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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 13, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Community advisory boards: What works and what doesn't (lessons from a national study)." By Julian Clark and Barry Friedman. American Journal of Criminal Law, Spring 2020, pp. 159-180
Examines the functions and powers of community advisory boards (CABs), volunteer groups which meet with policing agency leadership and are often established as a form of "civilian oversight" on police departments. Presents critiques and guidance for CABs based on interviews with members of several boards, including those in Beaumont and El Paso.
See: https://ajclonline.org/?p=165
"New Texas legislation seeks to allow Sunday spirit sales." By Evan Maguire. American Spectator, April 30, 2021, p. 1
Highlights SB 1013 and HB 2232, 87th Legislature, legislation filed by Senator Dawn Buckingham and Representative John H. Bucy III to expand sales of spirits at liquor stores and distilleries on Sundays. Notes the growth of the alcohol tourism industry in Texas and argues restrictions on alcohol sales are dated.
See: https://spectator.org/spirits-sales-texas-legislat ...
"How states can improve child care facilities & physical spaces using federal relief dollars." By Olivia Barrow, et al. Center for Law and Social Policy, May 2021, pp. 1-8
Describes the unprecedented opportunity for states to create a more equitable, sustainable, and comprehensive child care system through federal COVID-19 relief legislation. Explains funding available to states through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), Child Care Stabilization Fund, State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), state and local fiscal recovery funds, and other resources.
See: https://www.clasp.org/sites/default/files/publicat ...
"The vaccination dilemma." By Alexander C. Kafka. Chronicle of Higher Education, April 30, 2021, pp. 41-45
Discusses the concerns of college administrators as they consider what health protocols — including mandatory COVID-19 vaccines — to require in the 2021 school year. Analyzes alternatives to mandatory vaccination, including vaccine education and the separation of vaccinated students.
See: https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-vaccination- ...
"Tracking state budgets: CSG continues to analyze ongoing fiscal impacts from COVID-19." By Sarah Needler and Bill Swinford. CSG Capitol Ideas, Issue 2, 2021, pp. 8-11
Discusses the ongoing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on state budgets, including shortfalls in state tax revenues and state operating budgets. Provides an update to the July 2020 Council of State Governments (CSG) report, COVID-19: Fiscal Impact to States and Strategies for Recovery. Finds Texas had a 10.4 percent decrease in tax revenue from April–December 2020.
See: https://issuu.com/csg.publications/docs/ci_issue_2 ...
Report at: https://issuu.com/csg.publications/docs/csg_covid_ ...
"Organized crime online: Spam, scam, scam, scam." Economist, May 8th-14th, 2021, pp. 59-60
Attributes the growth of cybercrime to the lack of organized crime groups, the anonymity provided by cryptocurrency, and new technology that makes cybercriminals harder to catch. Notes the amount paid in Bitcoin ransoms increased by 311 percent last year.
"Permitless-carry gun laws: The firearms free-for-all." Economist, May 8th-14th, 2021, pp. 27-28
Reports many states are pushing through more permissive gun laws despite the spike in mass shootings and the increase in violent crime. Mentions Texas' pro-gun agenda for the current legislative session.
"Appeals court weighs Idaho law barring transgender female students from girls’ sports." By Mark Walsh. Education Week, May 4, 2021, pp. 1-3
Summarizes arguments heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Hecox v. Little, a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), that challenges Idaho's state law barring transgender females from participating in girls' and women's school sports.
Related information at: https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_video.php? ...
See: https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/appeals-cou ...
"Nursing home staffing levels did not change significantly during COVID-19." By Rachel M. Werner and Norma B. Coe. Health Affairs, May 2021, pp. 795-801
Studies nursing home staffing levels during the COVID-19 pandemic in light of news reports on staffing shortages. Compares staffing levels during the first nine months of 2020 to the same period in 2019 and finds the number of staff hours did not decline. Points out the perception of shortages may be due to increased stresses and demands on staff due to the pandemic.
"The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact: Attending to the underserved." By Eli Y. Adashi, Glenn Cohen, and Winston L. McCormick. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), April 27, 2021, pp. 1607-1608
Discusses the creation and expansion of the U.S. Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC), which streamlines licensure for physicians who wish to practice in multiple states. Highlights how the IMLC facilitates interstate telemedicine and can increase access to care for patients in underserved areas.
"Burning questions for the tobacco product industry as it deals with increased and evolving tax, regulation, registration and licensing issues." By Daniel G. Mudd. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, May 2021, pp. 38-42
Explores the ever-changing state and local taxation of tobacco products, the extension of Wayfair's economic nexus to tobacco excise taxes, growing regulatory and licensing concerns at the federal and state level, and the taxation of vaping products.
"New Jersey's plan to become the national capital of offshore wind." By Susanne Peticolas and Christopher J. Cavaiola. Natural Resources & Environment, Spring 2021, pp. 35-38
Explores Governor Phil Murphy's plans to make New Jersey the hub of the offshore wind industry for the Eastern Seaboard. Discusses the potential state and federal policy and legal implications. Mentions the New Jersey Legislature's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, summarized in the state's 80x50 Report.
Related information at: https://www.nj.gov/dep/climatechange/docs/nj-gwra- ...
"COVID-19 poses stubborn challenge to economic growth in Mexico." By Jesus Cañas and Chloe Smith. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), First Quarter 2021, pp. 10-13
Describes the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Mexico, particularly in the leisure and hospitality industries, and the contraction of Mexico's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 4.5 percent in 2020. Notes Mexico's manufacturing production and exports have returned to prepandemic levels, correlating with the resilient U.S. manufacturing sector.
See: https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/resear ...
"The coming revolution." By David T. Norton. Texas Lawyer, May/June 2021, pp. 24, 26
Examines the technical, legal, and security issues raised by the use of emerging technologies that provide on-demand air transportation services for the delivery of goods and people. Mentions small, unmanned aircraft (drones) and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
"Longer coverage, longer lives." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, May 2021, pp. 40-41, 43
Urges Texas to keep pregnant women on Medicaid for one year postpartum, noting their support of HB 133, 87th Legislature. Discusses maternal mortality and morbidity in Texas and initial concerns with the state's Health Texas Women program. Summarizes the findings and recommendations within the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee's (MMMRC) 2020 joint biennial report with the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Report at: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/legislative/2020-Report ...
See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=56747
"Sea change." By Jefferey Ball. Texas Monthly, May 2021, pp. 100-103, 113-117
Examines how and why Texas oil and gas companies are entering the alternative energy market, notably Houston-based multinational corporation NOV, formerly National Oilwell Varco. Highlights the construction of the first wind-turbine-installation vessel in a Brownsville shipyard by Keppel, the world's largest oil rig builder. Argues the divide between "Big Oil" and renewable energy that was highlighted during Winter Storm Uri is ill-informed.