three prominent economists on the long-term resiliency of the Austin and Central Texas economies.
  • 20.08.03 / "As a statue falls, Texas Rangers are cast as heroes and villains." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, July 27, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Explores the history of the Texas Rangers in the context of the current focus on racial tensions and law enforcement. Suggests the organization's 2023 bicentennial offers an opportunity to acknowledge its complicated history and move toward a more just and equitable future.
  • 20.08.04 / "Texas' international trade." By David Green and Shannon Halbrook. Fiscal Notes, June/July, 2020, pp. 1, 3-6.
    Explores the benefits of international trade for Texas, the role of energy, recent controversies over tariffs and trade agreements, and the long-term international outlook.
  • 20.08.05 / "Mental health and substance use state fact sheets." Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, July 10, 2020, pp. 1-18.
    Summarizes national data on mental health from a number of sources before and during the coronavirus pandemic. Provides links to state-level fact sheets with statistics on the prevalence of mental illness and substance use, related deaths, access to treatment, affordability, and costs of care. Includes a link to the fact sheet for Texas.
  • 20.08.06 / "Cost-of-living adjustments." National Association of State Retirement Administrators, June 2020, pp. 1-16.
    Discusses periodic cost-of-living adjustments [COLAs] in state and local government pensions, common COLA types and features, COLA costs, and recent changes. Features an appendix of COLA provisions by state, including the Texas County and District Retirement System, Employees Retirement System of Texas, Texas Municipal Retirement System, and Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
  • 20.08.07 / "COVID-19 pulls back the mask on America's prison system." By C.J. Ciaramella. Reason, August/September 2020, p. 10.
    Explains the failed attempts to control the spread of COVID-19 in prisons through policies aimed at reducing incarcerated populations. Summarizes inmate lawsuits related to this issue, including the Texas case, Valentine v. Collier, in which the United States Supreme Court ruled against inmates.
  • 20.08.08 / "What a new Supreme Court decision means for Native American sovereignty." By Nora McGreevy. Smithsonian Magazine, July 10, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Discusses the impact of McGirt v. Oklahoma, a recent United States Supreme Court decision that found, regarding jurisdiction, "much of the eastern half of Oklahoma falls within Native American territory."
  • 20.08.09 / "Legislator profile: Texas Representative Tom Oliverson." By Suzanne Weiss. State Legislatures, July 23, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Profiles Representative Tom Oliverson's service as a member of the Texas Legislature, commending his ability to work across party lines and learn about the nuts and bolts of policy.
  • 20.08.10 / "State court chief justices pledge reform to boost racial equality and justice in the courts." By Angela Morris. Texas Lawyer, July 30, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Reports on a resolution by the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators which pledges action to eradicate systemic racism and make court systems fairer to people of color. Includes comments by Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht.
  • 20.08.11 / "Unforseen circumstances: Contractual obligations during a pandemic." By Rusty Adams. Tierra Grande, July 2020, pp. 26-27.
    Discusses Texas contract law and whether the “acts of God” or force majeure principles affect contractual obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 20.08.12 / "Child care and feeding young children during the pandemic." By Catherine Kuhns and Gina Adams. Urban Institute Brief, July 2020, pp. 1-19.
    Points out significant gaps in the extent to which children in child care programs who were receiving meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program [CACFP] were able to continue accessing food during the pandemic when child care programs closed. Offers recommendations to ensure that young children’s nutritional needs are met in the current crisis and to build a more resilient system moving forward.

 

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, July 30

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

  • Examine the fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the states' budgets. (The Council of State Governments, July 2020)
  • Consider how protective face masks affect the accuracy of face recognition technology. (National Institute of Standards and Technology, July 2020)
  • Find out which state laws specifically addressing children left in cars unattended. (National Conference of State Legislatures, July 20, 2020)
  • Review recent guidance on reopening schools. (Texas Education Agency, updated July 28, 2020)

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

  • 20.07.54 / "The coronavirus will make child care deserts worse and exacerbate inequality." By Rasheed Malik, et al. Center for American Progress, June 22, 2020, pp. 1-11.
    Discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate child care shortages for low- and middle-income communities, Black and Hispanic families, rural families, and working mothers. Includes a link to an interactive map illustrating the state of child care supply prior to the pandemic.
  • 20.07.55 / "With need rising, Medicaid is at risk for cuts." By Aviva Aron-Dine, Kyle Hayes, and Matt Broaddus. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, July 22, 2020, pp. 1-14.
    Discusses the fiscal and health care implications of rising Medicaid enrollment coinciding with state budget shortfalls of $555 billion through fiscal year 2022. Reports Texas Medicaid enrollment increased 3.5 percent between February and April, or 133,404 people.
  • 20.07.56 / "Health care access for infants and toddlers in rural areas." By Jessie Laurore, Gayane Baziyants, and Sarah Daily. Child Trends, July 2020, pp. 1-39 (Note Length).
    Analyzes data from the State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 to illustrate state-level differences in health care for infants and toddlers in rural areas, including indicators of prenatal care, infant mortality, preventive care, and preterm birth. Includes Texas data.
  • 20.07.57 / "CHAMPS report finds states struggling with foster parent recruitment." Chronicle of Social Change, July 14, 2020, p. 1.
    Highlights a new report by CHAMPS [Children Need Amazing Parents] that analyzes foster parent recruitment and retention in 42 states according to 6 drivers of effectiveness: child-centered, data-driven, leadership, collaboration and transparency, youth and parent voice, and sustainability.
  • 20.07.58 / "Care homes: No place like home." Economist, July 25th-31st, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Discusses different models countries are exploring to improve nursing home care or help the elderly age at home.
  • 20.07.59 / "A new era of economics: Starting over again." Economist, July 25th-31st, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Reviews the three eras of macroeconomics. Explains how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the economic paradigm.
  • 20.07.60 / "Sales tax holidays: Politically expedient but poor tax policy (2020)." By Janelle Cammenga. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), July 2020, pp. 1-18.
    Discusses the principles of sales taxation and the history of sales tax holidays. Provides details of 2020 sales tax holidays in sixteen states and a survey of state sales tax holidays from 1997 to present. Argues sales tax holidays do not promote economic growth, do not significantly increase consumer purchases, and cause tax complexity and instability.
  • 20.07.61 / "Why we should double the Pell Grant." By Shelbe Klebs. Memo (Third Way), July 20, 2020, pp. 1-11.
    Provides a brief overview of the Pell Grant and the long-term benefits that expanding the program could have for students and taxpayers. Points out several options on how Congress could double the Pell Grant.
  • 20.07.62 / "How COVID-19 will change the way we fight wildfires." By Jeanne Dorin McDowell. Smithsonian Magazine, July 7, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Discusses the management of the first major wildfire since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Considers the challenges of fighting fires during a pandemic. Refers to the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group's Wildland Fire Response Plans [WFRPs].
  • 20.07.63 / "States use COVID-19 relief dollars to hold down business taxes." By Sophie Quinton. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), July 27, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Questions whether states should spend COVID-19 federal aid on their unemployment insurance trust funds to avoid business tax increases or on direct assistance to workers and local governments.

 

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, July 23

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

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

  • 20.07.41 / "College in the time of coronavirus: Challenges facing American higher education." By Andrew P. Kelly and Rooney Columbus. American Enterprise Institute, July 2020, pp. 1-32 (Note Length).
    Discusses challenges institutions of higher education may face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including student retention during remote learning, enrollments for incoming students, revenues from auxiliary enterprises, the costs and logistics of public health responses, and adjusting operations to plan for a resurgence. Examines the potential for lasting changes to revenue streams, the number and size of traditional colleges, student preferences, the ubiquity of remote learning, and university operations.
  • 20.07.42 / "States that have expanded Medicaid are better positioned to address COVID-19 and recession." By Jesse Cross-Call and Matt Broaddus. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, July 15, 2020, pp. 1-18.
    Examines how Medicaid expansion has benefited 35 states and the District of Columbia in their responses to the COVID-19 public health emergency and related economic downturn by improving health coverage, access to health care, financial security, and health outcomes. Includes Texas state data projections for uninsured people who would gain Medicaid eligibility under expansion, including the disabled, parents, and those working in an essential or front-line industry.
  • 20.07.43 / "North Texas PPP loans by zip code." By Rebecca Ayers. Dallas Business Journal, July 17, 2020, pp. 8-10.
    Points out the areas of Dallas-Fort Worth — and the industries — that benefited the most from the United States Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program [PPP] loans.
  • 20.07.44 / "COVID-19 and schools: Let them learn." Economist, July 18th-24th, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Argues that keeping schools closed will do more harm than good — that the benefits of reopening schools usually outweigh the costs. Points out how schools that have restarted in-person classes have minimized the health risks.
  • 20.07.45 / "Assessing the state of police reform." By Kenny Lo. Fact Sheet (Center for American Progress), July 16, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Highlights how state and local governments have taken action in response to recent calls for police reform, including efforts to increase police transparency and accountability, overhaul harmful police policies and practices, and prioritize community-based solutions to public safety.
  • 20.07.46 / "State forecasts indicate $121 billion 2-year tax revenue losses compared to FY 2019." By Jared Walczak. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), July 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Finds an estimated $121 billion decline in state tax collections in fiscal years 2020 and 2021, and discusses the general scope of revenue losses across the states.
  • 20.07.47 / "How to define a plague." By Sonia Shah. Nation, July 27/August 3, 2020, pp. 12-15.
    Examines the principles of germ theory and how infectious diseases and pathogens are characterized, from cholera and Spanish flu to Ebola and HIV. Discusses the implications for disease preparedness and response.
  • 20.07.48 / "How states are ramping up their COVID-19 contact tracing capacity." By Megan Lent, Elinor Higgins, and Jill Rosenthal. National Academy for State Health Policy, June 8, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Highlights state approaches to contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic, including keeping contact tracing in-house by increasing health department staff, partnering with third-parties, and contracting completely with third-parties. Includes discussion of how states are funding contact tracing and a link to an interactive map highlighting each state's model, approach, workforce and training, technology, and funding.
  • 20.07.49 / "Which taxes pay for which state and local employees?" By Stan Veuger and Daniel Shoag. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), July 1, 2020, pp. 1-13.
    Illustrates how funding for four large categories of state and local government employees varies from state to state. Explains that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on state and local government functions will vary widely based on the organization of the states’ revenue structures.
  • 20.07.50 / "Promising approaches to workforce development in Texas." By David Bass and Erin Davis Valdez. Policy Brief (Texas Public Policy Foundation), July 2020, pp. 1-20.
    Explores the current landscape of workforce development and welfare-to-work programs aimed at helping the disadvantaged find employment. Profiles examples of private welfare-to-work programs that demonstrate promising approaches to helping welfare-dependent Texans and those in poverty.
  • 20.07.51 / "When should force be used to protect public health?" By Jacob Sullum. Reason, July 2020, pp. 18-22.
    Explores the government's role in protecting citizens from communicable diseases, including previous judicial interpretations. Compares the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policies on vaping with the efforts to control COVID-19. Argues that limited testing and other uncertainties about COVID-19 did not provide the government with sufficient information to make valid decisions on lockdowns and other policies.
  • 20.07.52 / "Driven by debt: Houston." Texas Appleseed, July 2020, pp. 1-16.
    Discusses the debt implications of the nearly 550,000 holds placed on driver's licenses in Houston courts due to traffic tickets and misdemeanor fines. Advocates removing this barrier to employment, particularly during the unemployment and economic crisis caused by COVID-19.
  • 20.07.53 / "Telehealth could be great, if Texans had access to it." By Isabela Dias. Texas Observer, July 16, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Examines why so many Texans do not have access to telehealth services. Address the lack of broadband infrastructure in Texas and the legal barriers preventing local governments from offering broadband services to residents.

 

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, July 16

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

  • Review statistics related to contact sports-related traumatic brain injuries in children. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 10, 2020)
  • Explore how addiction maintenance could stem the negative consequences of America's opioid epidemic. (Cato Institute, June 29, 2020)
  • Read about slowing the spread of COVID-19 infections. (Human Events, July 14, 2020)
  • Consider public views about social distancing and mask wearing. (Gallup, July 6, 2020)

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

  • 20.07.30 / "Failed reopenings highlight urgent need to build on federal fiscal support for households and states." By Chye-Ching Huang and Chuck Marr. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, July 9, 2020, pp. 1-20.
    Discusses the recent COVID-19 resurgence in states that have reopened economic activity. Argues for additional federal aid to states, localities, households, and the economy, particularly after unemployment benefits in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security [CARES] Act expire. Mentions Texas.
  • 20.07.31 / "Juvenile detention: Fewer coming in or out as pandemic continues." By John Kelly. Chronicle of Social Change, July 9, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Examines recent trends in juvenile detention facilities, summarizing research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation from a survey of jurisdictions in 33 states. Finds a decline in juvenile offender populations in March and April 2020.
  • 20.07.32 / "Senate bill would send billions to states for child welfare services." Chronicle of Social Change, July 6, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Highlights the proposed Child Welfare Emergency Assistance Act to support state child welfare agencies ahead of coronavirus-related state budget cuts. Notes the bill would provide over $2 billion for kinship care and foster care support services and temporarily suspend the ban on federal funds for youth over age 21 in extended foster care.
  • 20.07.33 / "For foster kids, a step in the right direction." by Naomi Schaefer Riley. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), July 9, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Discusses a new executive order by President Donald Trump that requires more vigorous data collection for identifying families most likely to take in children in foster care.
  • 20.07.34 / "State tax changes effective July 1, 2020." By Katherine Loughead. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), July 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Summarizes state tax policy changes effective July 1 in the areas of sales and use taxes; cigarette, vapor, and marijuana taxes; transportation taxes and user fees; and miscellaneous excise taxes.
  • 20.07.35 / "Growing COVID-19 hotspots in the U.S. South and West will likely widen disparities for peoople of color." By Samantha Artiga, et al. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, July 10, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Highlights the recent increase in COVID-19 outbreaks in 23 states in the South and West and how this increase will exacerbate the effects of the disease for people of color. Points out nearly two-thirds of people of color and seven in ten Hispanic individuals in the United States live within these states.
  • 20.07.36 / "COVID-19 outbreak among college students after a spring break trip to Mexico — Austin, Texas, March 26-April 5, 2020." By Megan Lewis, et al. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), July 3, 2020, pp. 830-835.
    Examines the investigation and public health response related to an outbreak of COVID-19 among University of Texas at Austin students. Argues contact tracing and the coordinated effort between the University and Austin Public Health contributed to controlling the outbreak.
  • 20.07.37 / "Budgets in a sorry state." By Bryce Covert. Nation, July 27/August 3, 2020, p. 5.
    Highlights the budget pressures on states as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect on the public sector, including fire departments, emergency services, and public schools. Notes estimates by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities show billions of dollars in shortfalls in state budgets in the next two fiscal years.
  • 20.07.38 / "How working from home works out." By Nicholas Bloom. Policy Brief (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research), June 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Highlights several policy questions for public officials and business leaders to consider for crafting effective and equitable home-based workforce policies.
  • 20.07.39 / "Buddymandering." By Walter Olson. Reason, July 2020, pp. 30-35.
    Examines efforts to reform redistricting laws in the United States that have resulted in partisan gerrymandering. Discusses components of good redistricting practices in terms of compactness, congruence, practical contiguity, and intelligibility. Proposes Congress could require a legal compactness standard that would control the most egregiously gerrymandered districts.
  • 20.07.40 / "Disaster relief for small businesses is a disaster all its own." By Veronique de Rugy. Reason, July 2020, pp. 43-47.
    Criticizes the Small Business Administration [SBA] for failing to meet its mandate to promote economic recovery for small businesses during crises, such as recent hurricanes or the COVID-19 pandemic. Provides concrete examples of inefficient procedures and poor outcomes that prevent businesses from receiving timely aid. Argues the SBA should be abolished.

 

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.

 

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