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 29, 2021 list Print (PDF)
"Trump's Hispanic bump."
By Santi Ruiz and Lars Schonander.
American Conservative, May/June 2021, pp. 29-33
Analyzes the Hispanic support for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, specifically in Starr County, Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley. Includes Texas Politics Project poll results highlighting top issues for Hispanic Republicans, compared to Hispanic Democrats and non-Hispanic Democrats and Republicans.
See: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/t ...
"Can justice be served on Zoom?"
By Eric Scigliano.
Atlantic Monthly, May 2021, pp. 20-22
Discusses the possibilities and problems of permanently moving many court processes online, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Notes that Texas has been among the states whose courts "moved online most aggressively" and highlights specific issues — including connectivity and keeping online jurors engaged — along with benefits such as a higher likelihood that defendants will make their court dates.
See: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/ ...
"Do public workers without Social Security get comparable benefits?"
By Laura D. Quinby, Jean-Pierre Aubry, and Alicia H. Munnell.
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, April 2021, pp. 1-7
Notes that one-quarter of state and local government employees, about 6.5 million workers, are not covered by Social Security, including 35 percent of state and local employees in Texas. Recommends updating federal Safe Harbor standards and extending mandatory Social Security coverage.
See: https://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/SLP7 ...
"CSI: Houston: How a Texas lab has remade the science of forensics."
By Henry Gass.
Christian Science Monitor, April 26 & May 3, 2021, pp. 26-32
Examines high-profile examples of forensic science failures which have led to false convictions and exonerations, and explains common failings of crime labs across the country. Profiles the Houston Forensic Science Center (HFSC) as an example of a lab which produces scientifically rigorous forensic investigations and operates independently of its city police department.
See: https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2021/0423/CS ...
"The pressure is on to retrain workers."
By Scott Carlson.
Chronicle of Higher Education, April 2, 2021, pp. 38-39
Discusses how the loss of jobs in many industries during the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to lead to an increased need in educational programs for job retraining, "reskilling," and credentialing. Explores proposals to improve higher learning for workers and reskillers, such as the creation of a national transferrable credential system, availability of shorter courses, and improving career counseling services.
See: https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-pressure-to- ...
"The promise and peril of ranked-choice voting."
By Daniel DiSalvo.
City Journal (Manhattan Institute), April 12, 2021, pp. 1-4
Finds little evidence to proclaim ranked-choice voting as the cure-all to making American politics more democratic, more civil, and more representative.
See: https://www.city-journal.org/promise-and-peril-of- ...
"The energy transition: The gaseous mega-bet."
Economist, April 24th-30th, 2021, pp. 54-55
Examines how the debate related to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 will affect the five largest international oil companies' future investments in natural gas. Suggests future demand will depend on how fast governments limit carbon emissions and how quickly rival technologies advance.
See: https://www.economist.com/business/2021/04/22/oil- ...
"A vaxxing problem."
Economist, April 24th-30th, 2021, pp. 67-68
Explains how American export bans on raw materials and equipment and the use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) could harm global vaccine production. Notes American pharmaceutical firms are also being inconvenienced by supply chain issues.
See: https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2 ...
"8 states debate bills to restrict how teachers discuss racism, sexism."
By Sarah Schwartz.
Education Week, April 15, 2021, pp. 1-4
Discusses legislation that would ban teaching concepts that are viewed as "divisive" or "racist and sexist" in schools in Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Addresses critical race theory and why legislators are attempting to prevent it from being taught in schools.
See: https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/8-states-de ...
"FEMA will cover some COVID-19 staffing costs for schools."
By Mark Lieberman.
Education Week, April 19, 2021, pp. 1-3
Details the COVID-19 related costs that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimburses K-12 schools. Addresses challenges schools have had obtaining the funding.
See: https://www.edweek.org/leadership/fema-will-cover- ...
"New study confirms high prevalence of investigations, loss of parental rights."
Imprint, April 22, 2021, pp. 1-2
Discusses new research in the American Journal of Public Health using California birth records and child protection data for 519,824 children to illustrate trends in the terminations of parental rights and state removal of children from parents.
Report at: https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/ ...
"Republicans and Democrats move further apart in views of voting access."
Pew Research Center, April 22, 2021, pp. 1-17
Surveys Americans’ views of election and voting policies in the United States. Examines how national trends have changed over time and how opinions vary by age, race, and political party.
See: https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/04/22/re ...
"Legislatures consider homeschool laws."
By Benjamin Olneck-Brown.
State Legislatures News, April 14, 2021, pp. 1-3
Provides an overview of proposed bills affecting state homeschooling regulations, noting new legislation both eases and increases regulations. Points out the uncertain impact the increase in homeschooling and changes to regulations will have on student success and public schools.
See: https://www.ncsl.org/research/education/legislatur ...
"How are your state's roads funded?"
By Ulrik Boesen.
Tax Foundation, April 21, 2021, pp. 1-6
Discusses the national infrastructure debate and proposed new infrastructure spending in the American Jobs Plan. Illustrates each state's state and local road spending covered by state and local tolls, user fees, and user taxes in fiscal year 2018. Finds 74.4 percent of Texas' total highway spending is funded with transportation taxes, licenses, and fees, ranking Texas 18th highest in the U.S.
See: https://taxfoundation.org/state-infrastructure-spe ...
"Here’s a list of where Texas state senators stand on constitutional carry."
By Daniel Friend.
Texan, April 22, 2021, pp. 1-5
Surveys Texas state senators on their support of HB1927, 87th Legislature, legislation related to "constitutional carry" or the permitless carrying of a firearm. Discusses similarities with the passage of HB 1177, 86th Legislature, relating to carrying a handgun during a state of disaster.
"The cut and dry of Texas groundwater law: Unconstitutional takings of produced water from oil and gas wells as a result of House Bill 3246."
By Melissa Waggoner.
Texas Environmental Law Journal, Spring 2021, pp. 157-185 (Note Length)
Examines HB 3246, 86th Legislature, which addresses the ownership of fluid oil and gas waste. Argues that based on Texas court rulings and the definition of groundwater, HB 3246 "acts as an unconstitutional possessory taking of private property."