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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.

January 14, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"Push is on again to curb fast-rising property taxes." By Parimal M. Rohit. Austin Business Journal, January 8, 2021, pp. 8-9
Highlights HB 528 and HJR 30, 87th Legislature, relating to a limitation on increases in the appraised value of commercial real property for ad valorem tax purposes. Includes comments by the bills' author, Representative James White.
See: https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/digital-edition ...
"A grim financial reality." By Scott Carlson. Chronicle of Higher Education, December 11, 2020, pp. 22-25
Summarizes the results of a survey on financial pressures faced by private and public universities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses the possible effects of the loss of tuition revenue, increased spending on testing and safety protocols, and the depletion of future state education budgets.
See: https://www.chronicle.com/article/colleges-grapple ...
"County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas 2020 resolutions." County Progress, January 2021, pp. 17-27
Lists the 29 resolutions passed during the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas' Annual Business Meeting. Recommends 22 topics for consideration and future study. Mentions HB 1111, 85th Legislature, R.S., and HB 1, SB 2, SB 29, SB 500, 86th Legislature.
See: https://dashboard.mazsystems.com/webreader/71105?p ...
"How accurate will the 2020 U.S. census be? We’ll know more soon." By D'Vera Cohn. Fact Tank (Pew Research Center), December 14, 2020, pp. 1-7
Assesses how the data quality of the 2020 Census might be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Explains how the U.S. Census Bureau will evaluate census quality and provides an overview of the expected accuracy of the census results.
See: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/12/14/h ...
"Medicaid enrollment in the age of COVID-19: A nine-month analysis of trends across the nation." By Joe Weissfeld and Anthony Galace. Families USA, December 2020, pp. 1-7
Analyzes state-by-state Medicaid enrollment from February through November 2020 and finds states reported increases ranging from 4 percent to nearly 25 percent. Notes Medicaid enrollment in Texas increased 12.8 percent.
See: https://familiesusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12 ...
"State tax changes effective January 1, 2021." By Katherine Loughead. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), January 2021, pp. 1-11
Summarizes state tax policy changes effective January 1, 2021, in sales and use taxes; property and wealth taxes (including Texas, HB 639 and SB 2, 86th Legislature); cigarette, vapor, and marijuana taxes; transportation taxes; and miscellaneous excise taxes.
See: https://files.taxfoundation.org/20210104170029/202 ...
"Pandemic no excuse for growth of poorly performing virtual charter schools in U.S. South." By Terrence Wilson. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), November-December 2020, pp. 3-4
Summarizes research on enrollment and the educational results of online charter schools, which have seen an increase in funding and enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Makes policy recommendations to increase the transparency and efficiency of both traditional and virtual charter schools.
See: https://www.idra.org/resource-center/pandemic-no-e ...
"Looming questions for child welfare, juvenile justice in 2021." By John Kelly. Imprint, January 3, 2021, pp. 1-4
Previews topics in child welfare, juvenile justice, and youth and family services in 2021, including a pending U.S. Supreme Court case on same-sex foster parents (Fulton v. City of Philadelphia), potential changes in the U.S. Children's Bureau in the Biden administration, possible state budget cuts, and the continuation of "lockdowns" in foster care until mass COVID-19 vaccinations can be accomplished.
See: https://imprintnews.org/youth-services-insider/loo ...
Related information at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename= ...
"Texas lawmaker wants to require trauma training for attorneys, judges." By Brittney Martin. Imprint, January 6, 2021, pp. 1-3
Discusses legislation proposed by Representative Ray Lopez to require attorneys and judges working with children in foster care, as well as some employees of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, to undergo trauma-informed care training (HB 564 and HB 565, 87th Legislature). Highlights a recent report of the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families on trauma-informed care.
Related information at: http://texaschildrenscommission.gov/
Related information at: http://texaschildrenscommission.gov/media/84026/bu ...
See: https://imprintnews.org/child-welfare-2/texas-lawm ...
"Advanced notice – COVID-related revenue losses further incentivize states to roll out new transfer pricing initiatives through APAs [advanced pricing agreements], amnesties and audits." By Daniel G. Mudd. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, January 2021, pp. 32-34
Highlights state strategies to deal with historic losses in tax revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Examines past and present efforts to increase corporate tax revenue, including tax audits, intercompany transactions, and transfer pricing. Discusses a recent National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) report showing that states reported a six percent tax revenue shortfall in fiscal year 2020, "with the worst still to come."
Report at: http://budgetblog.nasbo.org/budgetblogs/blogs/shel ...
"Can we prevent the next pandemic?" By Jimmy Tobias. Nation, December 28, 2020-January 4, 2021, pp. 14-19
Explores the potential to prevent the next pandemic with the One Health model, an international movement that merges the fields of animal, human, and environmental health. Reviews warning signs during previous public health crises such as Ebola and the Nipah virus as "opening acts" for COVID-19. Discusses the Bracken Cave Preserve near San Antonio and fears of a zoonotic spillover relating to bats in 2013.
"Scaling back the drug war." By Robert VerBruggen. National Review, December 31, 2020, pp. 28-29
Discusses the trend of states legalizing recreational marijuana. Suggests policies for states considering the decriminalization of marijuana, including different approaches to the prosecution of drug users and dealers and studying the effects of enacted policies on arrest rates, incarceration, and violence.
See: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2020/12/31 ...
"City and county governments in the time of COVID-19 and the recession: The long and winding road." By J. Edwin Benton, Grant E. Rissler, and Spencer Wagner. State and Local Government Review, March 2020, pp. 28-52
Analyzes the dual impact of COVID-19 and the resulting economic recession on local governments, especially the front-line, full-services governments of cities and counties. Focuses on three areas of local governance: revenue impacts, resulting service changes, and the tenor of intergovernmental relations.
"A preview of emergency powers-related bills filed ahead of the 87th Texas Legislature." By Brad Johnson. Texan, January 4, 2021, pp. 1-2
Highlights legislation proposed to amend the Governor's emergency management powers and executive branch powers in a disaster, including HB 525, HB 665, HB 899, and HB 906, 87th Legislature.
See: https://thetexan.news/a-preview-of-emergency-power ...
"Staying the course." By Joey Berlin and Sean Price. Texas Medicine, January 2021, pp. 18-27
Examines how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the 87th Legislature, including how business is conducted, budgetary cuts, and opportunities to improve health care. Includes discussion of the Texas Medical Association's (TMA) legislative priorities, such as funding the Texas Department of State Health Services, improving mental health services, expanding Medicaid, and telemedicine payment parity.
See: https://cdn.coverstand.com/55178/686744/733312ea75 ...
"Texas needs nearly 70,000 more LVNs, RNs, and APRNs by 2032." By Kayla Davis. Texas Nursing, Issue 4, 2020, p. 20
Summarizes the Texas Department of State Health Services' recent report, Updated Nurse Supply and Demand Projections: 2018-2032, which projects shortages of registered nurses (RNs), licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Notes the agency predicts up to a 47,453 deficit to the nursing workforce in the Texas health care sector by 2032.
Related information at: https://dshs.texas.gov/chs/cnws/WorkforceReports/2 ...
"Housing inequality gets worse as the COVID-19 pandemic is prolonged." By Yung Chun and Michal Grinstein-Weiss. Up Front (Brookings), December 18, 2020, pp. 1-6
Summarizes findings related to housing hardships from an ongoing survey of the socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finds the impact on homeowners has significantly worsened since June, particularly among Black and Hispanic households and young adults.
See: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/12/18 ...
"The looming eviction cliff." By Mary K. Cunningham, Ananya Hariharan, and Olivia Fiol. Urban Institute Brief, January 2021, pp. 1-11
Uses data from the Urban Institute's Coronavirus Tracking Survey to examine the pandemic's effects on housing stability and renters' vulnerabilities to being evicted and losing their housing.
See: https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publicat ...