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.