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Legislative Reference Library of Texas
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Legislative Reference Library of Texas
your partner in legislative research

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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 22, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Devolution: Four proposals to empower states and reduce Washington's political strife." By Brian Riedl. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), April 2021, pp. 1-20
Points out four areas where state and local governments can play a significantly stronger role: transportation, K–12 education, welfare, and health care. Suggests devolution of federal action in these areas can lead to better outcomes and lower levels of political strife.
See: https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/sites/defau ...
"College admissions." Economist, April 10th-16th, 2021, pp. 27-28
Suggests universities' test-optional policies for admissions tests, such as the ACT and SAT, will not make admissions fairer due to society's systemic inequality.
"Mental health implications of virtual learning on student engagement." By Christina Muñoz. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), March 2021, pp. 1, 6-7
Discusses the trend of young adults suffering mental health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic and how remote learning may contribute. Reviews studies on the subject, including an IDRA research study that found three out of four San Antonio students surveyed reported struggling with mental health issues. Suggests policies to improve mental health and mentions SB 178 and SB 179, 87th Legislature, addressing student mental health issues.
See: https://www.idra.org/resource-center/mental-health ...
Related information at: https://www.idra.org/resource-center/student-resea ...
"Texas House moves bill strengthening adoptee rights to original birth certificate." Imprint, April 14, 2021, p. 1
Reports on HB 1386, 87th Legislature, which would allow adoptees direct access to an original birth certificate without petitioning a judge.
See: https://imprintnews.org/news-briefs/texas-house-mo ...
"State-level economic costs of opioid use disorder and fatal opioid overdose — United States, 2017." By Feijun Luo, Mengyao Li, and Curtis Florence. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), April 16, 2021, pp. 541-546
Estimates the state-level economic cost of opioid use disorder and fatal opioid overdose during 2017 for 38 states and the District of Columbia (DC). Finds the combined cost of opioid use disorder and fatal overdose was over $49 million in Texas for 2017. Includes state-level statistics for case counts and per capita costs.
See: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/pdfs/mm7015 ...
"State strategies to promote advance care planning in light of the pandemic." By Wendy Fox-Grage. National Academy for State Health Policy, April 19, 2021, p. 1
Discusses strategies state policymakers can implement to bolster support for advance care planning and improve care for people with serious illness. Mentions provider licensure and regulation and state repositories to house physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST) forms.
See: https://www.nashp.org/state-strategies-to-promote- ...
"The long fight to cancel student loans: How student debtors took a radical idea to the mainstream." By Ryann Liebenthal. New Republic, April 19, 2021, p. 1
Describes the ongoing student debt crisis in the U.S. and how organizations and advocates for debt cancellation, like the Debt Collective, have fought for this issue over the past decade. Evaluates the potential economic benefits of different levels of student debt cancellation and possible policy avenues for achieving these goals.
See: https://newrepublic.com/article/161883/biden-stude ...
"Winter storm ices USGC refining, petrochemical operations." By Robert Brelsford. Oil and Gas Journal, March 1, 2021, pp. 15-16
Reports on the impact Winter Storm Uri had on refining and petrochemical operations located along the United States Gulf Coast (USGC). Uses independent data from market analyses and research, including a recent report by IHS Markit.
Related information at: https://ihsmarkit.com/research-analysis/winter-sto ...
"Reducing educational inequality through research-practice partnerships." By Daniel Potter, Erin Baumgartner, and Ruth N. Lopez Turley. Phi Delta Kappan, April 2021, pp. 26-29
Uses the work of the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), a partnership between Rice University and eleven Houston-area school districts, to illustrate the possible benefits of research-practice partnerships (RPPs). Includes discussion of HERC's research on student engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
See: https://kappanonline.org/reducing-educational-ineq ...
"The Pandemic Misery Index." By Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos Navarro, and Andrew J. Rettenmaier. Private Enterprise Research Center (Texas A&M University), March 2021, pp. 1-13
Discusses the Pandemic Misery Index (PMI), a metric illustrating the human and economic loss of the COVID-19 pandemic by combining the unemployment rate with the number of deaths per 10,000 people. Calculates the PMI for states and metropolitan statistical areas and finds Texas had the third highest PMI among the four most populous states.
See: http://perc.tamu.edu/perc/media/perc/policy%20stud ...
"Water allocation laws and energy production across the United States: How Texas's unique laws and position as an energy powerhouse put it at an unfair advantage." By Zoe W. Oldham. Texas Environmental Law Journal, Winter 2020, pp. 307-330
Compares Texas water laws with those in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California. Focuses specifically on issues related to the quantity of water used in the production of energy. Suggests how Texas could change its water allocation schemes to reflect conservation needs.
"Federal fairness?" By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, April 2021, pp. 30-33
Discusses surprise medical billing and highlights key differences between SB 1264, 86th Legislature, and federal legislation taking effect in 2022. Notes it is not completely known how the two laws will interact and that the federal rulemaking process has not started yet.
See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=56348