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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.

February 25, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Older adults, new mobility, and automated vehicles." By Laura Fraade-Blanar, et al. AARP, February 2021, pp. 1-58 (Note Length)
Explores the potential of the growing industry of automated vehicles (AVs) for increasing accessibility and mobility for older adults. Outlines key issues and literature surrounding AVs and how access to transportation regardless of physical or cognitive state is a social determinant of health.
See: https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2021/02/ ...
"States can choose better path for higher education funding in COVID-19 recession." By Victoria Jackson and Matt Saenz. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 17, 2021, pp. 1-30 (Note Length)
Charts recent state budget cuts to higher education before and during the COVID-19 recession. Identifies the need to reinvest in public higher education and prioritize low-income students and students of color. Includes tables with state-level data on tuition increases at public four-year colleges and universities and community colleges from 2008 to 2019 and the average net price of a public four-year university or community college as a share of median household income in 2018.
See: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/2-17-21sf ...
"State policies that support healthy schools." By Deborah Temkin, et al. Child Trends, February 19, 2021, p. 1
Summarizes a recent Child Trends report, State Policies for Healthy Schools: School Year 2019-2020, relating to the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) framework for healthy schools. Includes a Texas state profile.
See: https://www.childtrends.org/publications/state-pol ...
Report at: https://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/202 ...
Report at: https://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/202 ...
"The Lone Star's scars." Economist, February 23, 2021, pp. 1-3
Points out three reasons why February's power grid crisis is unlikely to bring needed reforms or changes in Texas' anti-government, low-regulation philosophy. Includes comments by former Speaker Joe Straus.
See: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2021/02/23 ...
"After COVID-19: Building a more coherent and effective workforce development system in the United States." By Harry J. Holzer. Hamilton Project, February 2021, pp. 1-33 (Note Length)
Analyzes the current state of workforce development in the United States, with an emphasis on the increased need for worker retraining and reskilling brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Makes policy suggestions to improve outcomes for workforce development programs. Mentions Project QUEST, a San Antonio-based program, as one of the most successful programs training workers for high-demand jobs.
See: https://www.hamiltonproject.org/assets/files/Holze ...
"IDRA's top policy priorities for the Texas legislative session." By Chloe Latham Sikes. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), January 2021, pp. 5-6
Lists the education policy organization's priorities for the 87th Texas legislative session, which include the creation of a state plan for bilingual education and addressing the digital divide.
See: https://www.idra.org/resource-center/idras-top-pol ...
"Child welfare workers scramble to protect foster youth through deadly Texas winter storm." By Sara Tiano. Imprint, February 16, 2021, pp. 1-2
Looks at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services response to the winter storm and the weather-related challenges in foster care residential facilities.
See: https://imprintnews.org/child-welfare-2/child-welf ...
"Who could get covered under Medicaid expansion? State fact sheets." Kaiser Family Foundation, February 10, 2021, pp. 1-4
Notes over 1.4 million nonelderly individuals would be eligible for coverage if Texas expanded Medicaid. Includes a fact sheet for Texas.
Related information at: http://files.kff.org/attachment/fact-sheet-medicai ...
See: https://www.kff.org/medicaid/fact-sheet/uninsured- ...
"Inside frigid Texas prisons: Broken toilets, disgusting food, few blankets." By Keri Blakinger. Marshall Project, February 19, 2021, pp. 1-3
Reports issues faced by Texas prisons during the 2021 winter storm, which included lack of heat and water, understaffing, and lack of food. Explains how the emergency may exacerbate problems already faced by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
See: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2021/02/19/insi ...
"Autonomous vehicles: The technology whose time has come." By Clifford Winston. Milken Institute Review, First Quarter 2021, pp. 56-65
Highlights the benefits of autonomous or driverless vehicles, including public health, land use, pandemics, and policing. Argues policymakers should facilitate the adoption of these vehicles as quickly and safely as possible.
See: https://www.milkenreview.org/articles/autonomous-v ...
"Texas's energy crisis is America's future." By Kate Aronoff. New Republic, February 19, 2021, pp. 1-6
Explores the history of Texas' energy grid and deregulation in tandem with a discussion of how the Green New Deal might create a more resilient energy infrastructure across the country. Mentions the ideas of public ownership and grid democratization.
See: https://newrepublic.com/article/161434/texas-energ ...
"Ed tech's failure during the pandemic, and what comes after." By Justin Reich. Phi Delta Kappan, February 22, 2021, pp. 1-6
Explains the benefits and drawbacks of the most widely available education technologies. Uses examples from the history of education technology to argue that the schools should avoid "charismatic technology," which promises to radically change the way education is delivered, and should focus instead on teacher education and support and the development of new curricula and assessments.
See: https://kappanonline.org/education-tech-failure-pa ...
"How ERCOT works: A brief explainer of the council's role in providing Texas power." By Brad Johnson. Texan, February 22, 2021, pp. 1-2
Reviews the role and responsibilities of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), including an organizational chart.
"Texas energy infrastructure, sources scrutinized as state weathers day 3 of blackouts." By Brad Johnson. Texan, February 17, 2021, pp. 1-4
Describes power, heat, and water outages during the Texas winter storm and how various energy sources fared – natural gas, coal, solar, and wind. Discusses the management of the electric grid by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
"The lege this week: Out cold." By Justin Miller. Texas Observer, February 19, 2021, pp. 1-4
Discusses the recent, unprecedented winter storm and the state's lack of preparedness that nearly lead to the collapse of the Texas power grid. Addresses the role of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the Public Utility Commission (PUC), and the Texas Legislature in this event.
See: https://www.texasobserver.org/the-lege-this-week-o ...