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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.

March 18, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Powered down." By Joshua Mann. Austin Business Journal, March 12, 2021, pp. A15-A20
Discusses the power outages caused by Winter Storm Uri and what the state needs to do to prevent future blackouts.
See: https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/digital-edition ...
"Food assistance in American Rescue Plan Act will reduce hardship, provide economic stimulus." By Dorothy Rosenbaum, et al. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 12, 2021, pp. 1-12
Describes the major food assistance provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act, including extension of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit increase, strengthening of state SNAP administration, and protection of children from food hardship through the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program. Includes 50-state tables of the estimated increases in SNAP benefits and state administrative expense funding.
See: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/3-12-21fa ...
Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house ...
"Dallas vs. Austin." By Brian Womack. Dallas Business Journal, March 12, 2021, pp. 10-13
Compares the high tech industry markets in Austin and Dallas. Discusses corporate relocations, venture capital (VC) deals, and advantages Dallas–Fort Worth may have going forward.
See: https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/digital-edition ...
"Texas residents' views on state health policy priorities." By Shao-Chee Sim, et al. Episcopal Health Foundation, March 2021, pp. 1-18
Reports the findings of the Episcopal Health Foundation's 2020 survey on Texas health policy. Includes sections related to Texans' views on health care spending, priorities for the Legislature, and the role of state government.
See: https://www.episcopalhealth.org/wp-content/uploads ...
"Texas needs an equitable state broadband plan to serve students and families." By Thomas Marshall. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), February 2021, pp. 1-2, 5
Discusses how reliable broadband internet access is important for educational purposes. Makes recommendations for strengthening Texas's broadband system, including creating a statewide broadband plan and encouraging community investment in the broadband system.
See: https://www.idra.org/resource-center/texas-needs-a ...
"Educational assessments in the COVID-19 era and beyond." National Academy of Education, February 2021, pp. 1-22
Summarizes how educational assessments in the near term can be used to analyze the state of education after the COVID-19 pandemic. Recommends changes to assessment instruments that could help advance teaching and learning and reduce educational inequalities. Includes a list of resources on the topic of standardized testing and educational inequality.
See: https://naeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02 ...
"Public pension plan investment return assumptions." National Association of State Retirement Administrators, February 2021, pp. 1-9
Describes how investment return assumptions are established and evaluated in public pension funds, compared with public funds' actual investment experience. Includes investment return assumption figures for Texas County & District, Texas ERS, Texas LECOS, Texas Municipal, and Texas Teachers in the appendix. See Latest Investment Return Assumptions for rates as of March 2021.
See: https://www.nasra.org/files/Issue%20Briefs/NASRAIn ...
Related information at: https://www.nasra.org/latestreturnassumptions
"Inclusionary zoning hurts more than it helps." By Emily Hamilton. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), February 2021, pp. 1-8
Advises against the use of inclusionary zoning as a housing affordability strategy. Suggests that policymakers who want to create an environment of housing stability for households of all incomes pursue land use liberalization along with subsidies targeted to those households that need them to afford market-rate housing.
See: https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/hamilton_-_p ...
"Scoring executive emergency powers: How does your state rank?" By Nick Murray. State Policy Network, February 3, 2021, pp. 1-3
Highlights a new report by the Maine Policy Institute ranking emergency executive power in all 50 states. Includes an interactive map summarizing executive power in each state and a link to a public spreadsheet that includes each state's scores and the statutes cited for the analysis.
Related information at: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1F0RpnmcHh1 ...
Related information at: https://mainepolicy.org/project/emergency-powers/
See: https://spn.org/blog/scoring-executive-emergency-p ...
"State aid in American Rescue Plan Act is 116 times states' revenue losses." By Jared Walczak. Tax Foundation, March 3, 2021, pp. 1-6
Reports preliminary data showing the states finished calendar year 2020 with a combined $1.7 billion revenue shortfall, but the federal COVID-19 relief bill includes $350 billion in additional state and local aid. Includes a table of state revenues and state and local aid under the American Rescue Plan Act, showing Texas with a $4.08 billion revenue shortfall and $27.1 billion in total state and local aid.
See: https://taxfoundation.org/state-and-local-aid-amer ...
Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house ...
"State and local government revenues and racial disparities." By Aravind Boddupalli and Kim Rueben. Tax Policy Center (Urban Institute and Brookings Institution), March 8, 2021, pp. 1-16
Explores how state tax systems affect different races and ethnicities and how state and local fiscal policy can mitigate or amplify racial inequities.
See: https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/sites/default/file ...
"Grid 'weatherization,' in-state ERCOT [Electric Reliability Council of Texas] board residency among Texas Speaker's priority list." By Brad Johnson. Texan, March 9, 2021, pp. 1-4
Describes the seven electricity-related bills announced by Speaker Dade Phelan as priority legislation to address the recent electrical grid failure (HB 10, HB 11, HB 12, HB 13, HB 14, HB 16, and HB 17, 87th Legislature).
"Medicaid expansion again brought up for 87th Texas legislative session." By Brad Johnson. Texan, March 5, 2021, pp. 1-3
Discusses the potential for Texas to expand Medicaid to anyone with an income at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, including individuals earning up to $17,600 per year or a family of four earning up to $36,200 per year. Addresses the costs of Medicaid expansion, the federal government's share of financing, and concerns about the impact on taxpayers. Includes comments from Representatives Lyle Larson and Jacey Jetton.
"Housing forecast 2021." By Kristin Allman. Texas Builder, March/April 2021, pp. 8-11
Reports economic trends in the housing market according to the Chief Economist of the National Association of Home Builders. Notes economic uncertainty will linger into 2021, with Texas housing data mirroring national trends, followed by a slow rate of economic improvement and an estimated four percent GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth toward the end of 2021. Analyses the affordability gap, residential construction employment and lumber challenges, the "suburban shift," and Texas housing statistics compared with the U.S.
See: https://www.texasbuilders.org/site/publisher/files ...
"California leavin'." By Christopher Hooks. Texas Monthly, March 2021, pp. 40-48
Discusses the influx Californians moving to Texas and the effect population growth is having on the state, including increases in the cost of living, traffic, and homelessness. Argues Texas needs policies and leadership to deal the the resulting inequalities between highly paid transplants and its Texas-born workforce.
See: https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/californians ...
"The state of child care for babies: The need to do better for our youngest children." ZERO TO THREE, March 10, 2021, pp. 1-30 (Note Length)
Highlights child care as a critical support for the economy, drawing on data from the State of Babies Yearbook 2020. Explores state differences in the quality of child care families receive through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). Includes appendices of child care access and quality indicators by state.
Related information at: https://stateofbabies.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/ ...
See: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3924-the-sta ...