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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.

October 28, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"What do we know about public teacher compensation?" By Siyan Liu and Jean-Pierre Aubry. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, October 2021, pp. 1-17
Explains the difficulties in assessing public teacher compensation, including salaries and pension benefits. Proposes more accurate estimates of teacher benefit costs by carefully accounting for health and retirement plan coverage, Social Security, supplemental pay, and paid leave. Finds public school teachers earn roughly the same as similar private sector workers, but they may experience a decline in relative compensation over time due to recent cuts to pension benefits.
See: https://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/SLP8 ...
"Transgender students and school sports: Six things to know about a raging debate." By Evie Blad. Education Week, October 22, 2021, pp. 1-5
Addresses a variety of issues related to the debate on whether transgender students should be allowed to participate in sports teams that align with their gender identity. Discusses state legislation that restricts transgendered students' sports participation, including Texas' HB 25, 87th Legislature, 3rd C.S. Quotes the bill’s author, Representative Valoree Swanson.
"The big green." By Chris Mathews. Houston Business Journal, October 15-21, 2021, pp. 20-24
Investigates the economic impact that medical marijuana and hemp-related products have had on Texas since the 2015 passage of the Compassionate-Use Act (SB 339, 84th Legislature).
"Monitoring the misdemeanor bail reform consent decree in Harris County, Texas." By Brandon L. Garrett and Sandra Guerra Thompson. Judicature, Summer 2021, pp. 40-47
Provides an update from the court-appointed monitors in Harris County's bail reform lawsuit, ODonnell v. Harris County, Texas. Discusses issues with Harris County's misdemeanor bail system prior to the settlement, the ODonnell Consent Decree that resulted from the lawsuit, and the court monitors' work thus far.
See: https://judicature.duke.edu/wp-content/uploads/202 ...
Related information at: https://sites.law.duke.edu/odonnellmonitor/
Related information at: https://www.clearinghouse.net/chDocs/public/CJ-TX- ...
"How to rein in critical race theory." By James Copland. National Review, October 18, 2021, pp. 40, 42, 44
Reports on the recent trend in state legislation that addresses teaching critical race theory in schools. Presents the author's model legislation that is designed to clarify what constitutes prohibited compelled speech and to allow parents to opt out of certain classroom activities.
See: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2021/10/18 ...
"What is Texas?" By Kevin D. Williamson. National Review, October 18, 2021, pp. 28-30, 32-33
Discusses key features of the mythology and history of Texas, along with the author's personal experiences growing up in Lubbock. Argues against reducing the complexities of Texas in order to win a "culture war."
See: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2021/10/18 ...
"Banner year for state leadership in energy efficiency: Post-pandemic job creation." By Lloyd Kass. Public Utilities Fortnightly, September 2021, pp. 36-37
Highlights efforts by a number of states to advance energy efficiency policies. Argues these programs lower the cost of operating the utility system for everyone.
"Barely legal strippers now illegal in Texas." By Elizabeth Nolan Brown. Reason, November 2021, p. 7
Explains the effects of SB 315, 87th Legislature, R.S., which raised the minimum legal age for working in a sexually oriented business. Discusses a recent lawsuit challenging the law, which argues that adults under 21 have a "constitutionally protected liberty interest in pursuing a chosen occupation."
See: https://reason.com/2021/10/21/barely-legal-strippe ...
"Accountability and private-school choice." By Nicole Stelle Garnett. Report (Manhattan Institute), October 2021, pp. 1-18
Considers how regulators should hold private schools that receive public funds accountable for their students’ academic performance. Discusses the challenges presented when parental choice and accountability policies intersect.
See: https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/sites/defau ...
"Federal support keeps state budgets (including Texas') healthy amid tumult from COVID-19-induced economic ills." By Jason Saving. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Third Quarter 2021, pp. 10-13
Reviews how the unprecedented federal fiscal response to the COVID-19-induced recession in early 2020 helped prop up state government finances. Charts trends in state revenue growth, personal income, and Texas tax revenue.
See: https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/resear ...
"Once-oil-dependent Texas economy to keep growing as renewable energy expands." By Christopher Slijk and Keith R. Phillips. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Third Quarter 2021, pp. 3-7
Discusses how the negative environmental impacts of global warming have motivated a transition from traditional fossil fuels to renewable energy. Argues Texas' economy will likely continue to perform well even in a long-term decline of the state's oil and gas sector.
See: https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/resear ...
"'It's a Texas custom to show fight': The cultural politics of meat boycotts in mid-twentieth century Texas." By Mark W. Robbins. Southwestern Historical Quarterly, October 2021, pp. 154-181 (Note Length)
Examines the strong presence of the beef industry and cattle ranching in Texas and discusses the politics of meat in the decades following World War II. Describes two prominent meat boycotts due to rising beef prices in 1948 and 1973 as examples of Texas consumer activism and collaboration across the lines of race, ethnicity, gender, and class.
"Red states have limited options for fighting Biden's vaccine rules." By Sophie Quinton. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), October 8, 2021, pp. 1-5
Reports on the tactics Republican governors and legislators are using to undermine the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
See: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis ...
"Texas Partisan Index: Rating new House seats from most Republican to most Democratic." By Daniel Friend. Texan, October 25, 2021, pp. 1-11
Compares the Texas Partisan Index (TIP), the partisan leanings, of Texas' 150 House districts before and after redistricting.
See: https://thetexan.news/texas-partisan-index-rating- ...
"Breaking point." By Billy Perrigo. Time, October 25/November 1, 2021, pp. 28-33
Discusses the dissolution of Facebook's civic-integrity team, which was employed to combat misinformation and hate speech. Details the impact of the company's failure to uphold the team's priority to safeguard people over profit. Addresses the need for regulatory oversight, but suggests that current and former employees, including whistle-blower Frances Haugen, may be the real drivers of change in the company.