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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.

October 07, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Controversy and consensus: Perspectives on race, religion, and COVID-19 in public schools." By Daniel A. Cox and Nat Malkus. American Enterprise Institute, 2021, pp. 1-23
Presents findings from the August 2021 American Perspectives Survey (APS) on topics related to public education: returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching priorities (including the role of slavery and racial discrimination in American history, the role of humans in climate change, and sex education), and religion and prayer in schools.
See: https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Con ...
"From COVID-19 response to comprehensive change: Policy reforms to equip youth and young adults in foster care to thrive." Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2021, pp. 1-12
Describes historical federal child welfare policy achievements and recent reforms mandated by the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act. Advocates for expansion of federal pandemic-relief provisions to support foster youth and young adults transitioning from foster care to adulthood through permanent family connections, housing access, and pathways to success.
See: https://assets.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-fromcov ...
Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr133/BILLS-116 ...
"Lights, camera, inaction." By Justin Sayers. Austin Business Journal, October 1-7, 2021, pp. 21-24
Examines factors preventing Austin from becoming more of a movie production hub. Notes the continuing decrease in state film incentives.
"Addressing methane: Learning from Colorado." By Barry G. Rabe. Brookings Institution, September 16, 2021, pp. 1-3
Highlights recent efforts by Colorado to integrate policies related to monitoring and reducing methane emissions into its statewide climate initiatives. Notes Colorado has remained a leading energy production state, ranking fifth in oil production in 2019.
See: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2021/09/16/a ...
"The role of implicit racial bias in forensic testimony." By Janis C. Puracal. Champion, July 2021, pp. 26-40, 48
Explains how implicit racial bias (also known as unconscious bias) affects the criminal justice system, with a focus on how such bias influences the interpretation of forensic evidence in criminal cases. Recommends that public forensic labs be removed from direct control of law enforcement agencies and that they adopt protocols designed to lessen the impact of implicit bias.
"Natural gas: Boiling over." Economist, September 25th-October 1st, 2021, pp. 60-61
Reports on the natural gas shortage and the factors causing rising prices in the global gas market.
See: https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/na ...
"Here are the upcoming Supreme Court cases that matter for schools." By Mark Walsh. Education Week, September 27, 2021, pp. 1-4
Discusses education-related cases that will be on the U.S. Supreme Court's docket during the October 2021 term, as well as cases that could be added to the docket. Highlights cases that address religious-school choice, school board censure, and federal anti-discrimination laws.
See: https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/here-are-th ...
"Regular session wrap-up of the Texas 87th Legislature." By Patrick Graves. Fiscal Notes, September 2021, pp. 6-9
Reviews fiscal and tax issues raised during the 87th Legislature, including the new state budget, updates to the biennial revenue estimate, general revenue appropriations by governmental function for the 2022-23 biennium, and the 2022 expiration of the Texas Economic Development Act (Tax Code, Chapter 313).
See: https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes ...
Related information at: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TX/htm/TX. ...
"New Texas law curtails power of pediatricians contracted by CPS." By Sara Tiano. Imprint, September 30, 2021, pp. 1-3
Describes SB 1578, 87th Legislature, R.S., new legislation that reduces the influence of doctors working for the Forensic Assessment Center Network, which has provided consultation to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Notes that parents accused in child abuse cases will now be able to request a second medical opinion, regardless of their ability to pay. Quotes Representative Gene Wu.
See: https://imprintnews.org/top-stories/new-texas-law- ...
"Why farmworkers need more than new laws for protection from heat-related illness." By Bridget M. Kuehn. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), September 28, 2021, pp. 1135-1137
Notes that as the U.S. faces higher average temperatures and extreme heat waves, heat-related worker illness, injury, and death are also rising. Argues comprehensive mitigation efforts are needed to reduce heat-related risks for farmworkers. Mentions OSHA-approved heat protection standards already in place in California, Washington, and Minnesota.
See: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/ ...
Related information at: https://www.osha.gov/heat-exposure/standards
"The current landscape of school choice in the United States." By Mark Berends. Phi Delta Kappan, September 2021, pp. 14-19
Gives a brief history of charter schools and voucher programs in the U.S. and provides statistical and demographic information about students served by each type of program. Explores current research into the efficacy of charter schools and voucher programs.
See: https://kappanonline.org/current-landscape-school- ...
"COVID-19 expanded unemployment insurance benefits may have discouraged a faster recovery." By Michael D. Farren and Christopher M. Kaiser. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), September 2021, pp. 1-8
Estimates the effect of federally expanded unemployment insurance (UI) benefits on workers' return to employment. Argues preliminary findings suggest that states that opted out of the expansion saw faster employment growth, noting market outcomes varied even between states that pursued the same policy.
See: https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/farren_-_pol ...
"Fight over renewables' 'distortion' of the ERCOT market featured in Texas Senate hearing." By Brad Johnson. Texan, October 4, 2021, pp. 1-3
Discusses the recent Senate Committee on Business and Commerce hearing on power grid reforms and the future of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Describes the role of "dispatchable power" in Texas' generation capacity.
See: https://thetexan.news/fight-over-renewables-distor ...
"Animal cruelty: The criminal consequences of abuse." By Fabiola M. Casas. Texas Bar Journal, October 2021, pp. 812-814
Provides an overview of Texas animal cruelty statutes. Mentions recent legislation related to restraining a dog outdoors (SB 474, 87th Legislature, R.S.) and reporting animal cruelty to authorities (HB 4330, 87th Legislature, R.S.).
"Funding the future." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, October 2021, pp. 22-24
Discusses how the Texas Legislature has allocated funds for medical education within the 2022-2023 budget. Highlights how the state's Graduate Medical Education (GME) Expansion Grant Program was fully funded. Notes budgets were cut for other medical education programs, including the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program.
See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=57889