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Current Articles & Research Resources, October 15

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

  • Find out what heavy metals and "forever" chemicals might be in bottled water, by brand. (Consumer Reports, September 24, 2020)
  • Review a report card of governors' fiscal policies. (Cato Institute, October 5, 2020)
  • Explore a new online collection of ratified Indian Treaties from the National Archives. (National Archives and Records Administration, October 13, 2020)
  • Read about why the U.S. Supreme Court has nine justices. (History.com, September 24, 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, October 8

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

  • Read about the current recession's impact on American workers. (Economic Policy Institute, September 25, 2020)
  • Review the ways COVID-19 spreads. (Centers for Disesase Control and Prevention, updated October 5, 2020)
  • Consider how the totality of the circumstances in police shootings affect the outcomes. (Human Events, accessed September 25, 2020)
  • Read about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett's past jurisprudence. (Congressional Research Service, October 6, 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, October 1

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

  • Explore how the electoral college process will progress for the 2020 presidential election. (Congressional Research Service, September 3, 2020)
  • Read about older women's retirement security. (U.S. Governmental Accountability Office, September 24, 2020)
  • Check park status before visiting one of Texas' state parks. (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, accessed September 30, 2020)
  • Learn about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 for agricultural producers. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, September 17, 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 24

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

  • Read about the role of the President and the Senate Judiciary Committee in the appointment process of a U.S. Supreme Court justice. (Congressional Research Service, updated September 21 & 22, 2020)
  • Review the latest version of the Texas Legislative Council's Drafting Manual. (Texas Legislative Council, September 2020)
  • Register to vote before the October 5 voter registration deadline. (Texas Secretary of State, September 22, 2020)
  • Find information about the flu vaccine and vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, updated September 21, 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 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.

 

Contact Tracing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes contact tracing as "an effective disease control strategy that involves identifying cases and their contacts then working with them to interrupt disease transmission." In the public health world, contact tracing has long been used in response to infectious diseases. Currently the strategy includes interviewing affected individuals, monitoring cases, providing instructions on isolation and quarantine, and assisting in crisis management. Below are background resources on the principles and concepts involved in contact tracing and state implementation of contact tracing programs.

 

Tile image, "Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2," by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped and resized from original.

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.

 

REPOST: Hurricane Season 2020

Hurricane Harvey on the verge of making landfall on the Texas coast on August 25, 2017, (flickr.com/photos/noaasatellites/36816394625: accessed July 16, 2020), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, crediting Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA).

Below is a repost of the Hurricane Season 2020 blog post originally posted on August 6, 2020. We've added the latest Hurricane Laura disaster proclamations to our Texas Governors database.
 

 

Hurricane season for the Atlantic basin, which includes the Gulf of Mexico, runs from July 1st through November 31st each year.  Preparing for the 2020 hurricane season may require additional planning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Below we've listed state and federal resources related to hurricane preparedness, emergency planning and management, and disaster assistance. Several include information that addresses the additional challenges to emergency management created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please use the contact information on the respective organizations' websites for any questions specific to their purposes.

 

Looking for historical gubernatorial disaster declarations or legislative reports? Our Texas Governors database includes past gubernatorial proclamations, including disaster declarations related to hurricanes. The database contains a link to the popular search Disaster declarations and related materials, 2001-present. Our Legislative reports database also contains committee reports related to tropical storms, Hurricane Harvey, and emergency management

 

Texas Resources

 

Office of the Texas Governor

  • Texas Hurricane Center
    Provides guidance and resources on how to prepare for a hurricane. Updated to include timely information related to evacuations and open emergency shelters.

Public Utility Commission of Texas

  • Storm Resources
    Provides information on road closures, utility contacts, and an electic outage map.

  • Texas Emergency Portal
    Provides access to critical information during emergencies. Includes information related to the hurricane season: preparing for a storm, evacuating to safety, accessing government resources, dealing with emergencies, and avoiding scams and frauds.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

  • Hurricanes
    Lists links to resources related to hurricane preparation as well as recovery after a disaster, including animal issues.

Texas Department of Insurance

  • Disasters: How to Prepare and Recover
    Includes links to resources related to home, property, and auto insurance coverage for disasters, including reviewing policies and filling claims.

Texas Department of Transportation

  • Hurricane Information
    Includes maps of evacuation routes from the Texas coast and a link to guides for traveling major highways in the region during an evacuation.

Texas Division of Emergency Management

  • Local Emergency Management Planning Guide, January 2008
    Provides recommendations to local officials on how to prepare and keep current a local or inter-jurisdictional emergency management plan. Outlines local, state, and federal government emergency management responsibilities.
     
  • State of Texas Emergency Management Plan
    Includes links to the basic emergency management plan for the state and plans for more in-depth emergency support functions.

 

Federal and National Resources

 

American Flood Coalition

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States Department of Health and Human Services

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), United States Department of Homeland Security

  • DisasterAssistance.gov
    Allows users to find and apply for disaster assistance. Includes an interactive map of current federally-declared disasters.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States Department of Commerce

  • National Hurricane Center
    Provides up-to-date forecasts and warnings of hazardous tropical weather, including tropical storms and hurricanes.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), United States Department of Labor

  • Hurricane Preparedness and Response
    Documents employer responsibilities and workers' rights associated with response and recovery operations after a hurricane. Includes links to fact sheets for related worker safety and health resources.

 

Information on this page is provided as a public service by the Legislative Reference Library. The Legislative Reference Library makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy and makes no warranty in regard to its use. Users assume all risk of reliance on the information included on this site.

 

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