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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 25, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Reducing structural barriers to school and work for people with juvenile records." By Josh Weber. Council on State Governments, March 16, 2021, p. 1-18
Analyzes statutory and administrative barriers in twelve states, including Texas, that affect individuals with juvenile adjudications. Concludes that no state comprehensively treats juvenile adjudications differently than criminal convictions. Details the consequences of a juvenile record on future employment and education opportunities; makes recommendations and provides the link to a policy toolkit.
Related information at: https://csgjusticecenter.org/publications/juvenile ...
See: https://csgjusticecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/20 ...
"Location, location, location: Cost differences in health care services by site of treatment — A closer look at lab, imaging, and specialty medications." By Paul Fronstin and M. Christopher Roebuck. EBRI (Employee Benefit Research Institute), February 18, 2021, pp. 1-19
Analyzes trends in healthcare spending affected by the movement of many medical procedures from physicians' offices to hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). Concludes that employers and workers could reduce their spending on lab services by as much as 69 percent if price differentials between HOPDs and other sites of treatment were eliminated.
See: https://www.ebri.org/docs/default-source/ebri-issu ...
"Heads we win, tails you cheated: America's battle over election laws." Economist, March 13th-19th, 2021, pp. 1-4
Reports state Republican legislators have introduced 253 bills this year to tighten voting rules. Provides an overview of proposed federal legislation, H.R.1 (For the People Act of 2021), which seeks to harmonize state voting rules and preempt further modifications.
Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house ...
See: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2021/03/13 ...
"High and tight: Oil markets prepare for lofty prices and restrained supply." Economist, March 13th-19th, 2021, pp. 1-3
Discusses several events that have helped to drive up oil prices in March 2021. Notes America may not reach pre-pandemic levels of oil production until late 2023.
See: https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/20 ...
"School budgets: Why they’re not as bad as predicted." By Mark Lieberman. Education Week, March 19, 2021, pp. 1-6
Examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on state revenues and school budgets. Includes discussion on how Texas school budgets are faring during the pandemic.
See: https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/school-budg ...
"The catastrophic cost of uninsurance: COVID-19 cases and deaths closely tied to America’s health coverage gaps." Families USA, March 4, 2021, pp. 1-22
Estimates the impact health insurance gaps have had on COVID-19 infections and deaths at the national and state levels. Includes Texas in a list of states where coverage gaps had a particularly powerful impact, finding 66 percent of illnesses and 57 percent of deaths in the state were linked to health insurance gaps between January 22, 2020 and August 31, 2020.
See: https://familiesusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03 ...
"School meals: The impact of the pandemic on 54 large school districts." Food Research & Action Center, March 2021, pp. 1-26 (Note Length)
Reviews changes in participation and operating status of school lunch and school breakfast programs in 54 large school districts after the shuttering of schools due to COVID-19 in spring 2020. Includes the Austin, Cypress-Fairbanks, Dallas, and San Antonio Independent School Districts.
See: https://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/Large-District ...
"Texas lawmaker wants to give relative caregivers a raise." By Sara Tiano. Imprint, March 17, 2021, pp. 1-3
Describes the discrepancy in kinship care and standard foster care payments in Texas. Interviews Senator José Menéndez about SB 94, 87th Legislature, legislation that would allow kinship caregivers to receive standard payments, regardless of whether they are licensed as foster parents. Notes a 2017 federal court ruling requiring foster care agencies to pay relatives the same rate.
See: https://imprintnews.org/child-welfare-2/texas-lawm ...
Related information at: https://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017 ...
"Virtual child welfare court is the way of the future, leading Texas judges say." By Sara Tiano. Imprint, March 11, 2021, pp. 1-2
Discusses the benefits of virtual court proceedings for foster care, child welfare, domestic violence, and child support cases, according to a panel of Texas juvenile and family court judges.
See: https://imprintnews.org/child-welfare-2/virtual-ch ...
"Supply and demand and disaster." By Kevin D. Williamson. National Review, March 22, 2021, pp. 12-13
Examines possible causes of the February 2021 winter storm power failure, such as deregulation, alternative energy, and lack of winterization. Argues that an increase in energy generation infrastructure is the best and most economic solution to preventing future failures.
See: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2021/03/22 ...
"Early bets are in: Is sports betting paying off?" By Jackson Brainerd. NCSL Fiscal Brief, March 2021, pp. 1-7
Examines select provisions of sports betting programs currently offered in twenty states and the District of Columbia.
See: https://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/Documents/fiscal/NC ...
"Crash tests show how higher speeds undermine advances in crash protection." By Jason Overdorf. Status Report (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), February 26, 2021, pp. 4-5
Reports the findings of crash tests conducted at three different impact speeds: 40, 50, and 56 mph. Determines that slightly higher speeds were enough to increase the driver's risk of severe injury or death.
See: https://www.iihs.org/api/datastoredocument/status- ...
"Redistricting delays in Texas could lead to special session and lawsuits." By Daniel Friend. Texan, March 22, 2021, p. 1
Discusses the current status of apportionment and redistricting data from the U.S. Census Bureau and summarizes testimony of the Texas Demographic Center and the Texas Legislative Council before the House Committee on Redistricting.
"Inviting common sense into the Texas law of parties doctrine." By Amanda Marzullo. Texas Public Policy Foundation, February 2021, pp. 1-20
Argues the law of parties allows courts to convict individuals of crimes they neither committed nor intended for anyone else to commit, undermines the integrity of Texas' capital punishment system, and is particularly harsh against juveniles and young adults. Provides an overview of culpability under the Texas Penal Code and recommendations to limit the application of the conspirator-party rule.
See: https://files.texaspolicy.com/uploads/2021/02/2513 ...
"Texas mental health legislative reform: Significant achievements with more to come." By Brian D. Shannon. Texas Tech Law Review, Fall 2020, pp. 99-138 (Note Length)
Discusses recent legislative and judicial initiatives related to persons with mental illness or intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDDs) who are involved in legal proceedings. Examines the creation and early projects of the Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health. Highlights key bills from 2017 and 2019: SB 1326 and SB 1849, 85th Legislature, R.S., and SB 362, SB 562, and HB 601, 86th Legislature.