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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.

March 11, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"More states consider restricting sale of flavored tobacco products." Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, February 16, 2021, pp. 1-3
Summarizes state legislation currently under consideration related to reducing tobacco use, including raising the age of sale, increasing tobacco pricing, and prohibiting flavored tobacco products. Mentions Texas and provides links to SB 440, 87th Legislature, and HB 1523, 87th Legislature.
See: https://www.astho.org/StatePublicHealth/More-State ...
"Dazed & confused: The state of enforcement of marijuana offenses after the Texas Hemp Farming Act." By Ryan Golden. Baylor Law Review, Fall 2020, pp. 737-776 (Note Length)
Concludes that the legalization of hemp under the Texas Hemp Farming Act (HB 1325, 86th Legislature) does not preclude the continued enforcement of marijuana offenses from a legal standpoint. Discusses methods for proving a substance is marijuana prior to and after the passage of the Act.
See: https://www.baylor.edu/law/review/doc.php/370781.p ...
"Why Texas broke." By Rachel Adams-Heard. Bloomberg Businessweek, March 1, 2021, pp. 42-46
Reflects on the recent winter storms in Texas and the subsequent power, heat, and water outages that affected millions. Describes various aspects of Texas energy, from natural gas to solar and wind, and discusses the current investigations into how these energy failures could have been prevented and how they can be prevented in the future.
"The future of the internet hinges on 26 words." By Arthur Bright. Christian Science Monitor, March 1, 2021, pp. 14-15
Discusses interpretations of Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA230), which has been interpreted as providing internet services legal immunity for the illegal activity of their users. Explores the connection between CDA230 and recent debate about social media companies editing and removing user content.
See: https://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2021/0218/Doe ...
"Recommendations on telehealth policy." Current State (Council of State Governments), March 3, 2021, pp. 1-8
Summarizes the state telehealth policy recommendations found within The Council of State Governments' Health States National Task Force 2021 report. Notes the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in increasing usage of telehealth providers and explores support for making changes to telehealth policies permanent.
Report at: https://web.csg.org/healthystates/wp-content/uploa ...
See: https://web.csg.org/tcs/2021/03/03/recommendations ...
Report at: https://web.csg.org/tcs/wp-content/uploads/sites/1 ...
"North Texas businesses suffering worst pandemic-related financial losses in state, surveys says." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, March 4, 2021, pp. 1-3
Examines the results results of a survey and report that assess the COVID-19 pandemic’s initial impact on Texas businesses, specifically the resilience and preparedness of Texas employers, employees, and communities.
See: https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2021/03/04 ...
"Shelter from the storm." Economist, March 6th-12th, 2021, pp. 1-7
Discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the nature of welfare systems and social safety nets.
See: https://www.economist.com/briefing/2021/03/06/covi ...
"States grapple with standardized testing during pandemic." By Greg Toppo. Education Next, Winter 2021, pp. 1-7
Examines the different approaches states are taking regarding end-of-year K–12 standardized tests due to the obstacles presented by COVID-19. Details plans for testing in Texas schools. Quotes former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who helped craft the No Child Left Behind Act.
See: https://www.educationnext.org/states-grapple-stand ...
"The (gradual) 5G revolution: Next-level internet coming to Texas." By Patrick Graves. Fiscal Notes, February 2021, pp. 7-10
Describes the potential effects of 5G, a series of telecommunications infrastructure innovations, and the internet of things (IoT) in Texas. Includes "A 5G Glossary" of industry terms and chronicles the evolution of wireless communication.
See: https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes ...
"Too little for too much: How licensing U.S. health care professionals raises costs and undermines quality." By Robert Orr. Milken Institute Review, First Quarter 2021, pp. 46-55
Argues that occupational licensing in the U.S. damages the health care system by raising prices, lowering productivity, and reducing access to care. Considers how the streamlined model for health care in Europe, especially Scandinavia, could offer lessons for reforming licensing in the U.S.
"Wages grew in 2020 because the bottom fell out of the low-wage labor market." By Elise Gould and Jori Kandra. Policy Report (Economic Policy Institute), February 24, 2021, pp. 1-14
Finds that employment losses in the pandemic-induced recession were heavily skewed toward lower-wage workers and that these losses were far greater than what is seen in typical recessions.
See: https://files.epi.org/pdf/219418.pdf
"The Texas Pandemic Response Act: The proposal to codify Abbott's COVID-19 approach." By Daniel Friend. Texan, March 3, 2021, pp. 1-6
Examines HB 3, 87th Legislature, by Representative Dustin Burrows, legislation codifying Governor Greg Abbott's COVID-19 pandemic response. Addresses criticisms of the legislation, as well as general provisions and purpose, liability protections, the Governor's role and powers, the role of local government, and miscellaneous provisions on criminal penalties and education. Discusses the relationship of the proposed legislation to the existing emergency management provisions in the Texas Disaster Act.
"A field guide to the taxes of Texas." Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, March 2021, pp. 1-27 (Note Length)
Provides a graphical overview of major Texas state and local taxes, including sales and use, motor vehicle sales, motor fuel, franchise, oil production, and natural gas production taxes. Charts tax collections, revenue by source, and historical volatility for each tax. Includes charts on local property and sales taxes.
See: https://comptroller.texas.gov/transparency/revenue ...
"Wrong directive." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, March 2021, pp. 31-34
Examines recent challenges to Texas laws related to end-of-life care, including do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and the state's medical ethics committee process under the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA). Discusses SB 11, 85th Legislature, 1st C.S., and Cook Children's Medical Center v. T.L., which was not taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.
See: https://cdn.coverstand.com/55178/693653/99d79db75a ...
Related information at: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS. ...
Related information at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/docket/docketfiles/ht ...