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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.

October 29, 2020 list Print (PDF)

"Medicaid expansion has helped narrow racial disparities in health coverage and access to care." By Jesse Cross-Call. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, October 21, 2020, pp. 1-7
Analyzes health insurance coverage and the medically uninsured rate in the 36 states that have implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Charts Medicaid eligibility by race and ethnicity in non-expansion states, including Texas. Discusses the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court arguments on the ACA and the potential effect of a repeal on the health insurance coverage of people of color.
See: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/fil ...
"Big tech and free speech: Social media's struggle with self-censorship." Economist, October 24th-30th, 2020, pp. 1-9
Examines what speech should be allowed on social media networks and who should decide what speech is acceptable. Questions whether tech giants are removing content that may be legal.
"Watered with liberal tears: How the American economy did under Donald Trump." Economist, October 17th-23rd, 2020, pp. 1-6
Assesses whether America exceeded or fell short of economists' expectations from 2017 to 2019.
"Why the pandemic's recession may fuel legal push for more K–12 aid." By Daarel Burnette II. Education Week, October 20, 2020, pp. 1-3
Examines how and why the economic fallout from the pandemic could contribute to legal battles over K–12 aid and state funding models. Highlights a recent school funding case settled by the governor in Delaware.
"'Local funds': State money outside the Treasury: New report addresses little-known state funds." By Shannon Halbrook. Fiscal Notes, October 2020, pp. 7-10
Describes funds held outside the state Treasury by Texas state agencies and public colleges and universities, also called "local" funds, and new reporting requirements for the Legislative Budget Board (LBB), with the inaugural report published in February 2019. Mentions HB 3745, 86th Legislature, on the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) account in the Treasury.
Report at: http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/Documents/Publications/ ...
See: https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes ...
"Uninsured Texans: Many more lose coverage in pandemic." By Spencer Grubbs and Bruce Wright. Fiscal Notes, October 2020, pp. 1, 3-6
Analyzes the characteristics of the medically uninsured population in Texas, which has both the highest number and highest percentage of uninsured residents in the U.S. Addresses the economic impact of the uninsured rate and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health insurance coverage.
See: https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes ...
"Children’s health insurance coverage: Progress, problems, and priorities for 2021 and beyond." By Joan Alker, Genevieve Kenney, and Sara Rosenbaum. Health Affairs, October 2020, pp. 1743-1751
Examines the success of Medicaid expansion and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in improving children's access to health care coverage. Notes significant coverage gaps remain and provides two reform models to improve the current multipayer system for children.
"Foster youth support services required, but uneven, across Texas campuses." By Brittney Martin. Imprint, October 22, 2020, pp. 1-4
Examines the experience of foster care alumni at Texas state colleges and universities.
See: https://imprintnews.org/education/foster-youth-sup ...
"Will robotic trucks be 'sweatshops on wheels?'" By Steve Viscelli. Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2020, pp. 79-88
Considers the history of truckers' work and the current state of the trucking industry. Argues public policy decisions, including those related to vehicle standards, communications, taxation, energy, insurance, infrastructure investment, and funding, will shape how self-driving technology develops and the future of automated trucking.
See: https://issues.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/79-8 ...
"Mental health disorders related to COVID-19–related deaths." By Naomi M. Simon, Glenn N. Saxe, and Charles R. Marmar. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), October 20, 2020, pp. 1493-1494
Discusses the mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, including an increased number of bereaved individuals. Argues a public health/community strategy is critical to protect the health care system from becoming overwhelmed.
See: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/ ...
"Stolen valor." By Rachel Monroe. New Yorker, October 26, 2020, p. 26-31
Examines false claims of military service and decoration in American history and explores an online culture of debunking those claims and shaming individuals who make them. Focuses on the sheriff's race in Callahan County, Texas, in which both candidates were discovered to be lying about their military records.
See: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/10/26/how- ...
"Mind the kinder-gap: New data on children’s math and reading skills as they enter kindergarten." By Christine M.T. Pitts and Megan Kuhfeld. Phi Delta Kappan, October 2020, pp. 36-39
Identifies the lack of nationwide data on pre-kindergarten achievement as a problem that affects the impact measurement of state policies investing in early childhood education. Introduces a dataset generated by an educational assessment company — data from the NWEA's MAP Growth assessment — and uses that information to make preliminary conclusions about changes in the achievement gap and the effectiveness of early childhood education programs.
See: https://kappanonline.org/data-children-math-readin ...
"How does vote-by-mail change American elections?" Policy Brief (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research), October 2020, pp. 1-6
Evaluates the veracity of two claims: whether vote-by-mail favors the Democratic Party and whether vote-by-mail facilitates widespread voter fraud.
See: https://siepr.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/pub ...
"Standards of nursing practice remain the same, even during a pandemic." By Linda Laws. Texas Board of Nursing Bulletin, October 2020, pp. 5-7
Highlights recent efforts to increase the number of nurses available during the COVID-19 pandemic, including fast-tracking the temporary licensing of out-of-state nurses. Notes the heart of nursing practice, 22 Texas Administrative Code §217.11, Standards of Nursing Practice, was not waived and compares the current standards of practice to those employed in 1918 during the Spanish Influenza pandemic.
Related information at: https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext. ...
See: https://www.bon.texas.gov/pdfs/newsletter_pdfs/202 ...
"Schools may exclude students with vax opt-outs in an epidemic, TMA says." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, October 2020, pp. 14-15
Highlights the Texas Medical Association's letter brief in response to Representative James White's recent request for an Attorney General opinion on school districts excluding students who decline vaccinations for reasons of conscience during an epidemic.
See: https://cdn.coverstand.com/55178/673110/8b73b25962 ...
Related information at: https://www.texmed.org/uploadedFiles/Current/2016_ ...
Related information at: https://www2.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/opi ...
"The long tail of voter suppression." By Michael Barajas. Texas Observer, October 16, 2020, pp. 1-4
Details the history of voter suppression in Texas and current efforts to restrict ballot access and safe voting options during the COVID-19 pandemic. Argues current voting laws are regressive and continue Texas' legacy of suppressing the vote of minority populations.
See: https://www.texasobserver.org/the-long-tail-of-vot ...