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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Texas Informational Resources

Seeking information on COVID-19 (coronavirus) and how it may affect different aspects of life in Texas? We've compiled this list of resources from various Texas leaders, agencies, and other organizations. Please use contact information on the respective organizations' websites for any questions specific to their purposes.

 

From Texas leadership:

Texas state agency resources:

From other Texas organizations:

And national organizations:

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 12

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

  • See which states are considering or have enacted legislation related to Daylight Saving Time. (National Conference of State Legislatures, March 4, 2020)
  • Review federal and state laws that may have an impact on workplace leave for individuals affected by the coronavirus. (Congressional Research Service, March 6, 2020)
  • Read about the 39-state investigation of Juul Labs. (Attorney General of Texas, February 25, 2020)
  • Note that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 6, 2020)

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

  • 20.03.17  /  "An introduction to police and fire pensions." By Jean-Pierre Aubry and Kevin Wandrei. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, February 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Compares the pension and retiree health benefits for police officers and firefighters with those of other local government employees. Finds police and fire retirement benefits are substantially more expensive due to earlier retirement ages, but still a very small share of total local government spending.
  • 20.03.18  /  "Unraveling the complexity of America's student debt." By Don Troop, Bennett Leckrone, and Danielle McLean. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 28, 2020, pp. A8-A11, A13.
    Considers the student loan debt problem in terms of which groups are most likely to default, finding it is not necessarily those with the largest debt. Includes profiles of five individuals with debts from $11,000 to $93,000.
  • 20.03.19  /  "Trump budget 2021: Family First enhancements, block grants, unaccompanied minors." By John Kelly. Chronicle of Social Change, February 20, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Analyzes President Trump's 2021 budget on child welfare programs, implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, block grants, and immigrant children. Includes Trump Budget 2021, a table of spending per program.
  • 20.03.20  /  "Privacy battles spread." By Copal Ratnam and Dean DeChiaro. CQ Weekly, February 10, 2020, pp. 28-30.
    Examines data-privacy legislation being addressed at the state level. Reports tech companies are shifting their focus to the states to shape data protection legislation because the federal legislation has stalled.
  • 20.03.21  /  "Is explosive growth in Frisco creating Orange County 2.0?" By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, February 28, 2020, pp. 10-12.
    Highlights the drivers and demographics of the explosive growth in Frisco and surrounding counties. Provides updates on high-profile projects underway in Frisco.
  • 20.03.22  /  "Covid-19 and market turmoil: Spread and stutter." Economist, February 29th-March 6th, 2020, pp. 55-56.
    Considers how the covid-19 virus will impact financial markets, specifically the market's volatility and corporate debt. Suggests interest-rate cuts can help to soothe credit markets, but cannot do much to remedy the disruption.
  • 20.03.23  /  "Young Texans: Demographic overview (Part one of a two-part series)." By Olga Garza, et al. Fiscal Notes, February 2020, pp. 6-10.
    Discusses demographic characteristics of young Texans and the primary drivers of under-eighteen population growth in the state.
  • 20.03.24  /  "The latest on homelessness." By Rick Mauch. Fort Worth Business Press, February 10-23, p. 26.
    Examines recent data trends relating to the homeless population in Fort Worth and the city's continuum of care service areas.
  • 20.03.25  /  "How the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board went rogue." By Jeremy Bagott. Houston Business Journal, February 20, 2020, p. 46.
    Questions the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board's practice of "incorporation by reference," which allows a nonprofit to draft and approve regulations that Texas real estate appraisers must follow.
  • 20.03.26  /  "Lights out in Mexico's upstream market?" By Miriam Grunstein. Issue Brief (Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy), February 27, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Tracks the change in direction of Mexico's energy policy under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and its effect on global investors.
  • 20.03.27  /  "Rebates — the little-known factor behind increasing drug list prices." By Rita Rubin. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), March 3, 2020, pp. 812-813.
    Details the drawbacks of the drug rebate model that currently underlies much of the pharmaceutical market.
  • 20.03.28  /  "Critical power: Supporting customers with medical needs." By Susan Partain. Public Power, January/February 2020, pp. 14-19.
    Highlights how several public power utilities have adapted for customers who depend on electricity for life support-related purposes.
  • 20.03.29  /  "Reaching for the cure." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, February 2020, pp. 38, 40.
    Observes that Texas' rules regarding Medicaid coverage for hepatitis C medications are among the nation's strictest. Notes that the 86th Legislature passed a budget measure and requested a feasibility study on new methods to make hepatitis C medications affordable for Medicaid patients.
  • 20.03.30  /  "Home front." By Joshua Roberson. Tierra Grande, January 2020, pp. 19-21.
    Examines how military communities influence the housing markets 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.

Updated Poets Laureate Exhibit

"WHEREAS, There is a close connection between the long growth of civilization and the development of literature; and WHEREAS, It has been customary in all ages for governments to recognize this relation by elevating the poet to the same plane as statesmen and military leaders; and WHEREAS, The recognition of outstanding poets in this State and their elevation to places of honor will have a wholesome and beneficial effect on literature in this State ... "

 

So was it resolved in SCR 82, 43R, that every two years, “some outstanding and recognized poet, who is a citizen of Texas” would be designated as state poet laureate.

 

In 2019, the 86th Legislature named Carrie Fountain (HR 903, SR 455) and Emmy Pérez (HR 897SR 456) as the latest poets laureate. Learn about them and other recently honored Texas poets laureate in our display on the north end of the library.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 5

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

  • Review election returns from the March 3 primaries. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed March 4, 2020)
  • Consider book censorship in U.S. prisons. (NPR, February 22, 2020)
  • Explore ways Southern states can look to the Netherlands for ideas to bolster resilience against recurrent floods. (Southern Legislative Conference, January 2020)
  • Read about rule changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. (AP News, March 4, 2020)

 

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

  • 20.03.01 / "Will the ERA cross the finish line?" By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo. Christian Science Monitor, February 24, 2020, p. 15.
    Discusses the legal situation regarding ratification by the 38th state of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) including the effect of final ratifications happening after a Congressional deadline. Considers whether the amendment is still needed and explains potential opposition to it.
  • 20.03.02 / "Students say Republicans have made it harder for them to vote in some states." By Danielle McLean. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 28, 2020, pp. 18-19.
    Examines how students at various college campuses believe they have been the victim of voter suppression attempts. Includes a discussion of Abilene Christian University students and the effect of a law passed by the Texas Legislature (HB1888, 86th Legislature) banning early voting locations that do not remain open through the entirety of early voting.
  • 20.03.03 / "Business and the next recession: Downturn, disrupted." Economist, February 22nd-28th, 2020, pp. 61-63.
    Reports the impact of the next recession will be affected by economic changes since the 2007 recession: the dominance of the digital world, the social context shift, and too much corporate debt.
  • 20.03.04 / "Church-run charter schools? Court arguments stir discussion." By Evie Blad. Education Week, February 12, 2020, pp. 6-7.
    Addresses the possibility of church-run charter schools presented during oral arguments for the United States Supreme Court case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue on January 29, 2020, a case that challenges the barring of public tax credits for religious schools.
  • 20.03.05 / "New funding for early education: New law increases funding for Texas' youngest students." By Peggy Fikac. Fiscal Notes, February 2020, pp. 1, 3-5.
    Highlights the state's new investment in early childhood education in HB3, 86th Legislature, through the $835 million Early Education Allotment. Looks at how the new funding will assist economically disadvantaged students and pre-Kindergarten in Texas.
  • 20.03.06 / "Health policy brief: Precarious work schedules and population health." By Kristen Harknett and Daniel Schneider. Internet Resource, February 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Asserts that unstable and unpredictable work schedules are correlated with poor health outcomes for adults, challenges with child care arrangements, and behavioral problems in young children. Notes that several cities and one state have passed laws to regulate scheduling practices.
  • 20.03.07 / "When state policy makes national politics: The case of 'Obamacare' marketplace implementation." By Samuel Trachtman. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, February 2020, pp. 111-141. (Note length)
    Examines how state-level implementation of the Affordable Care Act can affect the national-level political implications of the law. Concludes that state legislators often implement federal law in ways that benefit their political parties more than their constituents.
  • 20.03.08 / "Rural America doesn't have to starve to death." By Nick Shaxson. Nation, March 2/9, 2020, pp. 12-17.
    Contrasts increased farming wealth in United States agribusiness with a financial "hollowing" and increased poverty of small rural farming communities. Includes the economic impact of concentrated animal feeding operations [CAFOs], also known as factory farms.
  • 20.03.09 / "Beneficial electrification test to assess benefits and costs: To achieve widespread decarbonization." By M. Sami Khawaja, et al. Public Utilities Fortnightly, February 10, 2020, pp. 24-29, 51.
    Considers using a benefit cost analysis [BCA] framework to evaluate electrification investments.
  • 20.03.10 / "Massage parlor panic." By Elizabeth Nolan Brown. Reason, March 2020, pp. 17-24.
    Discusses the growing focus on human trafficking in terms of raids and stings directed at massage parlors. Argues little evidence of human trafficking has been found in these cases. Concludes these efforts become immigration stings that target Asian women, thereby doing more harm than help to these "victims."
  • 20.03.11 / "What's killing the monarchs?" By Gabriel Popkin. Scientific American, March 2020, pp. 17-24.
    Covers different theories about why the monarch butterfly population is declining and how scientists are trying to determine the cause or causes.
  • 20.03.12 / "Stop milking it, dairy farmers tell plant-based competitors." By Marsha Mercer. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), March 2, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Discusses the debate over labeling regulations for plant-based milk and food products. Points out states that have introduced milk labeling bills.
  • 20.03.13 / "Not seeing eye to eye." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, February 2020, pp. 25-27.
    Debates the legislative intent of the Texas Optometry Act (SB781, 61st Legislature, R.S.) regarding a Texas Optometry Board rule preventing physicians from employing optometrists while leasing their office space from an optician.
  • 20.03.14 / "Preserving 'do no harm'." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, February 2020, pp. 22-23.
    Summarizes the judicial history of Kelly v. Houston Methodist Hospital, which is attempting to overturn a provision of the Texas Advance Directives Act (SB1260, 76th Legislature).
  • 20.03.15 / "The changing landscape of the Texas Citizens Participation Act." By Laura Lee Prather and Robert T. Sherwin. Texas Tech Law Review, Winter 2020, pp. 163-198. (Note length)
    Discusses how HB2730, 86th Legislature, amended the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), which allows defendants the ability to file a motion to dismiss a legal action, including a SLAPP [Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation] suit, if it is based on the right of free speech, right to petition, or right of association. Examines how these changes will affect pending issues within Texas courts of appeals, including awarding sanctions and the TCPA's applicability to trade secret cases, attorney discipline cases, and employment disputes. Identifies remaining open questions related to pre-suit requests for discovery and the new definitions of "matter of public concern" and "right of association."
  • 20.03.16 / "Battle for the ballot." By Vera Bergengruen. Time, March 2/9, 2020, p. 76.
    Reports that this year, 29 states have introduced legislation that will expand voting rights while 15 states have filed bills making it harder to vote. Includes discussion of voter registration 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.

 

Interim Hearings – Week of March 9

Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.

 

For recent posts on Interim Hearings, see Interim Hearing Resources on the LRL homepage. The "Recent Entries" list on the left provides quick access to interim hearings posts from previous weeks.

 

 

March 9

Charge: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

  • HB 1442, which is the sunset bill for the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC). The legislation contains provisions relating to the regulation of online lenders. Monitor the OCCC's rules regulating the online lending industry.

  • HB 2945, which relates to consumer protection against credit card skimmers. Monitor the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) rules, polices, and procedures regulating the payment terminals on motor fuel dispensers and credit card skimmer violations. Examine the process by which the OAG creates, manages, and utilizes the payment fraud fusion center.
  • SB 322, which relates to the evaluation and reporting of investment practices and performances of certain public retirement systems. Examine the process by which state agencies and public retirement systems collaborate on, plan, and implement the structure necessary to perform these evaluations.
  • SB 2224, which relates to requiring a public retirement system to adopt a written funding policy. Examine the process by which state agencies and public retirement systems collaborate on, plan, and implement the structure necessary to create sound and practical funding policies.

Charge: Study pension plan and personal retirement savings options for small businesses in order to be competitive with state and larger employers.

Invited testimony related to Teacher Retirement System lease for investment management division employees.

 

March 10

House Committee on Public Health

Topic: State's preparedness on the coronavirus

 

Senate Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention & Community Safety CANCELED

Charge:  Examine ways to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who would not pass a federal background check, while protecting the Second Amendment and Texans' right to bear arms. Examine whether stranger-to-stranger gun sales in Texas should be subject to background checks.

 

March 11

House Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention & Community Safety (Houston) CANCELED

(1) Examine options for strengthening enforcement measures for current laws that prevent the transfer of firearms to felons and other persons prohibited by current law from possessing firearms 

(2) Examine impediments and challenges to the timely reporting of relevant criminal history information and other threat indicators to state and federal databases 

(3) Examine the role of digital media and technology in threat detection, assessment, reporting, and prevention, including the collaboration between digital media and law enforcement 

(4) Evaluate the ongoing and long-term workforce needs of the state related to cybersecurity, mental health, law enforcement, and related professionals 

(5) Evaluate current protocols and extreme risk indicators used to identify potential threats and consider options for improving the dissemination of information between federal, state, and local entities and timely and appropriate intervention of mental health professionals 

 

 

Senate Committee on Education CANCELED

Charge: Adult Education: Identify and evaluate current innovative programs that assist non-traditional students (first-time adult learners, re-enrolling students, working adults, and educationally disadvantaged students) in completing a high school diploma, GED, post-secondary degree, or workforce credential, including a review of adult education charter schools and their performance framework. Make recommendations to help successful expansion with partnered business and education entities.

Charge: Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Education passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:

Notable Names in the Minutes: Texas Governors

A few months ago, we shared some notable names in the minutes—famous figures like Willie Nelson and Larry Hagman who have testified at legislative hearings. But sometimes the notable figures come from the executive branch of the Texas government:

  • Governor Ann Richards testified on March 3, 1991, before the House Insurance Committee in favor of an insurance bill (HB 2, 72R) that later passed. During a special session, she testified on July 16, 1991, before the Senate State Affairs Committee for a government reorganization bill (SB 7, 72nd 1st C.S.) that did not pass. Typescripts of her prepared testimonials are available for both bills—with a caveat noted on her testimony for SB 7 that "Governor Richards frequently deviates from prepared remarks."
  • Governor George W. Bush testified on the need for tort reform at the 74th Legislature's Senate Committee on Economic Development meeting on February 2, 1995. (Search within the document to find his name on witness lists for bills SB 25, SB 28, and SB 32, all of which passed.) We do not have his testimony transcripts.
  • Governor Rick Perry also "frequently departs from prepared remarks," according to the May 20, 2004, testimony published for his remarks to the House Select Committee on Public School Finance for the 78th Legislature.

Current Articles & Research Resources, February 27

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

  • Find out what you need to bring to the polls in order to vote. (Texas Secretary of State, February 24, 2020)
  • Track COVID-19 cases on a global scale. (Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, updated February 11, 2020)
  • Explore the Smithsonian's repository of 2-and 3-dimensional images released into the public domain. (Smithsonian Magazine, February 25, 2020)
  • Search the Purple Book, the FDA's database of FDA-approved biological products. (United States Food and Drug Administration, accessed February 26, 2020)

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

  • 20.02.36  /  "When Trump doesn't love you back." By Bryan Gruley and Joe Deaux. Bloomberg Businessweek, February 17, 2020, pp. 48-53.
    Profiles the effects the Trump administration's steel tariffs have had on JSW Steel USA Inc., in Baytown, Texas. Details how JSW Steel once backed the tariffs but is now suing the federal government.
  • 20.02.37  /  "By 2020, they said, 2 out of 3 jobs would need more than a high-school diploma. Were they right?" By Goldie Blumenstyk. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 21, 2020, p. A19.
    Reviews trends in the level of education achieved and requirements for certain jobs in terms of a 2013 prediction from Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce forecasting that 63 percent of all jobs would need some education beyond high school by 2020. Explains the prediction came true but that broad trends can be misleading.
  • 20.02.38  /  "The other war on [avian] migrants." Economist, February 22nd-28th, 2020, p. 34.
    Reports on a proposed regulation that would weaken the criminal scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act [MBTA] by ending the decades-old practice of penalizing the "incidental take" of protected birds. Notes the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal would clarify that the MBTA's criminal scope extends only to conduct that intentionally injures birds.
  • 20.02.39  /  "Peter Hotez, vaccine campaigner: Anger in a time of autism." Economist, February 22nd-28th, 2020, pp. 29-30.
    Describes efforts by the co-founder of the National School of Tropical Medicine (Baylor College of Medicine) in Houston to educate parents on vaccine safety and to counter the anti-vaccine movement.
  • 20.02.40  /  "How four communities are facing the future." By Benjamin Herold. Education Week, February 5, 2020, pp. 23-27.
    Compares the city of Austin's approach to providing K-12 workforce preparation with three very different local communities in Connecticut, Georgia, and Wyoming.
  • 20.02.41  /  "Ranks of homeless students surging." By Sarah D. Sparks. Education Week, February 12, 2020, pp. 1, 20-21.
    Discusses the effects of the record-high influx of homeless students on schools in the United States. Reports Texas schools have had over a 9.5 percent increase in enrolled homeless students since 2015. Mentions Bastrop, Texas.
  • 20.02.42  /  "Drug price moderation in Germany: Lessons for U.S. reform efforts." By James C. Robinson, Patricia Ex, and Dimitra Panteli. Internet Resource, January 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Outlines how Germany employs positive and negative incentives to encourage drugmakers to moderate drug prices, with minimal government intervention. Describes how the United States could apply similar principles to price-setting for drugs and other health care technologies.
  • 20.02.43  /  "The lost city of Montopolis." By Kevin D. Williamson. National Review, February 24, 2020, pp. 30-32.
    Highlights the homeless situation in Austin and Governor Abbott's response to it. Discusses the state-owned property being used as a temporary encampment. Considers factors leading to homelessness.
  • 20.02.44  /  "Bankruptcies increase." By Mikaila Adams. Oil and Gas Journal, February 3, 2020, p. 14.
    Reviews bankruptcies filed by North American oil and gas producers since 2015, including those in Texas. Refers to a report from Haynes and Boone.
  • 20.02.45  /  "The hidden toll of wildfire." By Kyle Dickman. Scientific American, March 2020, pp. 38-45.
    Discusses an aerial campaign led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration to study the chemical composition of wildfire smoke. Explains that the effects of wildfire smoke on human health are not yet well understood, but the campaign is collecting data to help determine this.
  • 20.02.46  /  "Texas landfills: The need for administrative reform of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's permitting process." By William Todd Keller. St. Mary's Law Journal, Vol. 51, No. 1, pp. 187-222 (Note Length).
    Provides a brief history of landfills and an overview of issues related to their construction, operation, and regulation. Points out potential regulatory and legislative suggestions to help reform the landfill permitting process.
  • 20.02.47  /  "DNA databases are boon to police but menace to privacy, critics say." By Lindsey Van Ness. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), February 20, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Reports several lawmakers around the country are filing legislation to stop or restrict police searches of genetic code databases, while others want to make it easier for police to use forensic genetic genealogy to catch criminals.
  • 20.02.48  /  "The next great Texas energy resource." By Matt Kapinos and Hayden Harms. Texas Lawyer, March 2020, pp. 40, 42.
    Explains why traditional energy companies are investing in renewable energy projects.
  • 20.02.49  /  "Lina Hidalgo's year of living dangerously." By Christopher Hooks. Texas Monthly, March 2020, pp. 56-66.
    Profiles Lina Hidalgo's first year serving as Harris County Judge on the Harris County Commissioners' Court, including the court's decision to settle a lawsuit over the county's bail system. Discusses the repercussions of electing a Democratic majority to the court in 2018 and how this change may epitomize the future of Texas politics. Describes the role of former state Senator Rodney Ellis, who currently serves as Harris County Precinct One Commissioner.

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.

New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: February 2020

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the titles from our February 2020 New & Noteworthy list

Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, contact the library at 512-463-1252, or use our PDF request form.

In honor of Black History Month, we are highlighting books by or about African Americans from our collection.

 

1. In This Land of Plenty: Mickey Leland and Africa in American Politics
By Benjamin Talton
Explores the life and career of Congressman and former Texas Representative George Thomas "Mickey" Leland. Notes the beginning of Leland's political career in the Texas Legislature and his advocacy for what he called the "People's Bills," before he went on to succeed Congresswoman Barbara Jordan in the U.S. House of Representatives. Focuses on Leland's leadership in bringing an African American perspective to U.S. politics, including his influence on developing foreign policy toward Africa, promoting humanitarianism, and eradicating world hunger.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019, 281 pages
328.73 T149L 2019


 

 

2. A Black Women's History of the United States
By Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross
Profiles Black women and their roles in shaping American culture, society, and politics since the 1600s, including histories of enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, politicians, educators, and activists. Highlights the stories of women within the context of broader historical events, such as exploration and contact in the New World, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the civil rights and Black Power movements.
Beacon Press, 2020, 298 pages
305.48 B459B 2020


 

 

3. Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter
By Charlton D. McIlwain
Chronicles African Americans' relationship with computing technology and the Internet. Examines not only how computing technology has been used to contain, profile, and detain Black Americans for decades, but how Black activists used and are using these computing tools and the Internet to build community and engage in a racial justice activism that has been proclaimed by many as the new civil rights movement.
Oxford University Press, 2020, 296 pages
302.23089 M188B 2020


 

 

4. African Americans in Central Texas History: From Slavery to Civil Rights
By Bruce A. Glasrud and Deborah M. Liles, editors
Presents a collection of essays documenting the experiences of African Americans in Central Texas from the time of slavery through the civil rights marches of the 1960s. Addresses Black Texans' struggle for freedom and racial equality along with the threats, violence, and systemic denials of justice they encountered. Details the life stories of selected enslaved people, soldiers, cattlemen, professionals, politicians, and activists.
Texas A&M University Press, 2019, 316 pages
323.1196 G463AM 2019


 

 

5. Fault Lines: Portraits of East Austin
By John Langmore, photographer, with Wilhelmina Delco, Michael King, and Johnny Limón
Presents a collection of photographs from 2006 to 2011 documenting East Austin through personal and family portraits, community activities, and cultural landmarks. Illustrates the dramatic changes in demographics, housing, and neighborhoods in East Austin, and fragmentation of African American and Latino families due to gentrification and rising housing costs. Includes an essay by former Representative Wilhelmina Delco, reflecting on the history and importance of the African American community in East Austin.
Maverick Books, 2019, 171 pages
976.431 L267F 2019


 

 

6. Illusions of Emancipation: The Pursuit of Freedom and Equality in the Twilight of Slavery
By Joseph P. Reidy
Asserts that emancipation was not a single event but rather a complex journey that fundamentally altered ideas about time, space, and home, for all of the peoples of the United States. Describes how the Civil War and Reconstruction generations viewed the drastic changes involved in dismantling slavery, emphasizing the testimonies of formerly enslaved people.
University of North Carolina Press, 2019, 506 pages
305.896 R27IL 2019


 

 

7. Black Texans: A History of African Americans in Texas, 1528-1995
By Alwyn Barr
Provides an overview of the African American experience in Texas, spanning from the 1528 appearance of the Spanish shipwreck slave, Estevan, through slavery, Reconstruction, and significant gains made in the twentieth century. Discusses each period in terms of political, economic, social, and legal status as well as explaining the violence that occurred at various times. Recommends extensive sources for deeper study.
University of Oklahoma Press, 1996, 294 pages
325.26 B27 1996


 

Past New & Noteworthy lists spotlighting books by and about African Americans can be seen here and here.

Current Articles & Research Resources, February 20

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

  • Find federal legislative and executive documents related to the commemoration of National African American History Month. (The Library of Congress, January 30, 2020)
  • Review the most recent update of Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876. (Texas Legislative Council, February 2020)
  • Explore state law enactments related to criminal records and reentry programs. (National Conference of State Legislatures, January 29, 2020)
  • Track Article III and federal appeals court appointments by presidential administration back to the Reagan era. (The Heritage Foundation, February 12, 2020)

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

  • 20.02.24  /  "Innocence detectives." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, February 17, 2020, pp. 22-28.
    Profiles the House of Renewed Hope, a Dallas nonprofit organization run by Christopher Scott and Steven Phillips, two men exonerated for crimes they did not commit after spending a combined 37 years in prison. Highlights their work to exonerate other prisoners.
  • 20.02.25  /  "At Texas State, the culture war comes to campus." By Michael Vasquez. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 14, 2020, pp. A8-A12, A14.
    Discusses recent disruptive events at Texas State University as a sign of the increasingly sharp racial and political divisions in the country. Highlights controversies between a conservative student and Kelly Stone, a lecturer in a sexuality class, who ultimately lost her teaching position. Mentions Stone is now running for a spot on the Texas Railroad Commission.
  • 20.02.26  /  "This university's board has the power to fire anyone — 'even down to the janitor'." By Lindsay Ellis. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 14, 2020, pp. A18-A19.
    Highlights the Texas Southern University Board of Regents' recent bylaws change, which gives them power to fire any university employee, and the board's action to place President Austin A. Lane on administrative leave while they review potential improprieties in admissions. Comments the bylaws change could run afoul of accreditation standards and is not considered a "best practice" for boards.
  • 20.02.27  /  "The border of business." By Jessica Corso. Dallas Business Journal, February 14, 2020, pp. 24-25.
    Discusses how the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]'s renegotiation as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement [USMCA] could impact Texas businesses.
  • 20.02.28  /  "The economics of migration: Delayed reaction." Economist, February 15th-21st, 2020, pp. 19-20.
    Examines whether a decline in America's immigrant population is connected to the nearly ten percent increase in wages of people without a high school diploma.
  • 20.02.29  /  "Hospital use declines after implementation of Virginia Medicaid's addiction and recovery treatment services." By Andrew J. Barnes, et al. Health Affairs, February 2020, pp. 238-246.
    Considers the effects of Virginia's application of a Section 1115 waiver to reforming its Medicaid substance use disorder [SUD] treatment services. Found that treatment for opioid use disorder [OUD] increased, while emergency department and inpatient hospital use decreased among Medicaid beneficiaries with OUD.
  • 20.02.30  /  "Explaining Texas v. U.S.: A guide to the case challenging the ACA." By MaryBeth Musumeci. Internet Resource, January 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Addresses common questions about Texas v. U.S. and the status of the Affordable Care Act. Includes infographic timelines, a map indicating states' positions on the litigation, and flowchart of potential outcomes.
  • 20.02.31  /  "Revisiting the proposal for a wealth tax." By Jack Salmon and Veronique de Rugy. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), February 7, 2020, pp. 1-13.
    Discusses the political debate about implementing a progressive wealth tax. Evaluates the potential outcomes of such a policy if implemented in the United States.
  • 20.02.32  /  "Affordable utility service: Advice to regulators." By Kenneth Costello. Public Utilities Fortnightly, February 1, 2020, pp. 78-81.
    Discusses different kinds of energy assistance used to address affordability problems and how effective the assistance is.
  • 20.02.33  /  "Navigable Waters Protection Rule to replace WOTUS." By Jessica Domel. Texas Agriculture, February 7, 2020, p. 12.
    Compares the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule [NWPR] with the 2015 Waters of the United States [WOTUS] rule. Proposes the NWPR will reduce regulatory uncertainty and limit federal control under the Clean Water Act.
  • 20.02.34  /  "Clearing the haze." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, February 2020, pp. 16-21.
    Considers the problem of e-cigarettes and EVALI [e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury], particularly as they relate to teenagers' rising use of vaping products. Notes that vaping is subject to SB21, 86th Legislature, which forbids the sale of tobacco or vaping products to anyone under 21.
  • 20.02.35  /  "News from America's best medical society." By Joey Berlin, Steve Levine, and David Doolittle. Texas Medicine, February 2020, pp. 10, 12, 14.
    Highlights current policy issues of interest to Texas physicians, including the Texas Department of Insurance's emergency rule regarding surprise billing and SB1264, 86th Legislature; federal legislation on surprise billing; and extending postpartum Medicaid coverage.

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.

Interim Hearings – Week of February 24

Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.

 

For recent posts on Interim Hearings, see Interim Hearing Resources on the LRL homepage. The "Recent Entries" list on the left provides quick access to interim hearings posts from previous weeks.

February 24

Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs & Border Security (Harlingen) 

Charge: Veteran Treatment Courts: Review the effectiveness of diverting veterans from the traditional criminal justice system to veteran treatment courts. Make recommendations to strengthen veteran treatment court outcomes and expand access to locations not currently served by the courts.

Charge: Veteran Health Care: Examine the adequacy of long-term health care services and support options for veterans in Texas. Identify under-served areas and barriers to accessing quality care for both institutional as well as home and community based settings. Discuss the potential impact of federal reforms, such as the implementation of the Veterans Affairs MISSION Act on care delivery. Make recommendations to best leverage federal assistance and create greater efficiencies in veteran health care delivery.

Charge: Veteran Mental Health: Review suicide prevention strategies and programs identified by the federal Defense Suicide Prevention Office and make recommendations to connect at-risk individuals with available resources as they transition into veteran status.

 

February 25 

Senate Committee on Finance

Charge: Natural Disaster Funding: Review federal, state, and local eligibility and receipt of disaster funds from Community Development Block Grants - Disaster Relief and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Identify any barriers to the effective utilization of those funds and recommend any changes to statute, rule, or practice to promote the efficient deployment of those funds and expedite recovery by affected citizens, businesses, and communities.

Charge: Investment of State Funds: Review the investment strategies and performance of funds invested through the Teacher Retirement System, the Permanent School Fund, and university funds. Make recommendations to better coordinate and leverage Texas' purchasing power to maximize investment income to the state.

Charge: Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Finance passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:

  • HB 3384, relating to the authority of the comptroller to conduct a limited-scope review of an appraisal district located in an area declared by the governor to be a disaster area; and
  • HB 4388, relating to the management of the permanent school fund by the School Land Board and the State Board of Education and a study regarding distributions from the permanent school fund to the available school fund;
  • HB 4611, relating to certain distributions to the available school fund; and Contingent upon voter approval, study the implementation of HB 492 and HJR 34, relating to a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.

 

February 26

Senate Committee on State Affairs

Charge: Human Trafficking: Examine opportunities and make recommendations to reduce the profitability of and demand for human trafficking in Texas. Determine ways to increase public awareness on the proliferation of human trafficking, as well as resources for victims and survivors. Review the interaction between local, state, and federal agencies in responding to and prosecuting human trafficking and sex trafficking offenses in Texas' five most populous counties. Make recommendations to ensure law enforcement agencies and prosecutors have the tools necessary to promptly and thoroughly respond to these crimes.

Charge: Second Amendment: Examine Second Amendment legislation passed since the 84th Legislative Session including open carry, campus carry, and lowering the license to carry fee. Determine the impact these laws have made on furthering and protecting Second Amendment rights. Make recommendations that may further protect and enhance Texans' Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Charge: Personal Property Protections: Examine prosecution rates for thefts involving property valued under $1,000. Make recommendations to ensure law enforcement agencies and prosecutors have the tools necessary to thoroughly protect Texans' personal property from theft.

 

Senate Committee on Transportation

Charge: Safety: Study the primary causes for traffic-related accidents and fatalities, including fatality rates as a result of intoxicated driving. Make recommendations for effective strategies to improve roadway safety.

Charge: Texas Department of Transportation Flight Services: Evaluate the current funding, maintenance procedures, and staffing levels at Texas Department of Transportation's Flight Services. Make recommendations to ensure the safest fleet and most efficient service.

Charge: Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Transportation passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:

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