Legislative Reference Library of Texas About the library Site Index
Legislative Reference Library of Texas
your partner in legislative research
Legislative Reference Library of Texas
your partner in legislative research

LRL Home - Current Issues - Current Articles

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.

June 17, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Defusing deadly force." By Kevin Davis. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, June/July 2021, pp. 45-51
Examines whether police use-of-force policies and de-escalation training puts officers at greater risk or helps to prevent unnecessary deaths.
See: https://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/more-p ...
"Redefining border security: A plan for migration management and border security." Bipartisan Policy Center, May 2021, pp. 1-11
Recommends a new border security framework that recognizes a fundamental shift in migrant demographics in the last eight years at the U.S.-Mexico border, notably a shift from single adults seeking to enter the U.S. toward families and children seeking asylum. Reviews concepts of migration management and strategies to deal with crime, drugs, contraband, terrorism, and unauthorized migration at the border.
See: https://bipartisanpolicy.org/download/?file=/wp-co ...
"Squeezing Lemon." By Liz Hayes. Church & State, June 2021, pp. 4-6
Discusses the origins of Lemon v. Kurtzman, the 1971 U.S. Supreme Court decision that defined the legal test used to determine whether a government action violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Examines why the Justices are increasingly ignoring the Lemon Test.
See: https://www.au.org/church-state/june-2021-church-s ...
Related information at: https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/403/ ...
Related information at: https://www.oyez.org/cases/1970/89
"Missing ingredients: The bottlenecks which could constrain emission cuts." Economist, June 12th-18th, 2021, pp. 19-20, 22
Considers the challenges involved in building the energy infrastructure necessary to reach net zero emissions by 2050: minerals, money, and places to build.
See: https://www.economist.com/briefing/2021/06/12/the- ...
"New Texas law makes it harder to remove kids from parental home." Imprint, June 8, 2021, p. 1
Discusses recent Texas child welfare reform legislation, HB 567, 87th Legislature, that removes parental marijuana use as a basis for termination and also changes the formal definition of the term "neglect."
See: https://imprintnews.org/news-briefs/new-texas-law- ...
"Mental health and substance use considerations among children during the COVID-19 pandemic." By Nirmita Panchal, et al. Issue Brief (Kaiser Family Foundation), May 26, 2021, pp. 1-10
Explores factors contributing to poor mental health and substance use outcomes among children during the pandemic, noting increased barriers to mental health care. Examines research suggesting adolescents, young children, LGBTQ youth, and children of color may be particularly vulnerable. Highlights policy responses addressing children's mental health, including recent stimulus bills.
See: https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-bri ...
"Deep time: The end of an engagement." By Bașak Saraç-Lesavre. Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2021, pp. 70-72
Examines the status of U.S. nuclear waste policy and stakeholder concerns about consolidated interim nuclear storage facilities. Highlights the proposal for a license to store up to 40,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel at a site in Andrews County, Texas.
See: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true ...
"Life without parole is replacing the death penalty — but the legal defense system hasn't kept up." By Cary Aspinwall. Marshall Project, May 22, 2021, pp. 1-8
Examines life without parole sentences, which have increased 66 percent nationwide since 2003. Explains an ongoing debate about legal standards for defense, long established for death penalty cases, if prosecutors instead seek life without parole. Details Texas' defense requirements for life without parole.
See: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2021/05/22/life ...
"Cost-of-living adjustments." National Association of State Retirement Administrators, June 2021, pp. 1-16
Discusses periodic cost-of-living adjustments [COLAs] in state and local government pensions, common COLA types and features, COLA costs, and recent changes. Features an appendix of COLA provisions by state, including the Texas County and District Retirement System, Employees Retirement System of Texas, Texas Municipal Retirement System, and Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
See: https://www.nasra.org/files/Issue%20Briefs/NASRACO ...
"How deep is America's reckoning with racism? Juneteenth is an opportunity to recover the possibilities of history." By Kerri Greenidge. New Republic, June 14, 2021, pp. 1-7
Compares and contrasts the presentation of African American history in two recently published books: How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by poet Clint Smith, and On Juneteenth by historian Annette Gordon-Reed. Focuses primarily on the analysis of Juneteenth history in these two works and discusses the ways in which African American history can be taught.
See: https://newrepublic.com/article/162609/juneteenth- ...
"Census results give GOP a big lift in midterms." By John Gizzi. Newsmax, June 2021, pp. 34-35
Explains how new state-level population estimates determine reallocation of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Includes a map of which states gained and lost seats. Notes that Texas is unique in gaining not one, but two, seats.
Related information at: https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2021 ...
"When Texas seceded, its grid that is: Judge Cudahy's second Alamo article, a quarter century ago." By Steve Mitnick. Public Utilities Fortnightly, April 2021, pp. 18-19, 27
Reviews Judge Richard Dickson Cudahy's 1995 Natural Resources & Environment article about the failed attempt in 1976 to connect Texas' electric grid to the U.S. grids.
"ERCOT reform took multiple forms in session after brutal storm." By Jessica Corso. San Antonio Business Journal, June 10, 2021, pp. 10-11
Discusses recent legislation to strengthen Texas' power generation capacity and supply. Mentions HB 16, SB 2, SB 3, HB 2000, SB 1278, and HB 12, 87th Legislature.
"Texas restaurants may need to reexamine policies." By Catherine Leffert. San Antonio Business Journal, June 10, 2021, p. 12
Examines how constitutional carry, HB 1927, 87th Legislature, may alter a restaurant's ability to enforce a no-gun rule on its premises.
"Here's a list of the gun bills approved by the 87th Texas Legislature." By Daniel Friend. Texan, June 9, 2021, pp. 1-3
Reviews gun-related bills passed in the 87th Legislature, including HB 1927, the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, and other bills relating to carrying weapons, limits on governmental regulation, gun storage, background check enforcement, and firearm businesses and organizations.
"Texas House members take stock of Speaker Dade Phelan's first session." By Brad Johnson. Texan, June 7, 2021, pp. 1-4
Assesses Speaker Dade Phelan's legislative accomplishments and leadership style in his first session as Speaker, including interviews with Representatives Dustin Burrows, Terry Canales, Bryan Slaton, and James White.
"Avoiding nonattainment: A survey of exit strategies under the 2010 SO2 NAAQS." By Katherine E. Jeffress. Texas Environmental Law Journal, Spring 2021, pp. 105-133 (Note Length)
Considers six "exit strategies" state agencies use to avoid nonattainment designations under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2010 National Ambient Air Quality Standard [NAAQS] for sulfur dioxide [SO2]. Includes examples from Texas, Ohio, and Missouri. Suggests ways to improve state enforcement of National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
Related information at: https://www.epa.gov/so2-pollution/primary-national ...
"In Travis County, Black children more likely to be taken from parents." By Michelle Aslam. Texas Observer, June 1, 2021, pp. 1-3
Argues over-policing is contributing to racial disparities in the child welfare system in Travis County. Discusses HB 2650, 87th Legislature, which addresses the placement of children who are taken into custody by law enforcement during an arrest of a parent.
See: https://www.texasobserver.org/in-travis-county-bla ...