In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.
- Track health trends at the state and county level related to COVID-19 cases. (The Heritage Foundation, updated May 11, 2020)
- Consider the fate of America's meat packing industry. (Human Events, May 6, 2020)
- Read about strategies to sustain and improve domestic manufacturing during the pandemic. (National Conference of State Legislatures, May 2020)
- Explore the federal spending landscape. (U.S. Department of Treasury, accessed May 13, 2020)
- 20.05.17 / "Charters' costly failure to launch." Advocate (Texas State Teachers Association), Spring 2020, pp. 6-7.
Considers whether the charter school system in Texas is economically sustainable. Discusses Texas legislation on charter school funding and expansion. Highlights a recent report by the Network for Public Education.
- 20.05.18 / "States are leveraging Medicaid to respond to COVID-19." By Jessica Schubel. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, May 7, 2020, pp. 1-14.
Surveys recent state Medicaid initiatives to strengthen home- and community-based services [HCBS] programs and improve access to health care coverage. Discusses ways Medicaid agencies can respond to COVID-19.
- 20.05.19 / "Misplaced benevolence." By Rafael A. Mangual. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), May 4, 2020, pp. 1-3.
Argues "decarceration" bail reform initiatives have resulted in serious and avoidable new crimes, putting the public at risk.
- 20.05.20 / "COVID-19 changes nursing and the nation's health-care needs." By Laura Williams-Tracy. Dallas Business Journal, May 8, 2020, pp. 12-13.
Reports COVID-19 may resurrect public health nursing, which focuses on the health risks of a community and disease prevention. Points out the ongoing debate about the necessity of physicians to oversee the work of nurse practitioners. Includes sidebar, "States Grant Nurse Practitioners Full Practice Authority."
- 20.05.21 / "Designing a state and local government relief package." By Jared Walczak. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), May 2020, pp. 1-15.
Discusses declining state and local tax revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with fifteen to twenty percent state tax revenue losses projected by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Outlines five considerations in designing a future state and local government relief package, including spending flexibility.
- 20.05.22 / "Young people and vote by mail: Lessons for 2020." Internet Resource, May 6, 2020, pp. 1-6.
Considers how and why young people voted by mail in 2016. Offers insights to state and local governments looking to expand the practice in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 20.05.23 / "The role of employer repayment programs in tackling student loan debt." By Joe Valenti. Issue Brief (AARP Public Policy Institute), May 2020, pp. 1-9.
Discusses the basics of student loan repayment, types of employer repayment programs, and some implementation obstacles. Presents emerging approaches to workplace student loan benefits.
- 20.05.24 / "Double jeopardy: Low wage workers at risk for health and financial implications of COVID-19." By Rachel Garfield, et al. Issue Brief (Kaiser Family Foundation), April 29, 2020, pp. 1-6.
Analyzes the risks low-wage workers face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the effects on their jobs, health, and financial security. Provides an appendix with the number of low-wage workers by state and by industry for each state.
- 20.05.25 / "Privileges and immunity certification during the COVID-19 pandemic." By Mark A. Hall and David M. Studdert. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), May 6, 2020, pp. 1-5.
Discusses the issues with COVID-19-related immunity certifications, documentation that gives individuals who have immunity to the disease certain work and social freedoms. Argues issues with testing and unproven assumptions of immunity cast doubt on the merits of certifications and additional negative consequences such as invidious discrimination and intentional infection could follow.
- 20.05.26 / "Seasick." By Spencer Aronfeld. Texas Lawyer, May 2020, pp. 20-21.
Examines cruise lines' liability in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. Offers recommendations for the adoption of clear and uniform protocols to prevent and contain disease outbreaks on cruise ships.
- 20.05.27 / "A boost for behavioral health." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, May 2020, pp. 43-45.
Describes new mental health initiatives for children that were made possible by SB11, 86th Legislature, and the creation of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, including the Child Psychiatric Access Network [CPAN] and the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine [TCHATT]. Quotes former Representative John Zerwas, M.D.
- 20.05.28 / "Houston is not prepared for the oil bust." By Evan Mintz. Texas Monthly, May 2020, pp. 1-5.
Discusses the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic could have on the Houston economy. Points out Houston was already preparing for an economic downturn and continues to rely on the oil and gas industry.
- 20.05.29 / "Texas health officials undercount COVID-19 cases by excluding some prisoners who tested positive." By Michael Barajas, Sophie Novack, and Lise Olsen. Texas Observer, May 7, 2020, pp. 1-9.
Reports on Texas Department of State Health Services statistics related to COVID-19 cases in state prisons. Explores what the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is doing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.