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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.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, July 9

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

  • Review which activities pose more or less risk of contracting COVID-19. (Texas Medical Association, updated July 8, 2020)
  • Explore resources related to mental health and accessing mental health services. (Texas Health and Human Services, accessed July 8, 2020)
  • Read about how genes influence the human body's responses to physical activity. (National Institutes of Health, July 2020)
  • Examine the recently adjusted economic outlook for 2020-2030. (Congressional Budget Office, July 2, 2020)

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

  • 20.07.12 / "The value of Medicaid managed care: States transition to managed care." America's Health Insurance Plans, June 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Discusses the growth of managed care, or capitated arrangements, within state Medicaid programs between federal fiscal years 2010 and 2018. Compares the percent spent on capitation payments, fee-for-services expenditures, and special payments during 2010 and 2018 by state. Considers briefly COVID-19's impact on Medicaid managed care.
  • 20.07.13 / "What's actually in the Trump executive order on child welfare." By John Kelly. Chronicle of Social Change, June 24, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Presents an overview of the issues addressed in President Donald Trump's executive order of June 24, 2020, on the child welfare system, including kinship care, aging out of foster care, quality legal representation, data on foster families, reasonable efforts reviews, and risk assessment.
  • 20.07.14 / "It's messing with Texas." Economist, July 4th-10th, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Discusses Governor Greg Abbott's balancing act in managing the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 20.07.15 / "Property in America: The house wins." Economist, July 4th-10th, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Explains why the American housing market is not experiencing the usual declines seen during recessions. Notes the rate of foreclosures looks unlikely to reach the heights hit during the 2007-2009 recession.
  • 20.07.16 / "50-state comparison: 529 education savings plans." By Adrienne Fischer, et al. Education Commission of the States, June 15, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Compares states' policies and activities related to 529 education savings plans with a focus on contributions, withdrawals, and eligible expenses. Includes individual Texas state profile.
  • 20.07.17 / "Toward reopening: What will school look like this fall?" By Christopher Cleveland. Education Next, June 29, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Highlights guidance plans for reopening schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic in Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington. Focuses on a variety of areas including class size and school scheduling, finance, health screenings and masks, priority populations for in-person instruction, technology, and transportation.
  • 20.07.18 / "Finding policy responses to rising intimate partner violence during the coronavirus outbreak." By Amrutha Ramaswamy, Usha Ranji, and Alina Salganicoff. Issue Brief (Kaiser Family Foundation), June 11, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Highlights policies and programs that consider the needs of intimate partner violence [IPV] survivors and support organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security [CARES] Act, the Heroes Act, telehealth care, and employer-based paid safe leave.
  • 20.07.19 / "America's children: Responding to the crisis now with the future in mind." By Quianta Moore and Christopher Greeley. Issue Brief (Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy), June 30, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Offers recommendations for policies and practices that would bolster family well-being during stable economic and societal times. Suggests the incorporation of a disaster-readiness plan to mitigate potential harm to families, including the negative impact on child brain development and parental stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 20.07.20 / "After COVID-19: Thinking differently about running the health care system." By Stuart M. Butler. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), June 23/30, 2020, pp. 2450-2451.
    Highlights several strategies that should continue to be employed in running the health care system after the COVID-19 pandemic, including using waivers to boost federalism, reconsidering the role of hospitals and other institutions as hubs for care, expanding the use of telehealth, and bringing together funds from multiple programs to improve the delivery of health care and health-related services.
  • 20.07.21 / "The path to better policing." By Robert VerBruggen. National Review, July 6, 2020, pp. 15-17.
    Explores specific reforms at the federal, state, and local levels that could improve policing. Highlights more effective crime-fighting strategies that could lead to improved safety in communities. Suggests supporting, but also holding accountable, all police officers.
  • 20.07.22 / "The politicization of disaster relief." By Steven Horwitz and E. Frank Stephenson. Regulation (CATO Institute), Summer 2020, pp. 4-5.
    Provides a brief overview of research that finds political considerations influence the allocation of aid during crises.
  • 20.07.23 / "The highs and lows of Texas taxes." Research Report (Texas Taxpayers and Research Association), June 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Discusses the difference in individual and business tax burdens in Texas.
  • 20.07.24 / "Weathering the storm: Code, compliance, cost." By Kristin Allman. Texas Builder, July/August 2020, pp. 12-16.
    Examines the effectiveness of building codes in protecting homes from hurricane-strength winds and extreme flooding in Hurricanes Rita, Ike, and Harvey. Chronicles the history and enforcement of the International Residential Code and International Building Code in Texas.
  • 20.07.25 / "The tele-future is now." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, July 2020, pp. 15-19.
    Examines the use of telemedicine by Texas doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic, including transitioning to remote visits, positive patient outcomes, and issues with technology. Discusses the coverage parity for telemedicine achieved by SB1107, 85th Legislature, R.S., and the need to make payment parity permanent in the future.
  • 20.07.26 / "Why Texas still celebrates Confederate Heroes Day." By Emily McCullar. Texas Monthly, July 3, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Discusses the history of Confederate Heroes Day in Texas, its origins within the 63rd Regular Session (1973), and Representative Senfronia Thompson's efforts at the time to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday an honorary holiday (HB118, 63rd Legislature, R.S.). Highlights Representative Jarvis Johnson's recent attempt to remove the holiday from the state calendar (HB1183, 86th Legislature). Mentions Representative James White and Representative Donna Howard.
  • 20.07.27 / "How Texas lawmakers and industry and weakened citizens' rights to fight pollution." By Christopher Collins. Texas Observer, July 2, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Details legislation that has changed the environmental permitting process in Texas in favor of industry by limiting public participation and opposition. Addresses legislation authored by Representative Geanie Morrison, Representative Kyle Kacal, and former Senator Craig Estes.
  • 20.07.28 / "Punished for being poor: The relationship between poverty and neglect in Texas." By Nikki Pressley. Texas Public Policy Foundation, June 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Examines poverty and neglect in Texas families that interact with the child welfare system. Finds 75 percent of children entering the system are victims of neglect only. Argues the statutory definition of neglect should be narrowed and families experiencing poverty should be connected with community-based services rather than be punished for economic hardship.
  • 20.07.29 / "New report confirms babies of color face severe inequities even before birth." ZERO TO THREE, June 11, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Highlights State of Babies Yearbook: 2020, a new ZERO TO THREE report with state-by-state data and rankings on the health and well-being of America's babies, and the related brief, Maternal and Child Health Inequities Emerge Before Birth. The State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 includes a Texas state profile measuring progress on indicators of good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences for children ages zero to three.

 

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 2

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

  • Track reopening strategies by state. (National Governors Association, accessed July 1, 2020)
  • Review an annual survey of hospitals in the United States. (American Hospital Association, updated March 2020)
  • Explore recent data and statistics related to diabetes. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)
  • Consider national and global efforts to prevent human trafficking. (U.S. Department of State, June 2020)

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

  • 20.07.01 / "Medicaid financing: Dangers of block grants and per capita caps." By Suzanne Wikle. Center for Law and Social Policy, June 2020, pp. 1-11.
    Discusses guidance issued by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS] in January 2020 encouraging states to apply for waiver authority to implement per capita caps and block grants in Medicaid. Outlines five concerns with these potential changes to the Medicaid financing structure. Mentions Texas.
  • 20.07.02 / "State borrowing no substitute for additional direct aid to help states weather COVID downturn." By Michael Mazerov and Elizabeth McNicol. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, June 29, 2020, pp. 1-12.
    Describes why significant borrowing on the part of states, beyond short-term loans to help with cash flow, is not a viable or legally permissible strategy to close states' deep budget gaps stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses the potential implications of state borrowing on Medicaid, K-12 education, higher education, infrastructure, and unemployment insurance.
  • 20.07.03 / "Drug testing the whole family: Abilene's wide net yields record-high foster care removals." By Roxanna Asgarian. Chronicle of Social Change, June 21, 2020, p. 1.
    Examines the increased role of drug testing in foster care cases in Taylor County, Texas. Quotes Representative James Frank.
  • 20.07.04 / "7 issues facing K-12 budgets as COVID-shocked legislatures reconvene." By Daarel Burnette II. Education Week, June 10, 2020, p. 9.
    Discusses the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on school finance. Explains that state legislatures will have to address these issues in upcoming legislative sessions.
  • 20.07.05 / "The world economy needs a stimulus." By Alexander Main, Didier Jacobs, and Mark Weisbrot. Issue Brief (Center for Ecomomic and Policy Research), June 2020, pp. 1-16.
    Explains how international reserve assets known as Special Drawing Rights [SDRs] work and their potential role in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and stabilizing the world economy. Looks at the benefits of SDRs for the United States and addresses counter-arguments.
  • 20.07.06 / "A majority of workers are fearful of coronavirus infections at work, especially Black, Hispanic, and low- and middle-income workers." By Peter Dorman and Lawrence Mishel. Policy Report (Economic Policy Institute), June 16, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Reports that vulnerable workers are not receiving extra compensation or safety protections proportionate to the risks they are being exposed to at their workplaces.
  • 20.07.07 / "The power of a clean slate." By J.J. Prescott and Sonja B. Starr. Regulation (CATO Institute), Summer 2020, pp. 28-34.
    Examines how expungement works for those who are eligible and the relationship between expungement and important outcomes such as recidivism risk and employment success. Summarizes a recent article by the authors studying expungement in Michigan.
  • 20.07.08 / "COVID-19 adds a new snag to the 2020 Census count of Native Americans." By Colleen Connolly. Smithsonian Magazine, June 23, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Provides a brief history of how Native Americans have been undercounted since the first United States census of 1790. Points out that COVID-19 may contribute to or exacerbate an undercount of Native Americans for the 2020 Census.
  • 20.07.09 / "Community health centers excluded from federal coronavirus aid." By Michael Ollove. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), June 22, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Reports federal funding rules exclude community health centers from receiving coronavirus-related aid even though one in five Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured individuals receive care at community health centers.
  • 20.07.10 / "COVID-19 lawsuit immunity: When nobody is accountable, nobody is safe." By Quentin Brogdon. Texas Lawyer, June 25, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Explains why Texas should not join the states that have granted COVID-19 liability protections to businesses, corporations, health care providers, and nursing homes.
  • 20.07.11 / "What police spending data can (and cannot) explain amid calls to defund the police." By Richard C. Auxier. Urban Wire, June 9, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Estimates state and local government spending on police in 2017, the latest year for which comprehensive data were available.

 

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, June 25

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

  • Search recent law enforcement legislation across all 50 states. (National Conference of State Legislatures, June 23, 2020)
  • Read about how the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act could affect poverty levels. (Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, June 21, 2020)
  • Review statistics on heat-related deaths in the United States. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 19, 2020)
  • Explore law enforcement identification issues and federal legislation. (Congressional Research Service, June 23, 2020)

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

  • 20.06.48 / "Extended: A review of the current and proposed duration of 'pandemic' unemployment benefits." By Matt Weidinger. American Enterprise Institute, June 2020, pp. 1-23.
    Compares prior federal emergency unemployment benefit programs — programs that extend unemployment insurance [UI] benefits to individuals who have exhausted state benefits. Discusses the extraordinary extended benefits paid during the Great Recession, current law in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and major proposals to extend and expand these benefits.
  • 20.06.49 / "The case for boosting SNAP benefits in next major economic response package." By Dorothy Rosenbaum, Stacy Dean, and Zoë Neuberger. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Updated May 22, 2020, pp. 1-19.
    Discusses the benefits of using increases to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP] as an economic stimulus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes 50-state tables of the estimated increase by state in total SNAP benefits in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 from a 15 percent increase in maximum SNAP benefits, as well as the average monthly SNAP payment.
  • 20.06.50 / "As lockdown lingers, a rural reckoning with domestic violence." By Moira Donovan and Sara Miller Llana. Christian Science Monitor, June 15, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Explores the increased risks of domestic violence that rural communities face because of isolation and a lack of resources. Looks at Texas and Canada as examples and notes the risks are magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Explains new resources such as improved telehealth may offer long-term solutions.
  • 20.06.51 / "Shaky COVID response lays bare a decadeslong crisis in government." By Linda Feldmann. Christian Science Monitor, June 15, 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Examines how the COVID-19 emergency has exposed the shortcomings in America's current, highly-politicized, complex, and decentralized system of government that encourages short-term thinking and "dysfunction in budget-setting." Suggests this is an opportunity to consider reforming government to better meet public needs.
  • 20.06.52 / "Texas failing to keep youth in foster care safe." By Roxanna Asgarian. Chronicle of Social Change, June 16, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Discusses the June 16 report of the special monitors evaluating Texas' foster care system. Notes the report's finding that eleven children died in the care of the state between July 31, 2019 and April 30, 2020.
  • 20.06.53 / "The California business exodus: COVID-19 could accelerate relocations to DFW." By Mark Calvey. Dallas Business Journal, June 19, 2020, pp. 10-11.
    Points out California companies that are considering corporate relocation due in part to the pandemic's economic impact and to expensive state government mandates. Includes a sidebar on California legislation related to a rent moratorium for small businesses.
  • 20.06.54 / "This entrepreneur wants to change the way we handle traffic stops." By Brian Womack. Dallas Business Journal, June 16, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Discusses the development of a smartphone application that modernizes the traffic stop process and is designed to prevent confrontational interactions between drivers and police.
  • 20.06.55 / "The pandemic and state finances: The state budget train-crash." Economist, June 20th-26th, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Reports the collapse of state tax revenues and state rules mandating balanced budgets will result in big spending cuts to public services in the midst of a pandemic and a recession.
  • 20.06.56 / "Death by lethal instruction." By Drew M. Padley. Houston Law Review, Spring 2020, pp. 1101-1133 (Note Length).
    Examines jury instructions in capital sentencing trials, including the history of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 37.071, issues with the 12-10 rule and the gag rule, and the effect on verdicts in Texas death penalty cases. Discusses recent attempts at legislative reform and the unlikeliness of a judicial solution. Mentions Representative Abel Herrero, Representative Joe Moody, Representative Armando Walle, and Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.
  • 20.06.57 / "Austerity, subsistence, or investment: Will Congress and the president choose to bail out our children's future?" By Frank Adamson, Allison Brown, and Kevin G. Welner. National Education Policy Center, June 4, 2020, pp. 1-16.
    Argues policymakers should resist austerity and subsistence measures during the current economic crisis driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and instead provide stimulus investment in public schools.
  • 20.06.58 / "What the masks mean." By Michael Brendan Dougherty. National Review, June 22, 2020, pp. 18-19.
    Considers the various views on mask-wearing brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses the daigou shoppers [surrogate shopping] phenomenon, which exhausted the mask supply early in the pandemic. Scrutinizes the role mask-shaming plays in our current American society.
  • 20.06.59 / "The once and future grid: Investing in the smart grid." By Zolaikha Strong. Public Utilities Fortnightly, June 1, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Argues for the continuing need to invest in the electric grid. Provides several reasons explaining why this is important, including protecting employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 20.06.60 / "Do charter schools harm traditional public schools? Years of test-score data suggest they don't." By Marcus A. Winters. Report (Manhattan Institute), June 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Examines whether competition from charter schools leads to lower student outcomes within traditional public schools.
  • 20.06.61 / "Nearly half of coronavirus spread may be traced to people without any symptoms." By Alice Park. Time, June 5, 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Details results from a study conducted by Scripps Translational Science Institute on the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19. Includes discussion of widespread testing, face masks, and findings that some asymptomatic people are presenting lung damage typical of the coronavirus infection.

 

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, June 18

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

  • Read about redistricting systems by state. (National Conference of State Legislatures, June 2, 2020)
  • Explore ways to disinfect surfaces and trim in your car without causing damage. (Consumer Reports, March 14, 2020)
  • Consider how the COVID-19 pandemic will drive more consumers to Medicaid. (Stateline, June 16, 2020)
  • Review Governor Abbott's extension of emergency SNAP benefits through June. (Office of the Texas Governor, June 4, 2020)

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

  • 20.06.36 / "Fairness, transparency, and accountability: Where are they in the Texas oil and gas condemnation process?" By Jackson R. Willingham. Baylor Law Review, Winter 2020, pp. 212-232.
    Discusses the ability of private oil and gas companies to acquire eminent domain authority and the condemnation process. Illustrates the imbalance of negotiating power between landowners and pipeline companies and the inadequacy of judicial remedies. Offers solutions to increase fairness, transparency, and accountability within the process.
  • 20.06.37 / "Aggressive state outreach can help reach the 12 million non-filers eligible for stimulus payments." By Chuck Marr, et al. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Updated June 16, 2020, pp. 1-20.
    Argues that governors and state health and human services agencies, through the administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP] and Medicaid programs, are uniquely positioned to reach 12 million Americans eligible for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security [CARES] Act stimulus payment, which must be claimed by October 15. Estimates Texas has 685,000 total individuals missed by automatic stimulus payments who receive SNAP and/or Medicaid benefits.
  • 20.06.38 / "States are using the CARES Act to improve child care access during COVID-19." By Elizabeth Bedrick and Sarah Dally. Child Trends, June 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Illustrates how states are using emergency funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security [CARES] Act to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on child care providers. Highlights state strategies to improve child care affordability, increase salaries of child care workers, provide emergency child care to essential workers, and waive portions of child care tuition.
  • 20.06.39 / "The case for microbonds." By Gordon Feller. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), June 8, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Suggests the current urban-financing crisis spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic could make microbonds a serious alternative to traditional municipal bonds and another financing option for cities to achieve a sustainable fiscal recovery.
  • 20.06.40 / "The shifting ground." Economist, June 13th-19th, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Discusses the shift in law enforcement policies brought about by the death of George Floyd. Highlights police reforms suggested by Congress, cities, and states to make police officers more accountable.
  • 20.06.41 / "Long-run changes in underrepresentation after affirmative action bans in public universities." By Mark C. Long and Nicole A. Bateman. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, June 2020, pp. 188-207.
    Assesses the changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of universities in California, Florida, and Texas since race-based affirmative action was eliminated. Concludes the persistent decline in minority admittance and enrollment indicates that the alternative measures implemented by administrators and policymakers haven't successfully replaced affirmative action.
  • 20.06.42 / "A road map to recreational marijuana taxation." By Ulrik Boesen. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), June 2020, pp. 1-39 (Note Length).
    Provides background on the marijuana plant and the market for recreational marijuana, valued between $11 billion and $13.7 billion in 2019. Analyzes current marijuana excise tax structures in Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, and includes detailed tax design strategies for states.
  • 20.06.43 / "Trade policy under a Biden administration." By Simon Lester. Free Trade Bulletin (Cato Institute), June 9, 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Presents an overview of the trade issues Joe Biden would likely face if he wins the 2020 presidential election. Offers practical suggestions for developing a coherent trade policy that provides stability and certainty.
  • 20.06.44 / "Balancing rights in a new energy era: Will the mineral estate's dominance continue?" By Meredith A. Wegener. Houston Law Review, Spring 2020, pp. 1037-1082 (Note Length).
    Describes the dominant mineral estate doctrine, its protection of subsurface property rights to fuel oil and gas production, and how it has been modified through the accommodation doctrine. Examines the express and implied rights that the doctrine impacts, including surface property rights, wind and solar rights, and environmental rights. Discusses the future of the doctrine in light of the movement to rely less on fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy sources.
  • 20.06.45 / "Litigation challenging mandatory stay at home and other social distancing measures." By Laurie Sobel and MaryBeth Musumeci. Issue Brief (Kaiser Family Foundation), June 5, 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Highlights lawsuits challenging social distancing measures that have been adopted to limit the spread of COVID-19, including challenges to restrictions on peaceful assembly, travel, and religious services. Includes a map documenting the adoption of different social distancing measures by state.
  • 20.06.46 / "Sustaining rural hospitals after COVID-19: The case for global budgets." By Jonathan E. Fried, David T. Liebers, and Eric T. Roberts. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), June 10, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Argues global budgets may be an option for sustaining rural hospitals after the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses how Maryland and Pennsylvania operate under this model, and provides considerations for policymakers in its implementation.
  • 20.06.47 / "The difficult path to state bankruptcy." By Veronique de Rugy and Todd J. Zywicki. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), June 10, 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Highlights the conditions and reforms that should be achieved before expanding Chapter 9 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to state governments. Considers whether state bankruptcy presents a better alternative than state bailouts or debt repudiation.

 

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, June 11

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

  • Review safe practices for cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2020)
  • Read about the demographics of the U.S. Armed Forces veterans. (U.S. Census Bureau, June 2, 2020)
  • Get a current list of labs across the country that can test for lead in drinking water. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, March 2020)
  • Consider recent proposals in Congress related to police reform. (Congressional Research Service, June 9, 2020)

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

  • 20.06.16 / "How microbes write history." By Charles C. Mann. Atlantic Monthly, June 2020, pp. 14-17.
    Considers how the world is changed by disease outbreaks and pandemics, such as the long-term aftereffects on health and economics from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic or the bubonic plague of the 1300s. Revisits Hong Kong's collective community action in 2003 that halted the severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS] epidemic.
  • 20.06.17 / "Classrooms of the future arrive early." By Will Anderson. Austin Business Journal, June 5, 2020, pp. 4, 6, 8.
    Examines how COVID-19 has disrupted the traditional higher education model. Reports the future of higher education promises to be digital, decentralized, and more focused on preparing students to meet employers' needs.
  • 20.06.18 / "The impact of the COVID19 recession on the jobs and incomes of persons of color." By Jared Bernstein and Janelle Jones. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, June 2, 2020, pp. 1-20.
    Presents a historical analysis of economic wellbeing indicators in past downturns, including race and ethnicity, educational attainment, employment and unemployment rates, annual income and earnings, and labor market mobility. Forecasts the potential effects on African American and Hispanic employment and income in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 20.06.19 / "Despite furor, accountability lags for police. Here's why it might change." By Patrik Jonsson and Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, May 29, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Discusses police accountability for on-duty deaths, such as that of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Explains the difficulties of police officers' jobs and the public's expectation for them to be "hard on crime, but also respect everyone's rights."
  • 20.06.20 / "While child abuse call centers grew quiet, helpline requests surged." By Nadra Nittle and John Kelly. Chronicle of Social Change, May 27, 2020, pp. 1-9.
    Discusses the decline in calls to child abuse and neglect hotlines amid school closures and shelter-in-place orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notes hotline calls in Texas decreased by 25 percent in April 2020 when compared to the same month from the previous year, down to 23,000 calls.
  • 20.06.21 / "What can we learn from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19 for COVID-19?" By David C. Wheelock. Economic Synopses (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis), May 18, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Suggests the pandemics of the past can provide useful data points to help forecast how the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics are likely to play out.
  • 20.06.22 / "Texas telemedicine's COVID-19 response reveals health care's future." By Jackie Benton. Fiscal Notes, May 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Highlights the expansion of telemedicine, telehealth, and telemonitoring programs during the COVID-19 pandemic through an emergency rule adopted by the Texas Department of Insurance. Includes perspectives on telemedicine from Ascension Medical Group Texas and the Texas Hospital Association.
  • 20.06.23 / "Implications of Texas SB 1882 patchwork of partnerships." By Chloe Latham Sikes. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), May 2020, pp. 5-6, 8.
    Argues SB1882, 85th Legislature, R.S., invites privately-managed charter organizations to operate public schools and that new rules adopted by the Texas Education Agency grant these organizations even further control over public school campuses.
  • 20.06.24 / "Eligibility for affordable health insurance options for Texans following job loss due to COVID-19." By Shao-Chee Sim and Elena M. Marks. Issue Brief (Episcopal Health Foundation), May 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Estimates the percentage of Texans eligible for Medicaid or subsidized Affordable Care Act [ACA] Marketplace coverage now and in 2021 following job loss between March 1 and May 2, 2020. Finds the number of Texans falling into the coverage gap, those without access to affordable health care coverage, will grow by 50 percent over the year.
  • 20.06.25 / "How would low-income communities prioritize Medicaid spending?" By C. Daniel Myers, et al. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, June 2020, pp. 373-418 (Note Length).
    Studies the priorities for Medicaid spending by low-income, medically underserved communities. Finds participants in the study preferred broad eligibility consistent with Medicaid expansion and spending in historically underfunded areas. Argues the most affected communities should be involved in the policymaking process.
  • 20.06.26 / "How laid-off and furloughed employees can keep their health coverage." By David Kendall. Memo (Third Way), May 6, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Explains measures that Congress can take to ensure stability and security for individuals who have lost employer-provided health insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 20.06.27 / "Health care: 'A momenet of ethical reckoning'." By Zoë Carpenter. Nation, June 15/22, 2020, pp. 13-15, 19.
    Describes how COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of color, blue collar essential workers, and the poor, and discusses an underlying system of health care disparities.
  • 20.06.28 / "States of distress." By Ramesh Ponnuru. National Review, June 1, 2020, pp. 14-16.
    Explains the COVID-19 pandemic has renewed questions about federalism and the interaction of the federal government with states.
  • 20.06.29 / "The economic significance of the Permian Basin" By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 1-7.
    Highlights the importance of the Permian Basin's oil and gas production to the Texas and national economies.
  • 20.06.30 / "Advanced opportunities: How Idaho is reshaping high schools by empowering students." By Max Eden. Report (Manhattan Institute), May 26, 2020, pp. 1-16.
    Brings Idaho's Advanced Opportunities initiative to the attention of state policymakers in other states. Describes the program as a model to improve the quality of high school instruction, decrease the cost of college, and help students who are not college-bound graduate high school with a professional skill.
  • 20.06.31 / "So you got a PPP loan. Now what?" By Will Anderson. San Antonio Business Journal, May 19, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Highlights the importance of the Permian Basin's oil and gas production to the Texas and national economies.
  • 20.06.32 / "The timely return of the drive-in restaurant." By Laura Kiniry. Smithsonian Magazine, May 27, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Reports on the revival of drive-ins and carhop services as an option that some restaurants are turning to in order to stay open while complying with COVID-19-related mandates.
  • 20.06.33 / "Buying more time." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, June 2020, pp. 30-32.
    Highlights the recent decision by the Texas Comptroller to delay the tax on medical billing services until October 2021 so a legislative fix can be sought. Discusses the impact of the tax on smaller medical practices.
  • 20.06.34 / "Growing residents." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, June 2020, pp. 42-45.
    Describes the increase in medical school residency positions due to the new collaboration between Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Examines efforts by state lawmakers to reduce the physician shortage through requirements for new public medical schools, SB1066, 85th Legislature, R.S., and increased funding. Discusses the effect the COVID-19 pandemic could have on the progress made within graduate medical education [GME].
  • 20.06.35 / "'We don't exist': Texas domestic workers fight for inclusion in labor laws." By Acacia Coronado. Texas Observer, May 27, 2020, pp. 1-17.
    Addresses efforts to establish labor protections and health care benefits for domestic workers in Texas. Argues the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated a further need for more inclusive Texas labor laws.

 

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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