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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.

October 21, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Lawyers and judges optional?" By Lyle Moran. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, October/November 2021, pp. 58-65
Discusses the benefits and challenges related to court-sponsored online dispute resolution (ODR) programs. Questions whether ODR fosters access to justice.
See: https://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/online ...
"Plan Z for Immigration." By Jonathan Rauch. Atlantic Monthly, October 2021, pp. 20-21
Proposes an immigration reform measure in which individual states sponsor immigrants for three-year, renewable work visas. Explores the operation and regulation of such a program, which was originally proposed by Utah Congressman John Curtis in the State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2019.
Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house ...
See: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/ ...
"Parallel touts new medical cannabis laws with mobile dispensary." By Paul Thompson. Austin Business Journal, October 12, 2021, pp. 1-2
Discusses Atlanta-based cannabis company Parallel and its plans to raise awareness of Texas' medical cannabis Compassionate Use Program. Notes HB 1535, 87th Legislature, R.S., expanded the medical conditions for which a patient may be prescribed low-THC cannabis for compassionate use.
See: https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2021/10/12 ...
"When schools call police on kids." By Corey Mitchell, Joe Yerardi, and Susan Ferriss. Center for Public Integrity, September 8, 2021, pp. 1-12
Analyzes U.S. Department of Education data from all 50 states related to student referrals to law enforcement, and finds school policing disproportionately affects students with disabilities and Black children. Discusses the overuse of law enforcement in schools and the use of school resource officers.
See: https://publicintegrity.org/education/criminalizin ...
"The world economy: Stagflation sensation." Economist, October 9th-15th, 2021, pp. 69-70
Compares the current global economy with the protracted inflation of the 1970s. Notes several parallels, but argues the comparison does not hold for a number of economic factors, including cost-of-living adjustments (cola), productivity, and the globalization of financial markets and supply chains.
See: https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/is ...
"Navigator funding restored in federal marketplace states for 2022." By Karen Pollitz, Jennifer Tolbert, and Kendal Orgera. Kaiser Family Foundation, September 29, 2021, pp. 1-5
Discusses recent changes in funding and federal regulatory standards for navigator programs in 30 Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) states, including Texas. Notes navigator programs help consumers apply for financial assistance for Marketplace coverage or for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Includes state-level statistics and a map of the number of navigator programs by county.
See: https://www.kff.org/private-insurance/issue-brief/ ...
"Interior maps path to oil and gas lease sales." By Alan Kovski. Oil and Gas Journal, September 6, 2021, pp. 29-30
Provides an update on the U.S. Department of the Interior's response to the memorandum ruling issued by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Louisiana v. Biden. Discusses steps the federal government will take to continue the onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing program.
Related information at: https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscour ...
Related information at: https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/interior-departm ...
See: https://www.ogj.com/general-interest/government/ar ...
"PHMSA needs to develop 2019 Final Rule performance measures." Oil and Gas Journal, September 6, 2021, pp. 87-92
Summarizes the U.S. Government Accountability Office's (GAO) report, Pipeline Safety: Performance Measures Needed to Assess Recent Changes to Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Regulations, which reviews the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) 2019 Final Rule.
Report at: https://www.gao.gov/assets/720/715153.pdf
Related information at: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-10-01/ ...
"Retirement plan choice and public pension reform." By Dennis W. Jansen, Liqun Liu, and Andrew J. Rettenmaier. PERCspectives on Policy, Fall 2021, pp. 1-4
Reviews the two basic types of employer-sponsored retirement plans: defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans. Outlines concerns with the calculation of pension liabilities in defined benefit plans, the dominant pension type for public sector employees. Notes the officially reported liabilities in Texas' public pension plans exceeded assets by $86 billion in 2019, corresponding to a funding ratio of 77 percent.
See: https://perc.tamu.edu/perc/media/perc/newsletter/p ...
"Drought-stricken western towns say no to developers." By Alex Brown. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), October 12, 2021, pp. 1-4
Examines how several states are bolstering water supplies to meet population growth and address the effects of climate change. Includes comments by Temple McKinnon, Director of Water Supply Planning at the Texas Water Development Board.
See: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis ...
"Foster care providers, state agencies say heightened regulation leaving children unplaced." By Isaiah Mitchell. Texan, October 14, 2021, pp. 1-5
Discusses the increasing number of foster children without placement (CWOP) who are between homes in the foster care system. Notes concerns from foster care providers about regulations and shrinking capacity, as well as the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on staffing. Quotes Representative James Frank.
See: https://thetexan.news/foster-care-providers-state- ...
"In Texas, corrupt politicians face little accountability." By Lise Olsen. Texas Observer, September 20, 2021, pp. 1-7
Discusses the current public integrity and corruption investigation system in Texas, which was instituted by HB 1690, 84th Legislature, and involves the Texas Rangers, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and local district attorneys. Reports that of the 560 public integrity and corruption complaints filed since 2015, approximately 88 percent of the criminal probes have resulted in no action. Mentions former Speaker Dennis Bonnen and former Representatives Dawnna Dukes and Ismael "Kino" Flores.
See: https://www.texasobserver.org/corrupt-texas-politi ...