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 01, 2021 list Print (PDF)
"The internet doesn't have to be awful."
By Anne Applebaum and Peter Pomerantsev.
Atlantic Monthly, April 2021, pp. 40-49
Examines policies, algorithms, and technologies from around the world designed to govern the internet in a civically healthy way. Mentions state and federal anti-trust lawsuits against Google and argues that trust-busting alone does not solve the fundamental issue of large platforms amplifying or suppressing certain kinds of information.
See: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/ ...
"Voter suppression in the Lone Star State, past and potential future."
By Myrna Pérez.
Brennan Center for Justice, March 15, 2021, pp. 1-2
Highlights Texas legislation introduced this session related to election administration, including SB 7, SB 1113, and SB 1115, 87th Legislature. Mentions a 2020 study that found it is harder to cast a ballot in Texas than in any other state.
See: https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-op ...
Report at: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/elj ...
"Policy brief: Medicaid is key to building a system of comprehensive substance use (SUD) care for low-income people."
By Anna Bailey, et al.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 18, 2021, pp. 1-4
Highlights the role of Medicaid in funding comprehensive substance use disorder services, including clinical treatment, recovery supports, and mental and physical health care. Summarizes a recent related report identifying methods to close the treatment gap in substance use services and utilize Medicaid expansion to provide opioid treatment.
Report at: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/3-18-21he ...
See: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/3-24-21he ...
"Pandemic or not, Austin's music scene plays on."
By Henry Gass.
Christian Science Monitor, March 29, 2021, pp. 36-38
Recounts the long history of Austin's live music scene and describes the challenges faced by the music industry and individual musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses Austin city policies designed to help musicians and explores the question of how the live music industry might survive the city's explosive growth.
See: https://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Music/2021/0 ...
"The filibuster: Motion to dismiss."
Economist, March 13th-19th, 2021, pp. 19-20, 22
Explains the history of the U.S. Senate's filibuster rules and the recent increase in filibustering. Considers possible reforms towards simple majority rule.
"Violence in America."
Economist, March 27th-April 2nd, 2021, pp. 23-24
Reports American cities — large and small — experienced the highest annual increase in homicides in more than 50 years. Considers the causes for the rising violence.
"Housing affordability and homelessness in Texas."
By Jessica Donald and Spencer Grubbs.
Fiscal Notes, March 2021, pp. 1, 3-6
Discusses the correlation between a lack of affordable housing and homelessness in Texas. Highlights the Texas Housing Affordability Index (THAI), a measure created by Texas A&M University's Real Estate Research Center, and recent demographics on homelessness in Texas and the U.S.
See: https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes ...
Related information at: https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/data/housing-afforda ...
"Online advertising increased New Hampshire residents’ use of provider price tool but not use of lower-price providers."
By Sunita M. Desai, Sonali Shambhu, and Ateev Mehrotra.
Health Affairs, March 2021, pp. 521-528
Studies the use of lower-price health care providers after the launch of a large online advertising campaign that increased awareness of NH HealthCost, the price transparency website developed by the state of New Hampshire. Suggests the availability of price information alone may not reduce patient spending.
See: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/pdf/10.1377/hlth ...
"Improving health among rural residents in the US."
By Katy B. Kozhimannil and Carrie Henning-Smith.
JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), March 16, 2021, pp. 1033-1034
Notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted enduring inadequacies of health care services in rural communities, including an increase in rural hospital closures and workforce shortages. Argues rural representation in policymaking and broadband internet access are necessary to achieve health equity for rural residents within the U.S.
See: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/ ...
"The insurance implications arising from COVID-19."
By Paul S. White and Siobhan A. Breen.
Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Winter 2020, pp. 20-32
Provides a review of pandemics and focuses on COVID-19 as it may relate to possible insurance claims and coverage issues. Discusses issues within property insurance and business interruption, event cancellation and nonappearance insurance, general liability insurance, as well as errors and omissions insurance. Examines legislative action taken by the New Jersey Legislature in March 2020.
"How to secure elections."
By Dan McLaughlin.
National Review, March 22, 2021, pp. 20-23
Proposes improvements to state voting systems based on maintaining accurate voter rolls, ensuring the primacy of in-person voting, and counting votes with speed and transparency. Discusses recent voting controversies.
See: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2021/03/22 ...
"Finding long-term solutions for long-term care."
By Ida Cossitt-Glesner.
NCSL Legisbrief, March 2021, pp. 1-2
Notes the percentage of Americans over 65 has more than tripled since the beginning of the 20th century and roughly half of older adults are predicted to need long-term services and supports (LTSS). Highlights state actions to create efficient LTSS systems, including Texas' STAR+PLUS program. Provides links to additional resources and a link to the AARP's 2020 LTSS State Scorecard, which includes a Texas factsheet.
Related information at: http://www.longtermscorecard.org/
Related information at: http://www.longtermscorecard.org/~/media/Microsite ...
Related information at: https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/medicaid-chi ...
See: https://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/Documents/legisbrie ...
"Pandemic and doctor shortage create new healthcare crisis."
By Andrew Henry.
Newsmax, March 2021, pp. 22-24
Discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated doctor shortages in America. Includes sidebars about physician mental health and early retirement.
"How to counter COVID misinformation."
By Kathleen Hall Jamieson.
Scientific American, April 2021, pp. 44-51
Provides strategies for combating misinformation related to COVID-19. Explores the role of social media platforms in the spread of misinformation.
See: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to- ...
"Bipartisan efforts help to keep homeless kids off the streets."
By Colleen Smith.
State Legislatures News, March 18, 2021, pp. 1-5
Discusses legislative solutions states have introduced or passed in the last two years to address youth homelessness.
See: https://www.ncsl.org/bookstore/state-legislatures- ...
Related information at: https://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/housi ...
"State and local tax burdens, calendar year 2019."
By Erica York and Jared Walczak.
Tax Foundation, March 18, 2021, pp. 1-18
Ranks Texas 47th in state-local tax burden for calendar year 2019 at with an 8 percent state-local effective tax rate and presents a historical view of state-local tax burdens from 1977 to 2019.
See: https://files.taxfoundation.org/20210322135318/Sta ...
"Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller sues Lt. Governor over Texas Senate COVID-19 testing mandate."
By Daniel Friend.
Texan, March 23, 2021, pp. 1-2
Discusses the lawsuit filed by Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and Steven Hotze concerning Texas Senate rules requiring a COVID-19 test to attend Senate proceedings.
Related information at: https://lrl.texas.gov/scanned/archive/2021/47023.p ...