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.
October 14, 2021 list Print (PDF)
"Can there be a winner in the school culture wars?"
By Chelsea Sheasley.
Christian Science Monitor, October 4, 2021, pp. 10-12
Discusses the trend of parent protests at K-12 schools over such issues as mask wearing and critical race theory.
See: https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2021/0915/ ...
By Rob Boston.
Church & State, October 2021, pp. 4-5
Discusses Carson v. Makin, a case related to Maine's school voucher program that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court during the October 2021 term. Distinguishes the case from earlier rulings related to taxpayer funding of religious education.
See: https://au.org/church-state/october-2021-church-st ...
Related information at: https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/carson ...
"Want to strengthen Texas' economy? Fix the child care crisis."
Council for a Strong America, August 20, 2021, pp. 1-8
Examines the findings for Texas from a 2019 national study examining the economic impacts of lack of infant and toddler care on working parents and employers. Includes statistics such as the average price of infant care and the percentage of Texas families without a sufficient supply of high quality and affordable childcare. Estimates the lack of reliable child care for working parents could cost Texas up to $4.9 billion annually.
See: https://strongnation.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/13 ...
"Agricultural emissions: The beef with beef."
Economist, October 2nd-8th, 2021, p. 73
Highlights studies relating to the impact of food on greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Finds that agriculture causes a large share of GHGs, calling beef the worst offender.
See: https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2021/10/0 ...
"Fossil fuels: Can't live without them. Yet."
Economist, October 9th-15th, 2021, pp. 70-71
Attributes soaring oil, gas, and coal prices to a slump in investments in oil wells, natural-gas hubs, and coal mines. Notes a longer period of high prices may accelerate the shift to greener and cheaper sources of energy.
See: https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/th ...
"States have mandated vaccinations since long before COVID-19."
By Drew DeSilver.
Fact Tank (Pew Research Center), October 8, 2021, pp. 1-4
Notes most state laws mandating vaccines apply to children and teens, and explores which vaccines are mandated by each state for K-12 enrollment. Includes a timeline documenting when each immunization became available and when each was added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's list of recommended vaccines.
See: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/10/08/s ...
"Lawmakers tackle long-term obligations."
By Spencer Grubbs.
Fiscal Notes, September 2021, pp. 1, 3-5
Focuses on recent progress toward addressing the state's long-term financial obligations, including pension reform for the Employees Retirement System (ERS) in SB 321, 87th Legislature, R.S. Briefly addresses recent developments on teacher employee pension and health care funding through the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), as well as the Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan (TGTP) and deferred maintenance for state buildings.
See: https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes ...
"The space race runs through Texas."
By Brent Wistrom, Kevin Cummings, and Chris Mathews.
Houston Business Journal, September 10-16, 2021, pp. 14-16
Details how Texas has become a hub for space technology startups, noting a record $6 billion in venture capital funding in 2020.
"The UT Austin Liberty Institute? What's That?"
By Colleen Flaherty.
Inside Higher Ed, September 24, 2021, pp. 1-4
Examines faculty response to the proposed University of Texas at Austin think tank, the Liberty Institute. Summarizes what is known about the project, and discusses issues with similar programs at other colleges.
See: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/09/24/ut- ...
"Parents ditch public schools in record numbers."
By Bill Hoffman.
Newsmax, October 2021, p. 19
Lists reasons parents are choosing homeschooling for their children rather than sending them to public school. Discusses a study from Bellwether Education Partners related to families' preferences for their children's education and children who switched from traditional school to homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Report at: https://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/learning/me ...
"Job growth ticks up."
By Mikaila Adams.
Oil and Gas Journal, August 2, 2021, p. 14
Discusses recent job growth in the energy sector. Includes information specifically about Texas, as reported in a July 16 news release and a July 20 news release from the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO).
Related information at: https://www.tipro.org/newsroom/tipro-news/q2-texas ...
Related information at: https://www.tipro.org/newsroom/tipro-news/texas-up ...
"A tale of two states: Contrasting economic policy in California and Texas."
By Mark Duggan and Sheila Olmstead.
Policy Brief (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research), September 2021, pp. 1-18
Provides an overview of state and local economic policy in California and Texas. Highlights key metrics of state and local government performance including health care coverage, educational attainment, crime and incarceration, and economic well-being.
See: https://siepr.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/pub ...
"A big boost for microgrids: Reliability, resilience and favorable economics."
By John Egan.
Public Power, July/August 2021, pp. 22-27
Discusses the evolving application and implementation of microgrids to provide power and energy services.
See: https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/big ...
"Citizen enforcement of Texas abortion ban could spread to other laws."
By Christine Vestal.
Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), September 23, 2021, pp. 1-4
Suggests the citizen lawsuit clause in SB 8, 87th Legislature, R.S., the Texas Heartbeat Act, will spread to other states and other social issues. Reports Tennessee and Florida have already used a private enforcement strategy to circumvent judicial review in statutes targeting transgendered students. Notes similar lawsuit provisions were used in the 1970s to protect the environment but were abandoned.
See: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis ...
"Many new state laws went into effect Sept. 1."
By Jennifer Whitlock.
Texas Agriculture, September 3, 2021, p. 6
Lists eight pieces of legislation that were passed during the 87th Regular Session that concern farmers, ranchers, and rural Texans.
See: https://texasfarmbureau.org/some-new-texas-laws-go ...
"2020 honoring Texas victims."
Texas Council on Family Violence, October 7, 2021, pp. 1-2
Summarizes an annual report identifying the 228 Texans killed by their intimate partners in the year 2020.
Report at: https://2mg7g749lu2112sis323nkkn-wpengine.netdna-s ...
See: https://2mg7g749lu2112sis323nkkn-wpengine.netdna-s ...
"Who killed criminal justice reform?"
By Christopher Hooks.
Texas Monthly, October 2021, pp. 49-52, 54
Highlights the bipartisan effort under former Governor Rick Perry to reform the criminal justice system in Texas and decrease the incarcerated population. Examines how political dynamics in the state have changed and how they have affected recent criminal justice legislation, particularly bills related to bail and Class C misdemeanor arrests.