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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.

May 20, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"But who oversees the overseers?: The status of prison and jail oversight in the United States." By Michele Deitch. American Journal of Criminal Law, Summer 2020, pp. 207-273 (Note Length)
Assesses recent developments in the oversight of correctional facilities in the U.S. using examples of prison scandals and successful oversight programs in Texas and elsewhere. Argues against overreliance on court oversight as a way to address problematic conditions in jails and prisons. Includes a 50-state survey of correctional oversight bodies.
See: https://ajclonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/ ...
"America's school infrastructure needs a major investment of federal funds to advance an equitable recovery." By Victoria Jackson and Nicholas Johnson. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, May 17, 2021, pp. 1-8
Discusses the responsibilities of states and localities in addressing disparities in financing school construction and maintenance. Highlights the $50 billion in proposed direct grants to states in President Biden's American Jobs Plan for building and repairing K-12 schools.
See: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/5-17-21sf ...
"Addressing early childhood health equity in communities and states." By Kathryn Tout, et al. Child Trends, April 29, 2021, pp. 1-14
Provides an executive summary of the Early Childhood Health Equity Landscape Project, which includes an interactive mapping tool of 143 cross-sector initiatives to advance health equity for young children and their families, searchable by state. Presents overviews of project briefs and initiatives related to advancing health equity in early childhood systems.
Related information at: https://www.childtrends.org/publications/early-chi ...
See: https://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/202 ...
"The digital currencies that matter." Economist, May 8th-14th, 2021, p. 13
Examines the risks associated with government or central-bank digital currencies, also known as "govcoins." Notes over 50 monetary authorities are exploring digital currencies, including The Bahamas, China, the European Union, and the U.S.
"The future of banking." Economist, May 8th-14th, 2021, pp. 3-12
Questions whether banks can survive the transition to new monetary systems and payment platforms. Considers the potential threats to privacy and sovereignty if digital money becomes a method of social control.
"Fewer pharmacies in Black and Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods compared with white or diverse neighborhoods, 2007–15." By Jenny S. Guadamuz, et al. Health Affairs, May 2021, pp. 802-811
Examines the availability and geographic accessibility of pharmacies across neighborhoods based on their racial/ethnic composition in the 30 most populous U.S. cities. Discusses policy implications, noting the imperative to improve access to medications and other essential health care services in predominantly minority neighborhoods. Includes San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Texas.
"Solving the digital divide requires authentic family engagement." By Thomas Marshall. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), April 2021, pp. 1-3
Summarizes a recent report on broadband connectivity and its relation to equitable access to education in Texas.
Report at: https://www.idra.org/education_policy/digital-dest ...
See: https://www.idra.org/resource-center/solving-the-d ...
"The future of Houston as energy transitions." By Kenneth B. Medlock, III. Issue Brief (Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy), May 13, 2021, pp. 1-11
Explores how Houston can create opportunities to efficiently and effectively deploy the region’s resources to produce and deliver cleaner, greener fuels to the nation and the world.
See: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/media/files/files/2 ...
"State medical board recommendations for stronger approaches to sexual misconduct by physicians." By Patricia A. King, Humayun J. Chaudhry, and Mark L. Staz. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), April 27, 2021, pp. 1609-1610
Summarizes the recommendations adopted by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) after a review of practices related to the handling of reports of sexual misconduct towards patients by physicians.
Related information at: https://www.fsmb.org/siteassets/advocacy/policies/ ...
"COVID triggers record wave of rural hospital closures." By Clayton B. Reid. Newsmax, May 2021, pp. 15-16
Considers how rural hospitals in the U.S. have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes a sidebar about telemedicine.
"Toward better ways of measuring school climate." By Deborah Temkin, et al. Phi Delta Kappan, May 2021, pp. 53-57
Discusses the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirement that states hold their schools accountable on at least one nonacademic success indicator. Introduces the concept of measuring a school's climate — how supportive, safe, and engaging the school is for its students. Examines existing systems for measuring school climate and makes recommendations to ensure the validity and reliability of such measures.
"How broad are state sales tax bases?" By Nikhita Airi and Frank Sammartino. Tax Policy Center (Urban Institute and Brookings Institution), April 2021, pp. 1-22
Presents a chartbook comparing the breadth of general sales and excise tax bases across the states. Includes 50-state tables on the share of total household spending by category of service as of 2018 (health care, housing and utilities, transportation, etc.) and tax base coverage under the general sales tax.
See: https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/sites/default/file ...
"Here's where state leaders' priority bills stand 18 days from the end of the 87th legislative session." By Brad Johnson and Hayden Sparks. Texan, May 12, 2021, pp. 1-4
Reviews the status of Governor Greg Abbott's emergency items, Senate priorities, and House priorities in the 87th Legislature.
"Take it to the limit: Benefits and costs of Chapter 313 tax limitations." By Adam Purdue. Tierra Grande, March 11, 2021, pp. 1-11
Addresses Texas Tax Code, Chapter 313, also known as the Texas Economic Development Act, a program that regulates a school district's ability to offer property tax relief to proposed local manufacturing projects. Examines the tax impact on 437 participating projects in the program (those projects with a cost data report available). Includes multiple Chapter 313 project distribution maps.
See: https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/articles/tierra-gr ...
"What would it cost to replace all the nation's lead water pipes?" By Sophia Campbell and David Wessel. Up Front (Brookings), May 13, 2021, pp. 1-4
Discusses the health hazards and economic consequences of exposure to lead as well as the obstacles to removing lead from water systems. Mentions a 2019 Minnesota cost-benefit analysis of removing lead from all drinking water in the state.
See: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2021/05/13 ...
Report at: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environ ...