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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.

November 04, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Unemployment insurance at a crossroads: Tracing program design during and beyond COVID-19." By Amy Simon. American Enterprise Institute, October 2021, pp. 1-15
Highlights the unemployment insurance (UI) system prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unemployment benefit (UB) programs created in response to the recent economic crisis. Argues policymakers should review and reform major elements of the UI system, including covered populations, funding structure, program standardization, and incentives.
See: https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Une ...
"The new meth." By Sam Quinones. Atlantic Monthly, November 2021, pp. 72-85
Describes the structure and production history of a new version of methamphetamine called phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), which can be made from chemicals other than ephedrine and is manufactured and trafficked by cartels based in Mexico. Describes the effect of P2P meth on the brain and links it to an epidemic of mental illness and homelessness.
See: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/ ...
"Back to school." By Mary Elizabeth Lonergan. CSG Capitol Ideas, Issue 4 2021, pp. 24-27
Describes COVID-19 school safety measures in K-12 education across the country, including mask mandates, remote education, and distance learning for students with disabilities. Mentions Texas Governor Greg Abbott's July 2021 Executive Order GA-38 limiting mask mandates and vaccine requirements. Includes a map of colleges with COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
Related information at: https://lrl.texas.gov/scanned/govdocs/Greg Abbott/ ...
"Remote court." By Joel Sams. CSG Capitol Ideas, Issue 4 2021, pp. 32-35
Highlights the ways in which COVID-19 has changed criminal justice and fueled innovation in digital government, including remote court hearings, virtual trials. Interviews David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of Court Administration, about the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas courts.
"Select state efforts to reassess executive branch emergency powers." By Cody Allen and Eric Harrison. CSG South, October 2021, pp. 1-7
Discusses the ability of state legislatures in the South to call themselves into a special legislative session. Highlights recently enacted legislation that revised emergency executive powers in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Indiana. Provides a contrary example from Georgia that passed in 2014.
See: https://www.slcatlanta.org//Publications/FAGO/Sele ...
"Winter Storm Uri 2021: Texans respond during and after the storm." By Leticia Torres. Fiscal Notes, October 2021, pp. 6-10
Describes the disaster relief and assistance provided during Winter Storm Uri by local community organizations, the American Red Cross, food banks, and even grocery stores. Highlights the impact of the storm on wildlife, including sea turtles.
See: https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes ...
"Winter Storm Uri 2021: The 87th Legislature takes on electricity reform." By Spencer Grubbs. Fiscal Notes, October 2021, pp. 11-13
Discusses the legislative response to Winter Storm Uri to address critical weaknesses in the state's power grid and regulatory framework. Highlights legislation enacted by the 87th Legislature related to the governance of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), legislation related to the electric market structure, and legislation related to financing of storm costs.
See: https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes ...
"Policy opportunities to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of perinatal mental health conditions." By Jennifer E. Moore, et al. Health Affairs, October 2021, pp. 1534-1542
Describes the prevalence of mental health conditions in pregnant or postpartum individuals and the barriers to screening and treatment. Offers six policy opportunities to overcome these barriers and support reproductive health.
"Censure as speech? Houston Community College System v. Wilson and the government speech doctrine." By Shannon M. Wright. Houston Law Review, Fall 2021, pp. 229-256 (Note Length)
Discusses Houston Community College System v. Wilson, a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, that examines whether the First Amendment restricts the authority of an elected body to issue a censure resolution in response to a member of the body's speech. Examines two options in which the Court could find government speech in a legislative censure and highlights the policy implications.
See: https://houstonlawreview.org/article/29126-censure ...
Related information at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename= ...
"New Texas laws empower parents who had been previously deemed unfit." By Sara Tiano. The Imprint: Youth & Family News, October 27, 2021, pp. 1-4
Reviews recently enacted Texas legislation, HB 2924 and HB 2926, 87th Legislature, R.S., that allows reinstatement of parental rights in certain circumstances and prevents the state from using a prior termination of parental rights as grounds to remove a child. Notes that Texas is among the states most likely to terminate parental rights within five years of a child entering foster care.
See: https://imprintnews.org/top-stories/new-texas-laws ...
"Association of remote vs in-person benefit delivery with WIC participation during the COVID-19 pandemic." By Aditi Vasan, Chén C. Kenyon, and Christina A. Roberto. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), October 19, 2021, pp. 1531-1533
Notes that as of July 2021, nine states require beneficiaries of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to either mail or present their cards every three to four months to reload their benefits. Assesses whether participation in WIC differed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in states with offline vs. online electronic benefits transfer debit cards.
See: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/ ...
"The long-term outlook for the US economy." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 38, No. 7, pp. 1-3, 6
Highlights the most recent projections for the U.S. economy.
"Allowing compounding pharmacies to address drug shortages." By James Broughel. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), November 2021, pp. 1-12
Explains how smart public policy can enhance the role compounding pharmacies play in addressing drug shortages resulting from supply chain interruptions and spikes in demand.
See: https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/broughel_-_p ...
"Revitalizing local democracy: The case for on-cycle local elections." By Michael T. Hartney. Report (Manhattan Institute), October 2021, pp. 1-12
Recommends state governments move local elections to coincide with regular even-year November elections to increase voter participation, increase efficiency in election administration, ensure more accountable local government, and improve political representation.
See: https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/sites/defau ...
"Amid declining enrollment, public school districts adapt to stay competitive." By Erin Slowey. San Antonio Business Journal, October 22-28, 2021, pp. 13, 15
Reports that enrollment at Texas public schools has decreased by 2.2 percent in the last year, driven by competition from charter and private schools and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Bipartisan support for red flag laws wanes as GOP blocks bills." By Matt Vasilogambros. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), October 18, 2021, pp. 1-4
Reports the momentum to pass red flag legislation — legislation that would allow for the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may be a danger to themselves or others — has diminished more recently, following youth-led protests after the 2018 high school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, that brought attention to the issue. Notes red flag bills are less likely to pass in Republican-controlled legislatures.
See: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis ...