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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.

February 11, 2021 list Print (PDF)

"How the telemedicine boom threatens to increase inequities." By Elaine Khoong. Association of American Medical Colleges, December 14, 2020, pp. 1-4
Expresses concern, based on the author's experience as a physician, that the recent expansion of telemedicine could exacerbate barriers to healthcare in groups with limited access to technology, such as low-income patients and the elderly. Suggests steps that should be taken by telemedicine programs to reduce those inequities.
See: https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/how-telemedicin ...
"Voting laws roundup 2021." Brennan Center for Justice, February 8, 2021, pp. 1-8
Provides an overview of 2021 state legislation aimed at election procedures and voter access, including both restrictive and expansive bills. Mentions Texas and HB 1026, 87th Legislature.
See: https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-re ...
"California v Texas v covid-19: Life, liberty." Economist, February 6th-12th, 2021, pp. 1-4
Discusses several factors that may help explain Texas' and California's different experiences and contrasting approaches to managing the coronavirus pandemic. Mentions Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
See: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2021/02/06 ...
"School sports a fresh front in state battles over transgender students’ rights." By Evie Blad. Education Week, January 28, 2021, pp. 1-5
Details recent efforts by state lawmakers to prohibit transgender students from participating in single-sex sports. Explores whether federal sex-discrimination protections in Title IX apply to transgender students.
See: https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/school-spor ...
"A plan to offer computer science classes in all North Carolina high schools." By Lena Abu-El-Haija and Fay Cobb Payton. Issues in Science and Technology, Winter 2021, pp. 16-18
Recommends North Carolina embrace comprehensive policy reform mandating computer science education in public schools, making equity and inclusivity a critical part of the process. Mentions Code.org's nine policies that a state can adopt to achieve higher computer science educational standards.
Related information at: https://code.org/files/Making_CS_Fundamental.pdf
See: https://issues.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/16–1 ...
"He's too mentally ill to execute. Why is he still on death row after 45 years?" By Keri Blakinger and Maurice Chammah. Marshall Project, February 4, 2021, pp. 1-3
Details the case of Raymond Riles, the longest-serving death row inmate in Texas, in light of Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg's recent announcement of her support for a new punishment hearing for Riles. Provides a history of how competency in death row cases is determined in both Texas and other states. Discusses how the issue of mental illness affects appeals, sentencing, and execution in death row cases.
See: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2021/02/04/he-s ...
"What to do about Twitter?" By Charles C.W. Cooke. National Review, February 8, 2021, pp. 19-21
Argues that any attempt to regulate internet companies must consider the First Amendment rights of those companies and the decentralized structure of the internet itself. Discusses the responses of Twitter and Amazon Web Services to recent political events. Recounts attempts to change protections granted to internet companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
See: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2021/02/08 ...
"It just makes sense!" By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 1-7
Examines the economic and fiscal effects of accessing the available federal funds to allow expanded health insurance coverage in Texas.
"Do Texas charter schools receive their fair share of funding?" By Aaron Smith, Corey DeAngelis, and Jordan Campbell. Policy Brief (Reason Foundation), February 2021, pp. 1-11
Summarizes Texas' school finance system. Highlights key revenue and trend data that identify differences in public charter funding allocations.
See: https://reason.org/wp-content/uploads/fiscal-expla ...
"COVID-19 cost recovery: Best practices for utilities and regulators." By Jared des Rosiers and Kayla Grant. Public Utilities Fortnightly, December 2020, pp. 48-51
Recommends practices utilities can implement to financially recover from losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Provides examples, including the Public Utility Commission of Texas' COVID-19 Electricity Relief Program.
Related information at: https://www.puc.texas.gov/covid-19/
"Texas Legislature to consider Covid liability protections for businesses." By Kathryn Hardison. San Antonio Business Journal, January 11, 2021, pp. 1-2
Discusses proposed legislation by the Texas Civil Justice League that would enhance civil liability protections in cases of potential COVID-19 litigation for small businesses, nonprofits, health care systems, and religious organizations.
See: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2021/0 ...
"What to do with a 'tidal wave' of Texas wind turbine blades." By Katie Hill. Texas Observer, January 28, 2021, pp. 1-4
Discusses the wind industry's struggle to dispose of decommissioned wind turbine blades in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner. Profiles the Texas town of Sweetwater, which currently houses two turbine disposal sites.
See: https://www.texasobserver.org/what-to-do-with-a-ti ...
"Understanding Chapter 313: School property tax limitations and the impact on state finances." Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, February 2021, pp. 1-16
Examines the economic development incentive program under Texas Tax Code, Chapter 313, allowing school districts to offer temporary property tax abatements for business investments in manufacturing and certain environmentally-friendly energy projects. Includes the history of Chapter 313 (HB 1200, 77th Legislature), how Chapter 313 works in eligible investments and limitations, the limitation and impact on school finance, and other fiscal implications of the program.
Related information at: https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TX/htm/TX. ...
See: https://ttara.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Under ...
"Time for bail reform, but only if it's done right." By Grant Scheiner. Voice for the Defense, January/February 2021, p. 5
Responds to Supreme Court of Texas Chief Justice Nathan Hecht's recent opinion piece on bail reform. Provides point-by-point commentary on Hecht's reform suggestions, and summarizes the recent federal bail reform case against Harris County.
Related information at: https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2021 ...
See: https://www.voiceforthedefenseonline.com/president ...