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Legislative Reference Library of Texas
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Legislative Reference Library of Texas
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Current Articles

The Legislative Reference Library produces a weekly list of current journal articles for members of the legislative community. Each week, librarians select and abstract articles of interest to the legislature from the latest issues of over 300 journals, newsletters, state documents, and trade publications. Electronic copies of the Current Articles list are distributed to legislative offices each Friday.

The Legislative Reference Library is located on the second floor of the State Capitol building in Room 2N.3. For more information, please call the Library at 512 463-1252.

April 15, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Costly codes." By Matt Reynolds. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, April/May 2021, pp. 18-19
Reports local governments' use of fees, fines, and forfeitures to balance municipal budgets has sparked a movement to reform residential code enforcement laws.
See: https://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/fines- ...
"Requiring (or urging) COVID-19 vaccinations at colleges and universities for Fall 2021." By Peter McDonough and Emma Heart. American Council on Education, March 2021, pp. 1-4
Explores the issue of universities requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 after Rutgers University's announcement that it would impose such a requirement. Suggests issues colleges and universities may consider — such as lack of universal proof of vaccination — when deciding whether to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students.
See: https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Issue-Brief-COVID ...
"Austin, reluctant boomtown." By Lizette Chapman and Jonathan Levin. Bloomberg Businessweek, April 12, 2021, pp. 19-21
Describes the current housing crisis in Austin, Texas, as the city sees an influx of tech workers. Evaluates the differences between in-state and out-of-state arrivals, and highlights local anxiety about changing culture.
"Restoring RFRA." By Liz Hayes. Church & State, April 2021, pp. 4-5
Promotes the passage of the Do No Harm Act, federal legislation that would restore the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and religious freedom protections, but ensure that RFRA is not used to erode fundamental civil and legal rights.
See: https://www.au.org/church-state/april-2021-church- ...
Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house ...
"The scramble for commodities: Mission critical." Economist, April 3rd-9th, 2021, pp. 58-60
Discusses the vulnerability of supply chains that are key to economic and national security, including critical minerals and batteries. Notes that many mineral supply chains are controlled by China.
"Voting rights: Not so peachy." Economist, April 3rd-9th, 2021, pp. 21-22
Discusses legal challenges triggered by Georgia's overhaul of state voting laws. Notes the role of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) in efforts to overturn state election laws.
Related information at: https://legiscan.com/GA/text/SB202/id/2348602
Related information at: https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@t ...
"As pandemic raged, COVID-19 testing was rare in New York's youth lockups." By Michael Fitzgerald. Imprint, April 4, 2021, pp. 1-6
Discusses a March 2021 study by The University of Texas at Austin comparing state COVID-19 data transparency of prisons, jails, and juvenile justice facilities. Notes Texas is among states that have regularly updated websites with COVID-19 testing and outbreak information.
See: https://imprintnews.org/justice/juvenile-justice-2 ...
Report at: https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/85 ...
"Housing insecurity by race and place during the pandemic." By Julie Yixia Cai, Shawn Fremstad, and Simran Kalkat. Issue Brief (Center for Economic and Policy Research), March 2021, pp. 1-20
Examines housing and food insecurity at the state and metropolitan level between April 2020 and December 2020.
See: https://cepr.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Race-a ...
"Under-covered: How 'insurance-like' products are leaving patients exposed." National Alliance on Mental Illness, March 2021, pp. 1-26 (Note Length)
Describes issues with health insurance plans and insurance-like products that do not provide comprehensive coverage and are not compliant with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including short-term, limited-duration insurance, health care sharing ministries, farm bureau plans, and grandfathered plans. Includes recommendations for states to improve patient protections.
See: https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/Public% ...
"State and local government contributions to statewide pension plans: FY19." National Association of State Retirement Administrators, April 2021, pp. 1-13
Describes how employer contributions for state and local government pension benefits are determined and charts trends in employer contributions for fiscal years 2001 through 2019. Includes data for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, Employees Retirement System of Texas, Texas County and District Retirement System, and Texas Municipal Retirement System.
See: https://www.nasra.org/files/Issue%20Briefs/NASRAAD ...
"The February freeze." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 1-3, 6
Discusses the damage resulting from the February 2021 Texas freeze and preliminary estimates of economic costs. Points out the causes of the power outages and potential solutions.
"Should teachers be mandated reporters?" By Joan F. Goodman. Phi Delta Kappan, April 2021, pp. 47-51
Discusses the history of mandated reporting of child abuse, and explores issues such as the overreporting of abuse and how cultural and racial differences in childrearing may be perceived as abuse. Offers alternative practices to mandated reporting by teachers.
See: https://kappanonline.org/child-abuse-should-teache ...
"Neighborhood segregation persists for Black, Latino or Hispanic, and Asian Americans." By William H. Frey. Report (Brookings), April 6, 2021, pp. 1-12
Uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey to examine neighborhood residential segregation over the 2015-2019 period. Finds that despite the fact that people of color account for the vast majority of recent U.S. population growth, white residents almost everywhere, including those in the nation’s most diverse metropolitan areas, continue to reside in mostly white neighborhoods.
See: https://www.brookings.edu/research/neighborhood-se ...
"Carbon capture marches toward practical use." By Robert F. Service. Science, March 26, 2021, p. 1300
Discusses new, less expensive, commercially viable carbon capture technology that could mitigate industrial greenhouse gas emissions.
"Remote criminal justice." By Jenia I. Turner. Texas Tech Law Review, Winter 2021, pp. 197-271 (Note Length)
Examines conducting criminal justice proceedings remotely, including the advantages and disadvantages of using video conferencing. Discusses related statutory rules and constitutional limits found within state and federal law before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Surveys state and federal judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys about their experiences with remote proceedings.
"Out of school, out of work." By Anne Kim. Washington Monthly, April/May/June 2021, pp. 1-10
Focuses on the ongoing job crisis for young adults in America, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Examines the current shortcomings of Job Corps, a federal program that offers training and certification in more than 80 fields for disadvantaged young adults between the ages of 16 and 24.
See: https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/april-may-j ...