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.