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

  • Review which activities pose more or less risk of contracting COVID-19. (Texas Medical Association, updated July 8, 2020)
  • Explore resources related to mental health and accessing mental health services. (Texas Health and Human Services, accessed July 8, 2020)
  • Read about how genes influence the human body's responses to physical activity. (National Institutes of Health, July 2020)
  • Examine the recently adjusted economic outlook for 2020-2030. (Congressional Budget Office, July 2, 2020)

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

  • 20.07.12 / "The value of Medicaid managed care: States transition to managed care." America's Health Insurance Plans, June 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Discusses the growth of managed care, or capitated arrangements, within state Medicaid programs between federal fiscal years 2010 and 2018. Compares the percent spent on capitation payments, fee-for-services expenditures, and special payments during 2010 and 2018 by state. Considers briefly COVID-19's impact on Medicaid managed care.
  • 20.07.13 / "What's actually in the Trump executive order on child welfare." By John Kelly. Chronicle of Social Change, June 24, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Presents an overview of the issues addressed in President Donald Trump's executive order of June 24, 2020, on the child welfare system, including kinship care, aging out of foster care, quality legal representation, data on foster families, reasonable efforts reviews, and risk assessment.
  • 20.07.14 / "It's messing with Texas." Economist, July 4th-10th, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Discusses Governor Greg Abbott's balancing act in managing the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 20.07.15 / "Property in America: The house wins." Economist, July 4th-10th, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Explains why the American housing market is not experiencing the usual declines seen during recessions. Notes the rate of foreclosures looks unlikely to reach the heights hit during the 2007-2009 recession.
  • 20.07.16 / "50-state comparison: 529 education savings plans." By Adrienne Fischer, et al. Education Commission of the States, June 15, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Compares states' policies and activities related to 529 education savings plans with a focus on contributions, withdrawals, and eligible expenses. Includes individual Texas state profile.
  • 20.07.17 / "Toward reopening: What will school look like this fall?" By Christopher Cleveland. Education Next, June 29, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Highlights guidance plans for reopening schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic in Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington. Focuses on a variety of areas including class size and school scheduling, finance, health screenings and masks, priority populations for in-person instruction, technology, and transportation.
  • 20.07.18 / "Finding policy responses to rising intimate partner violence during the coronavirus outbreak." By Amrutha Ramaswamy, Usha Ranji, and Alina Salganicoff. Issue Brief (Kaiser Family Foundation), June 11, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Highlights policies and programs that consider the needs of intimate partner violence [IPV] survivors and support organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security [CARES] Act, the Heroes Act, telehealth care, and employer-based paid safe leave.
  • 20.07.19 / "America's children: Responding to the crisis now with the future in mind." By Quianta Moore and Christopher Greeley. Issue Brief (Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy), June 30, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Offers recommendations for policies and practices that would bolster family well-being during stable economic and societal times. Suggests the incorporation of a disaster-readiness plan to mitigate potential harm to families, including the negative impact on child brain development and parental stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 20.07.20 / "After COVID-19: Thinking differently about running the health care system." By Stuart M. Butler. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), June 23/30, 2020, pp. 2450-2451.
    Highlights several strategies that should continue to be employed in running the health care system after the COVID-19 pandemic, including using waivers to boost federalism, reconsidering the role of hospitals and other institutions as hubs for care, expanding the use of telehealth, and bringing together funds from multiple programs to improve the delivery of health care and health-related services.
  • 20.07.21 / "The path to better policing." By Robert VerBruggen. National Review, July 6, 2020, pp. 15-17.
    Explores specific reforms at the federal, state, and local levels that could improve policing. Highlights more effective crime-fighting strategies that could lead to improved safety in communities. Suggests supporting, but also holding accountable, all police officers.
  • 20.07.22 / "The politicization of disaster relief." By Steven Horwitz and E. Frank Stephenson. Regulation (CATO Institute), Summer 2020, pp. 4-5.
    Provides a brief overview of research that finds political considerations influence the allocation of aid during crises.
  • 20.07.23 / "The highs and lows of Texas taxes." Research Report (Texas Taxpayers and Research Association), June 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Discusses the difference in individual and business tax burdens in Texas.
  • 20.07.24 / "Weathering the storm: Code, compliance, cost." By Kristin Allman. Texas Builder, July/August 2020, pp. 12-16.
    Examines the effectiveness of building codes in protecting homes from hurricane-strength winds and extreme flooding in Hurricanes Rita, Ike, and Harvey. Chronicles the history and enforcement of the International Residential Code and International Building Code in Texas.
  • 20.07.25 / "The tele-future is now." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, July 2020, pp. 15-19.
    Examines the use of telemedicine by Texas doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic, including transitioning to remote visits, positive patient outcomes, and issues with technology. Discusses the coverage parity for telemedicine achieved by SB1107, 85th Legislature, R.S., and the need to make payment parity permanent in the future.
  • 20.07.26 / "Why Texas still celebrates Confederate Heroes Day." By Emily McCullar. Texas Monthly, July 3, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Discusses the history of Confederate Heroes Day in Texas, its origins within the 63rd Regular Session (1973), and Representative Senfronia Thompson's efforts at the time to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday an honorary holiday (HB118, 63rd Legislature, R.S.). Highlights Representative Jarvis Johnson's recent attempt to remove the holiday from the state calendar (HB1183, 86th Legislature). Mentions Representative James White and Representative Donna Howard.
  • 20.07.27 / "How Texas lawmakers and industry and weakened citizens' rights to fight pollution." By Christopher Collins. Texas Observer, July 2, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Details legislation that has changed the environmental permitting process in Texas in favor of industry by limiting public participation and opposition. Addresses legislation authored by Representative Geanie Morrison, Representative Kyle Kacal, and former Senator Craig Estes.
  • 20.07.28 / "Punished for being poor: The relationship between poverty and neglect in Texas." By Nikki Pressley. Texas Public Policy Foundation, June 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Examines poverty and neglect in Texas families that interact with the child welfare system. Finds 75 percent of children entering the system are victims of neglect only. Argues the statutory definition of neglect should be narrowed and families experiencing poverty should be connected with community-based services rather than be punished for economic hardship.
  • 20.07.29 / "New report confirms babies of color face severe inequities even before birth." ZERO TO THREE, June 11, 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Highlights State of Babies Yearbook: 2020, a new ZERO TO THREE report with state-by-state data and rankings on the health and well-being of America's babies, and the related brief, Maternal and Child Health Inequities Emerge Before Birth. The State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 includes a Texas state profile measuring progress on indicators of good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences for children ages zero to three.


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.