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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 06, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Could the Dog's Head become one of Austin's next huge commercial districts?" By Kathryn Hardison. Austin Business Journal, April 30 - May 5, 2021, pp. 8, 23
Discusses interest in developing land in East Austin known as "Dog's Head," roughly 3,000 acres located in the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction. Notes the land is the centerpiece of HB 4650, 87th Legislature, which would create a municipal utility district to govern the reclamation of the land and to finance utility infrastructure. Includes comments by Representative Eddie Rodriguez.
See: https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/digital-edition ...
"Number of families struggling to afford food rose steeply in pandemic and remains high, especially among children and households of color." By Brynne Keith-Jennings, Catlin Nchako, and Joseph Llobrera. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, April 27, 2021, pp. 1-31 (Note Length)
Analyzes trends in food hardship during the pandemic using U.S. Census Bureau data from the Household Pulse Survey from April 2020 through late March 2021. Includes statistical tables of food hardship by state, including the number of adults reporting their household didn't have enough to eat and the number of children not eating enough because their household could not afford enough food — 1.3 million children in Texas.
See: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/4-27-21fa ...
Report at: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/household- ...
"How safe is our drinking water?" By Ryan Felton. Consumer Reports, May 2021, pp. 34-43
Presents the results of a nine-month investigation of the nation's drinking water. Finds that millions of people continue to face serious water quality problems because of contamination, deteriorating infrastructure, and inadequate treatment plants.
"SCOTUS and free speech: Sidelined." Economist, May 1st-7th, 2021, pp. 22-23
Reports on a pending case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Mahanoy Area School District v. B. L. Examines whether the First Amendment prohibits public school officials from regulating off-campus student speech.
Related information at: https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/mahano ...
"How should school districts spend their summer?" By Meghan McCormick and Amena Sengal. Ideas and Evidence 2021 (MDRC), April 2021, pp. 1-3
Argues for investing pandemic relief funds in pre-K and kindergarten summer programs. Recognizes the significant gains in language and literacy skills made by students in Georgia's Summer Transition Program (STP).
Related information at: https://www.decal.ga.gov/Prek/SummerTransitionProg ...
See: https://www.mdrc.org/publication/how-should-school ...
"Affordable but inaccessible? Contraception deserts in the US states." By Rebecca J. Kreitzer, et al. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, April 2021, pp. 277-304 (Note Length)
Evaluates the accessibility of affordable family planning in 14 states under Title X, the only federal policy dedicated to reproductive health care. Finds the proportion of the reproductive age population in contraception deserts is near 50 percent in Texas or roughly 5.8 million people. Notes the role of state and local policymakers in administering the program.
"Theater under Covid: The art form has been forced to reinvent itself." By Alisa Solomon. Nation, May 3-10, 2021, pp. 18-21, 30
Examines the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the performing and fine arts industry, with 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 billion in sales lost, according to a recent Brookings Institution analysis. Discusses how theaters have adapted programming and also confronted racial discrimination within the industry.
Report at: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/ ...
See: https://www.thenation.com/article/culture/nonprofi ...
"Broadband isn't the new railroad." By Kevin D. Williamson. National Review, May 3, 2021, pp. 12-14
Explores current proposals on broadband infrastructure expansion. Argues that directed spending is a more effective way to address infrastructure needs than large omnibus bills.
See: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2021/05/03 ...
"Deadly Texas storm exposes weakness of green energy." By Bill Hoffmann. Newsmax, April 2021, pp. 20-21
Discusses the reliability of fossil fuels during extreme weather events. Explores whether wind turbines can be adequately weatherized to meet power demand during extended below-freezing conditions.
"The outlook for the US economy." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 1-3, 6
Projects robust future expansion in the U.S. economy over the 2020-2025 period and relief from the pandemic stress. Estimates a 4.41 percent annual rate of growth.
"Local Black- and Hispanic-owned small businesses hit hardest in the pandemic." By Jeannette E. Garcia. San Antonio Business Journal, April 9, 2021, p. 10
Reports that minority business owners in Bexar County have been disproportionately affected by lost revenue and closures during the the COVID-19 pandemic.
"COVID-19 slammed into Texas, leaving long-lasting impacts." By Emily Kerr, Judy Teng, and Keith Phillips. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), First Quarter 2021, pp. 3-7
Compares the COVID-19 pandemic to a hurricane or other large natural disaster in terms of the economic downturn that began in March 2020. Looks at the signs of a slow economic recovery in Texas, as well as the long-term pandemic impacts on businesses and oil and gas. Discusses recent Texas population growth and strong net domestic migration from other states.
See: https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/resear ...
"Texas GOP priority legislation lingers with one month left in session." By Daniel Friend. Texan, May 3, 2021, pp. 1-4
Provides an update on the legislative priorities of the Republican Party of Texas and the status of bills filed in the 87th Legislature relating to elections integrity, religious freedom, children and gender modification, abolition of abortion, constitutional carry, monument protection, school choice, taxpayer-funded lobbying, and executive overreach.
"Blockchain for clean energy — A 'distributed' approach to saving the planet." By Benjamin R. Zeter. Texas Environmental Law Journal, Winter 2020, pp. 353-375
Provides an overview of blockchain technology. Considers various applications of blockchain in the energy market to assist with efforts to stop climate change.
"Biotech's third coast." By Teresa Carr. Texas Monthly, May 2021, pp. 74, 76-79
Discuses how the push to keep high-tech drug manufacturing in the U.S. stands to benefit Texas in lieu of the established biotechnology centers on the East and West Coasts. Highlights the public-private partnership between Texas A&M's Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) and Fujifilm and their recent efforts to produce COVID-19 vaccines.
"Abandoned in the Permian." By Clayton Aldern, Christopher Collins, and Naveena Sadasivam. Texas Observer, March/April 2021, pp. 14-25
Examines the financial and environmental consequences of abandoned oil wells in the Permian Basin. Projects 12,000 Texas wells will be abandoned in the next 4 years, potentially costing the state more than $624 million to clean them up.
See: https://grist.org/abandoned-oil-gas-wells-permian- ...