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.
July 15, 2021 list Print (PDF)
"The economics of lockdowns: Lives v livelihoods."
Economist, July 3rd-9th, 2021, pp. 69-71
Discusses a growing body of economic research that could help policymakers assess the costs and benefits of lockdowns during pandemics in order to strike a balance between saving lives and damaging the economy.
See: https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/20 ...
"Patriotism and polarization: America's history wars."
Economist, July 10th-16th, 2021, pp. 25-26
Examines the current controversy over including critical race theory in the history curriculum of public schools.
See: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2021/07/10 ...
"Health policy challenges posed by shifting demographics and health trends among immigrants to the United States."
By Arturo Vargas Bustamante, et al.
Health Affairs, July 2021, pp. 1028-1037
Examines recent trends in immigrant health and health care after the Great Recession and the nationwide implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Discusses policy changes that are needed to close coverage gaps, noting the challenge presented by the increasing number of aging immigrants.
See: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff. ...
"Culture war in the K-12 classroom."
By Jennifer C. Berkshire.
Nation, June 28-July 5, 2021, pp. 20-23
Describes the ongoing debate about teaching racism and sexism in social studies education, noting the recent controversy over cultural diversity efforts in the North Texas community of Southlake. Mentions state legislation prohibiting critical race theory in schools in Utah, Texas (HB 3979, 87th Legislature, R.S.), Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
See: https://www.thenation.com/article/society/culture- ...
"State hybrid retirement plans."
National Association of State Retirement Administrators, June 2021, pp. 1-13
Examines two hybrid public retirement plan designs: a cash balance plan and a defined benefit-defined contribution (DB-DC) combination plan. Notes heightened attention to hybrid plans amid recent state reforms to public pension benefits and financing. Provides examples of hybrid plans, including the Texas municipal and Texas county and district pension plans.
See: https://www.nasra.org/files/Issue%20Briefs/NASRAHy ...
"Dewey defeats critical race theory."
By Michael Brendan Dougherty.
National Review, July 12, 2021, pp. 20-22
Argues that the push to teach ideas similar to critical race theory is an attack on the social function of public schools. Explains the theories of philosopher and educational theorist John Dewey.
See: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2021/07/12 ...
"More than half a million child care workers would benefit from a $15 minimum wage in 2025."
By Julia Wolfe and Ben Zipperer.
Policy Report (Economic Policy Institute), June 9, 2021, pp. 1-10
Estimates the number and share of child care workers who would benefit from the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 in 2025. Notes some states would benefit disproportionately from the increase, including Texas, where 70 percent of child care workers would have higher take-home pay.
"Federal COVID-19 relief aided consumer debt, though immigrant Texans derived less benefit."
By Wenhua Di and Chloe Smith.
Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Second Quarter 2021, pp. 3-7
Describes the effect of federal aid programs on U.S. and Texas household finances during the COVID-19 recession. Finds communities with a larger share of immigrants did not realize the full benefit of federal assistance in terms of credit activity.
See: https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/resear ...
"Texas winter deep freeze broke refining, petrochemical supply chains."
By Jesse Thompson.
Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Second Quarter 2021, pp. 10-13
Analyzes the effects of record cold, power outages, and supply chain disruptions from Winter Storm Uri on the Texas petrochemical industry and crude oil processing at refineries.
See: https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/resear ...
"Election integrity legislation takes focus again as special session begins."
By Daniel Friend.
Texan, July 8, 2021, pp. 1-3
Reviews and identifies key differences between two omnibus election administration bills filed in the special session, SB 1 and HB 3, 87th Legislature, 1st C.S. Includes a list of other election bills filed by Republicans relating to voting by mail, voter qualifications, voting hours, and other election topics.
"Legislating in the age of COVID-19."
By Celeste Embrey.
Texas Banking, July 2021, pp. 8-11
Summarizes the 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, from the perspective of the banking industry, including the Pandemic Liability Protection Act (SB 6), automated teller machine (ATM) "smash and grab" legislation (SB 516), and the rule against perpetuities (HB 654). Briefly addresses legislation on constitutional carry (HB 1927) and card skimming (HB 2106), as well as potential special session topics.
See: https://www.texasbankers.com/Magazine/Magazine/Fea ...
"Reconstructing a legacy: The trials and accomplishments of Black legislators in post-Civil War Texas."
By Michael Hurd.
Texas Highways, July 2021, pp. 68-71
Profiles the accomplishments of three Black lawmakers who became legislative leaders in post-emancipation Texas: George T. Ruby, Walter Moses Burton, and Matthew Gaines.
See: https://texashighways.com/culture/history/unveilin ...
"Dispensing with reason?"
By Joey Berlin.
Texas Medicine, July 2021, pp. 45-47
Discusses Garrett and Held v. Texas State Board of Pharmacy et. al, a Texas Third Court of Appeals case that argues physicians are as qualified as pharmacists to dispense medications. Notes Texas is one of five states that ban physicians from dispensing medications out of their offices. Mentions HB 1622, 86th Legislature.
Related information at: https://search.txcourts.gov/Case.aspx?cn=03-21-000 ...