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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.

September 17, 2020 list Print (PDF)

"The new Reconstruction." By Adam Serwer. Atlantic Monthly, October 2020, pp. 36-46
Discusses the history of violence against Black Americans in southern states during Reconstruction and its effect on presidential and congressional elections. Compares current popular perceptions of racial violence to those during the 1860s and suggests the possibility of sweeping systemic reform similar to that of Reconstruction. Mentions Texas and Reconstruction-era Senator George Ruby.
"State Medicaid changes can improve access to coverage and care during and after COVID-19 crisis." By Jessica Schubel and Jennifer Wagner. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, September 9, 2020, pp. 1-15
Explores how states can utilize Medicaid's flexibility and emergency authorities to expand health care coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes recommendations to expand Medicaid presumptive eligibility, streamline the enrollment process, and expand access to care via telehealth services.
See: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/fil ...
"Investment & innovation: Increasing access to quality, affordable child care before & during a crisis." Children at Risk, August 31, 2020, p. 1
Highlights a new report by Children at Risk that examines the Child Care Development Block Grant [CCDBG] before and after COVID-19 and explores initiatives to stabilize the child care industry. Notes Texas received a historic amount of CCDBG funding in 2018: $230 million, a 45 percent increase.
See: https://childrenatrisk.org/invest-innovate/
Report at: https://childrenatrisk.org/wp-content/uploads/2020 ...
"A systematic lottery: The Texas death penalty, 1976 to 2016." By Scott Phillips and Trent Steidley. Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Spring 2020, pp. 1041-1069 (Note Length)
Presents the results of research on Texas death penalty cases from 1976 to 2016. Concludes that a death sentence in Texas was so rare among eligible cases as to be virtually random, although a death sentence was more likely if a white woman was the victim.
See: http://hrlr.law.columbia.edu/files/2020/05/51.3.6- ...
"Generations and the election: The boomers' last stand." Economist, September 12th-18th, 2020, pp. 22-23
Reports 2020 will be the last stand of the baby boomer electorate and the first election in which voting will be dominated by generations younger than 40.
"Government debt: Putting on weight." Economist, September 12th-18th, 2020, pp. 58-59
Questions whether governments should place a limit on the amount of debt they are willing to take on during a pandemic.
"One in five child care jobs have been lost since February, and women are paying the price." By Claire Ewing-Nelson. Fact Sheet (National Women's Law Center), August 2020, pp. 1-4
Reports the child care industry lost over a third of its workforce between February and April 2020, with women accounting for 95 percent of those losses. Advocates structural changes to support access to high-quality, affordable child care provided by educators who are supported and paid what they deserve.
See: https://nwlc-ciw49tixgw5lbab.stackpathdns.com/wp-c ...
"Shelter-in-place orders reduced COVID-19 mortality and reduced the rate of growth in hospitalizations." By Wei Lyu and George L. Wehby. Health Affairs, September 2020, pp. 1615-1623
Examines the effects of shelter-in-place orders on daily growth rates of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations using data from March through May 15, 2020. Finds the evidence suggests the orders were effective in reducing both deaths and hospitalizations, estimating as many as 250,000–370,000 deaths were possibly averted by May 15.
See: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/pdf/10.1377/hlth ...
"Effective family outreach in the pandemic era." By Karmen Rouland and Aurelio M. Montemayor. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), August 2020, pp. 1-2, 4
Explores the difficulties faced by educators in the areas of family communication and student mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights the work of ARISE in South Texas to communicate with the families of students living in colonias and provide technological resources for Spanish-speaking communities.
See: https://www.idra.org/resource-center/effective-fam ...
"Hundreds of Texas residential care facilities have been exposed to COVID-19." By Roxanna Asgarian. Imprint, September 9, 2020, pp. 1-3
Examines the spread of COVID-19 in Texas' foster care system, particularly for youth in permanent managing conservatorship [PMC].
See: https://imprintnews.org/child-welfare-2/hundreds-t ...
"An updated outlook for the US economy." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 37, No. 8, pp. 1-3, 6
Presents an updated short-term forecast for the national economy as well as the long-term prospects for the 2019-2045 time period.
"Weathering the storm: School funding in the COVID-19 era." By Bruce D. Baker, Mark Weber, and Drew Atchison. Phi Delta Kappan, September 2020, pp. 8-13
Explores the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools, and recommends actions state and federal governments can take to support schools. Highlights research on the Great Recession to illustrate the effects of funding loss on educational outcomes, particularly in high poverty districts.
See: https://kappanonline.org/school-funding-covid-19-b ...
"Would law enforcement leaders support defunding the police? Probably — If communities ask police to solve fewer problems." By Michael J. D. Vermeer, Dulani Woods, and Brian A. Jackson. RAND Perspective, August 2020, pp. 1-20
Describes police leaders' and practitioners' views on defunding the police — budgeting less money for police and more money for other public safety strategies. Explains why revisiting the role of law enforcement in society could have broader appeal than some think.
See: https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PEA108-1.ht ...
"Strained rural water utilities buckle under pandemic pressure." By April Simpson. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), September 11, 2020, pp. 1-6
Reports states' pandemic moratoriums on water shutoffs and postal delays are adding additional stress to rural utilities facing financial problems related to aging water and sewage systems. Presents figures from a Rural Community Assistance Partnership survey.
See: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis ...
Related information at: https://www.rcap.org/news/covid19impact/
"The updated skinny on Texas' surprise billing law." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, September 2020, pp. 15-16
Discusses the Texas Medical Association's recently updated white paper on SB1264, 86th Legislature, Texas’ recent law related to settling out-of-network billing disputes involving state-regulated health plans. Notes the update comes after the Texas Department of Insurance adopted a final rule on the exceptions to SB1264.
See: https://cdn.coverstand.com/55178/669949/d3c0f9d740 ...
Related information at: https://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/pdf/backview/06 ...
Report at: https://www.texmed.org/uploadedFiles/Current/2016_ ...
"The third amigo: Inside Rick Perry's billion-dollar energy deals that helped friends and donors." By Simon Shuster and Ilya Marritz. Time, September 21/28, 2020, pp. 86-93
Investigates former United States Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and his efforts to secure gas-export deals between the United States and Ukraine while he served in the Trump Administration. Discusses potential conflicts of interest, his relationship with the oil and gas company Energy Transfer, and the status of the deals since he left office.