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

  • Track reopening strategies by state. (National Governors Association, accessed July 1, 2020)
  • Review an annual survey of hospitals in the United States. (American Hospital Association, updated March 2020)
  • Explore recent data and statistics related to diabetes. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)
  • Consider national and global efforts to prevent human trafficking. (U.S. Department of State, June 2020)

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

  • 20.07.01 / "Medicaid financing: Dangers of block grants and per capita caps." By Suzanne Wikle. Center for Law and Social Policy, June 2020, pp. 1-11.
    Discusses guidance issued by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS] in January 2020 encouraging states to apply for waiver authority to implement per capita caps and block grants in Medicaid. Outlines five concerns with these potential changes to the Medicaid financing structure. Mentions Texas.
  • 20.07.02 / "State borrowing no substitute for additional direct aid to help states weather COVID downturn." By Michael Mazerov and Elizabeth McNicol. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, June 29, 2020, pp. 1-12.
    Describes why significant borrowing on the part of states, beyond short-term loans to help with cash flow, is not a viable or legally permissible strategy to close states' deep budget gaps stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses the potential implications of state borrowing on Medicaid, K-12 education, higher education, infrastructure, and unemployment insurance.
  • 20.07.03 / "Drug testing the whole family: Abilene's wide net yields record-high foster care removals." By Roxanna Asgarian. Chronicle of Social Change, June 21, 2020, p. 1.
    Examines the increased role of drug testing in foster care cases in Taylor County, Texas. Quotes Representative James Frank.
  • 20.07.04 / "7 issues facing K-12 budgets as COVID-shocked legislatures reconvene." By Daarel Burnette II. Education Week, June 10, 2020, p. 9.
    Discusses the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on school finance. Explains that state legislatures will have to address these issues in upcoming legislative sessions.
  • 20.07.05 / "The world economy needs a stimulus." By Alexander Main, Didier Jacobs, and Mark Weisbrot. Issue Brief (Center for Ecomomic and Policy Research), June 2020, pp. 1-16.
    Explains how international reserve assets known as Special Drawing Rights [SDRs] work and their potential role in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and stabilizing the world economy. Looks at the benefits of SDRs for the United States and addresses counter-arguments.
  • 20.07.06 / "A majority of workers are fearful of coronavirus infections at work, especially Black, Hispanic, and low- and middle-income workers." By Peter Dorman and Lawrence Mishel. Policy Report (Economic Policy Institute), June 16, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Reports that vulnerable workers are not receiving extra compensation or safety protections proportionate to the risks they are being exposed to at their workplaces.
  • 20.07.07 / "The power of a clean slate." By J.J. Prescott and Sonja B. Starr. Regulation (CATO Institute), Summer 2020, pp. 28-34.
    Examines how expungement works for those who are eligible and the relationship between expungement and important outcomes such as recidivism risk and employment success. Summarizes a recent article by the authors studying expungement in Michigan.
  • 20.07.08 / "COVID-19 adds a new snag to the 2020 Census count of Native Americans." By Colleen Connolly. Smithsonian Magazine, June 23, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Provides a brief history of how Native Americans have been undercounted since the first United States census of 1790. Points out that COVID-19 may contribute to or exacerbate an undercount of Native Americans for the 2020 Census.
  • 20.07.09 / "Community health centers excluded from federal coronavirus aid." By Michael Ollove. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), June 22, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Reports federal funding rules exclude community health centers from receiving coronavirus-related aid even though one in five Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured individuals receive care at community health centers.
  • 20.07.10 / "COVID-19 lawsuit immunity: When nobody is accountable, nobody is safe." By Quentin Brogdon. Texas Lawyer, June 25, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Explains why Texas should not join the states that have granted COVID-19 liability protections to businesses, corporations, health care providers, and nursing homes.
  • 20.07.11 / "What police spending data can (and cannot) explain amid calls to defund the police." By Richard C. Auxier. Urban Wire, June 9, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Estimates state and local government spending on police in 2017, the latest year for which comprehensive data were available.


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.