Legislative Reference Library

Current Articles list for March 04, 2021

The Legislative Reference Library produces a weekly list of current journal articles for members of the legislative community. New lists are available most Thursdays at 3pm. The most recent list is below.

"COVID-19 is not a retirement story." By Alicia H. Munnell and Anqi Chen. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, February 2021, pp. 1-10
Argues the COVID-19 pandemic has had surprisingly little impact on retirement based on the continuation of Social Security checks and 401(k) contributions and unemployment trends among older workers. Describes prepandemic weaknesses that remain in the retirement system.
See:https://crr.bc.edu/wp-con ...

"Despite improved state fiscal conditions, serious challenges remain, including for localities, tribal nations, and territories." By Michael Leachman and Elizabeth McNichol. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 26, 2021, pp. 1-5
Describes state fiscal conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic and projected revenue decreases in 34 states for the current fiscal year. Notes that forecasts in four states — Alaska, Nevada, New York, and Texas — are more than ten percent below prepandemic projections.
See:https://www.cbpp.org/site ...

"Decarbonising America: The switch." Economist, February 20th-26th, 2021, pp. 16-19
Points out the risks of waiting another decade to enact federal climate-oriented infrastructure legislation.

"K-12 funding policy responses to COVID-19." By Eric Syverson. Education Commission of the States, February 2021, pp. 1-6
Provides a snapshot of K-12 school funding legislation from 13 states proposed or enacted in 2020 in answer to the COVID-19 pandemic. Examines bills relating to attendance and enrollment, revenue, and equity-based initiatives.
See:https://www.ecs.org/wp-co ...

"Broadband expansion in Texas: Bringing fast internet to more Texans." By Spencer Grubbs and Shannon Halbrook. Fiscal Notes, February 2021, pp. 1, 3-6
Details the status of broadband infrastructure, planning, and funding in Texas and offers a profile of Texans with broadband subscriptions by age, race and ethnic origin, and educational attainment. Addresses the key role of broadband during the COVID-19 pandemic in public education, health care, and e-commerce.
See:https://comptroller.texas ...

"Cheat for profit." By Susan Adams. Forbes, February/March 2021, pp. 73-77
Profiles Chegg Study, a subscription service that students are using to cheat on coursework and online exams.

"IDRA and partners release policy roadmap to ensure emergent bilinguals are strong readers by third grade." IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), January 2021, pp. 7-8
Introduces and summarizes a new report from the Texas Early Childhood English Learner Initiative. Makes policy recommendations that support English learner students, also known as "emergent bilinguals," which account for 28 percent of students in pre-K through third grade in Texas public schools.
Report at: https://bilingualtexas.or ...
See:https://www.idra.org/reso ...

"Raise the age: Where legislation stands in the final three states." By Chuck Carroll. Imprint, February 24, 2021, pp. 1-2
Notes Georgia, Texas, and Wisconsin are the last three states that view 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system. Discusses the status of related legislation to "raise the age" from 17 to 18, including HB 967, 87th Legislature, by Representative Harold Dutton.
See:https://imprintnews.org/j ...

"Changes in abortion in Texas following an executive order ban during the coronavirus pandemic." By Kari White, Bhavik Kumar, and Vinita Goyal. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), February 16, 2021, pp. 691-693
Assesses changes in abortions following Governor Greg Abbott's executive order on March 22, 2020, postponing surgeries and procedures that were not medically necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finds abortions declined during the order and abortions at twelve weeks' gestational age or more increased after the order expired.
See:https://jamanetwork.com/j ...
Related information at:https://lrl.texas.gov/sca ...

"Do we really need to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure?" By Matthew A. Turner. Milken Institute Review, First Quarter 2021, pp. 66-75
Debates the case for a large federal spending package to repair aging U.S. transportation infrastructure, including bridges, the interstate highway system, subways, and public transit buses. Considers evidence of the impact of infrastructure investment on economic development and job creation.
See:https://www.milkenreview. ...

"The road ahead: A summary of state economic recovery agendas." National Governors Association, February 19, 2021, pp. 1-23
Summarizes the economic recovery agendas and plans that seventeen states have developed to mitigate the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes broad-based recovery efforts and plans focused on major industries.
See:https://www.nga.org/wp-co ...

"COVID-19 pandemic tests US refiners' resilience." By Dan Lippe. Oil and Gas Journal, January 4, 2021, pp. 43-50
Analyzes how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the global demand for refined oil and gas products in 2020. Considers how refiners in the United States adapted to unanticipated changes in the demand for transportation fuel. Includes an outlook for the oil and gas industry from 2021 to 2023.

"The pandemic and Texas state tax revenue." By Dennis W. Jansen and Andrew J. Rettenmaier. PERCspectives on Policy, Winter 2021, pp. 1-4
Analyzes the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on state tax collections in FY 2020 and the first four months of FY 2021. Compares sales taxes, oil and gas production taxes, hotel taxes, and alcoholic beverage taxes from FY 2018 to FY 2021.
See:http://perc.tamu.edu/perc ...

"Coping with pandemic stress." By Melinda Wenner Moyer. Scientific American, March 2021, pp. 46-51
Explores methods of addressing widespread stress, depression, and anxiety exacerbated by the lengthy duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Offers strategies derived from mental health professionals specializing in trauma and disaster recovery that can help individuals weather the collective stresses of the pandemic.

"Texas energy crisis: What is resilient power worth?" By Dan Shea. State Legislatures, February 22, 2021, pp. 1-2
Considers the balance between electricity price and reliability and what can happen when one is prioritized over the other. Suggests planning metrics and methodologies used by many utilities and grid operators may need to change to reflect changing climate dynamics.
See:https://www.ncsl.org/rese ...

"Here's a look at what transpired the week Texas blacked out as ERCOT [Electric Reliability Council of Texas] investigations begin." By Brad Johnson. Texan, February 24, 2021, pp. 1-5
Presents a recap of the Texas winter storm, from the electricity demand and supply shortage to reactions from state officials.

"Spotlight on vaccines." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, March 2021, pp. 21-25
Explores how the COVID-19 vaccination effort may provide an avenue for improving overall vaccination rates in Texas. Discusses issues with ImmTrac2, Texas' vaccine registry, notably the use of an opt-in system in which Texans must give consent before their information is stored in the registry.
See:https://cdn.coverstand.co ...

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