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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.

September 30, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Casino capitalism, literally." By Helen Andrews. American Conservative, September/October 2021, pp. 35-37
Highlights the history of the modern American casino industry and describes how moral concerns about casino gambling have changed over time. Argues briefly that this change in morals may be affecting our response to Big Tech.
"Lessons learned in the 2020 election." American Enterprise Institute, September 23, 2021, pp. 1-7
Summarizes the findings from a joint study on the 2020 election conducted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the MIT Election Data & Science Lab. Examines how the American system of election administration responded to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
See: https://electionlab.mit.edu/sites/default/files/20 ...
Report at: https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Les ...
"Texas' abortion law is devastating clinics." By Ellie Gardey. American Spectator, September 22, 2021, pp. 1-3
Describes the effect of SB 8, 87th Legislature, R.S., on abortion clinics in Texas, including abortion care, the threat of lawsuits, and staffing issues.
See: https://spectator.org/texas-abortion-law-is-devast ...
"States are using one-time funds to improve Medicaid home- and community-based services, but longer-term investments are needed." By Jennifer Sullivan. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, September 24, 2021, pp. 1-23
Reviews the initial implementation plans of 37 states, including Texas, to expand and strengthen Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS), including investments in the direct support workforce, telehealth, housing, and caregiver support. Includes an appendix comparing states' proposed HCBS improvements.
See: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/9-24-21he ...
"Teaching about race? 'Be paranoid.'" By Beth McMurtrie. Chronicle of Higher Education, September 17, 2021, pp. 18-22
Discusses the concerns of university professors preparing for the fall semester in states that have recently passed or considered laws relating to the teaching of critical race theory. Includes comments by University of Texas professor Leonard Moore and mentions recent Texas legislation.
See: https://www.chronicle.com/article/be-paranoid-prof ...
"The 87th session (so far)." Classroom Teacher (Texas Classroom Teachers Association), Summer 2021, pp. 14-17
Provides a brief look at key education-related bills passed during the regular and special sessions of the 87th Texas Legislature. Recognizes legislators and their staff who were supportive of teachers and public education. Includes a link to additional education bill summaries by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association.
Related information at: https://www.tcta.org/capitol-updates/final-bill-su ...
"More community, less confinement: A state-by-state analysis on how supervision violations impacted prison populations during the pandemic." Council on State Governments, September 1, 2021, p. 1
Analyses data from all 50 states to explore the impact of community supervision and supervision violations on prison populations and prison admissions prior to and during the pandemic. Includes links to state-level data on supervision violations, differentiating technical violations and new crime violations.
See: https://csgjusticecenter.org/publications/more-com ...
"Abortion in America: Courting trouble." Economist, September 11th-17th, 2021, pp. 12, 14
Discusses Texas' abortion law, SB 8, 87th Legislature, R.S., including how the law functions and the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to decline to issue a stay.
See: https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/09/11/texas ...
"Teaching about slavery." By Danielle Allen. Education Next, September 21, 2021, pp. 1-12
Presents the response of some of the nation's leading education experts within a forum on how K-12 schools should teach about slavery. Includes contributors from public schools, think tanks, and universities, including the University of Texas at Austin.
See: https://www.educationnext.org/teaching-about-slave ...
"Two models of legalization of psychedelic substances: Reasons for concern." By William R. Smith and Paul S. Appelbaum. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 24/31, 2021, pp. 697-698
Compares the initiatives by Oregon and California to legalize psychedelic substances. Discusses the potential benefits and unknown risks of psychedelic agents. Highlights the concerns these state actions raise by reviewing the precedents involving the legalization and commercialization of other controlled substances, including cannabis.
"State policy and mental health outcomes under COVID-19." By Michael W. Sances and Andrea Louise Campbell. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, October 2021, pp. 811-830
Examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, how those effects vary by race and ethnicity, and the role of existing state-level social policies in softening the pandemic's impact. Finds the reported symptoms of depression and anxiety were greater among minority groups and social welfare policies can ameliorate the effects of economic insecurity.
"How some states use title IV-E foster care funding for family-based facilities that treat substance use disorders." By Rivka Weiser and Jill Spielfogel. Mathematica Policy Research, September 2021, pp. 1-5
Describes how the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) allows states to use title IV-E foster care funds for children placed in foster care with their parent in a licensed residential family-based treatment facility for substance abuse. Discusses the experiences of California, Minnesota, Montana, and Utah.
Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house ...
See: https://www.mathematica.org/publications/how-some- ...
"Employee contributions to public pension plans." National Association of State Retirement Administrators, September 2021, pp. 1-13
Examines employee contribution plan designs, policies, and recent trends across states. Provides a table of employee contribution rates by plan that includes the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
See: https://www.nasra.org/files/Issue%20Briefs/NASRACo ...
"A necessary right." By Margaret Talbot. New Yorker, September 27, 2021, pp. 21-22
Comments on the recent lawsuit to uphold Mississippi's abortion law, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which is expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Explains the faults with the arguments that pregnancy is less onerous and contraception more widely available than at the time of Roe v. Wade. Mentions the recent passage of SB 8, 87th Legislature, R.S.
See: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/09/27/the- ...
"Census 2020 and the changing Texas population." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 38, No. 6, pp. 1-3, 6
Examines factors driving Texas population growth, which is outpacing the national rate. Discusses state and national trends in population aging and diversity.
"Election technology providers offer advice on cybersecurity." By Amanda Zoch. State Legislatures News, September 10, 2021, pp. 1-4
Offers election technology providers' perspectives on the use of technology-neutral terms in state statutes to allow for multiple approaches and future technological advances. Comments on SB 1387, 87th Legislature, R.S., relating to voting systems.
See: https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campai ...
"States have $95 billion to restore their unemployment trust funds—Why aren't they using it?" By Jared Walczak and Savanna Funkhouser. Tax Foundation, September 22, 2021, pp. 1-12
Reviews authorization in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for states to replenish unemployment compensation trust funds, many of which are now insolvent. Notes states have paid out $175 billion in unemployment benefits since the beginning of the pandemic, with state spending in Texas totaling $13.3 billion.
See: https://taxfoundation.org/state-unemployment-trust ...
"Wastewater threatens Texas streams." By Christopher Collins. Texas Observer, September 15, 2021, pp. 1-3
Examines how Texas streams and rivers continue to be threatened by wastewater discharge from cities and industries. Discusses HB 4146, 87th Legislature, R.S., which sought to halt the discharge of waste and pollutants into certain streams and drainage areas, but failed to pass.
See: https://www.texasobserver.org/wastewater-threatens ...