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Current Articles & Research Resources, April 18

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community. 

  • Find election dates for 2019. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed April 17, 2019)
  • Track news updates from the Texas Department of State Health Services. (Texas Department of State Health Services, accessed April 17, 2019)
  • Consider recent approaches to changing the situation at the border. (The Heritage Foundation, April 11, 2019)
  • Read about America's infrastructure workforce. (Brookings, April 16, 2019)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • "Policymakers bet on sports wagering." By Lisa McKinney. Capitol Ideas, Issue 1 2019, pp. 12-13.
    Discusses the United States Supreme Court's May 2018 ruling in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association and potential state legalization of sports betting.
  • "CBD goes mainstream." Consumer Reports, May 2019, pp. 44-50.
    Examines the results of a survey on cannabidiol [CBD], a compound extracted from hemp and marijuana. Provides insights into who is using CBD, why they use it, and how effective they say it is.
  • "Corporate crises: The new age of corporate scandals." Economist, April 6th-12th, 2019, pp.51-53.
    Discusses the rise in corporate misconduct and scandals, including those involving Boeing, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Facebook. Suggests the abatement of three forces that constrained corporate conduct — regulation, litigation, and competition — has increased the incentive for firms to take more risks.
  • "State ESSA report cards fall short, asserts data-transparency group." By Daarel Burnette II. Education Week, April 10, 2019, pp. 21, 25.
    Summarizes results of a study conducted on how well states are collecting and reporting required school data under the Every Student Succeeds Act [ESSA]. Notes Texas is still not complying with ESSA's reporting requirements in teacher effectiveness and student discipline.
  • "Selling AI: The case of fully autonomous vehicles." By Diane E. Bailey and Ingrid Erickson. Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2019, pp. 57-61.
    Examines claims that autonomous vehicles are the sole means of reducing motor vehicle deaths. Discusses the "Safe System" approach to improving traffic safety through both technological advances and improvements to road infrastructure. (Related document at: http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/912871516999678053/Report-Safe-Systems-final.pdf)
  • "Retirement insecurity 2019: Americans' views of the retirement crisis." By Diane Oakley and Kelly Kenneally. National Institute on Retirement Security, March 2019, pp. 1-28. (Note length)
    Presents public opinion poll findings on retirement issues in the United States, including pension plans for state and local government employees.
  • "Keeping up the pace: State, city, and private sector transportation decarbonization."  By Fatima Maria Ahmad. Natural Resources & Environment, Spring 2019, pp. 40-44.
    Highlights state and regional efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, including: cap-and-invest programs, electronic vehicle charging corridors, and zero emissions vehicles programs. Discusses private sector efforts and opportunities to meet new demand with electric vehicle development and charging infrastructure.
  • "Under the gun." By Paige Williams. New Yorker, April 8, 2019, pp. 26-32.
    Highlights the "Stop the Bleed" protocol developed by the Hartford Consensus to provide rapid casualty care at intentional mass casualty events. Discusses the priority of training and equipping a wide variety of people with these techniques since the real first responders are bystanders at these incidents.
  • "The short-term outlook for the Texas economy." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Discusses factors that are contributing to the growth of the Texas economy, as well as key patterns affecting future performance over the 2018-2023 period.
  • "Bill looks to end noncompetes." By Jessica Corso. San Antonio Business Journal, March 29, 2019, pp. 8.
    Highlights HB1522, 86th Legislature, which would bar staffing agencies at oil and gas companies from requiring workers sign noncompete agreements.
  • "Position as top exporting state exposes Texas to shifting trade policy." By Jesus Canas and Stephanie Gullo. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), First Quarter 2019, pp. 3-7.
    Analyzes Texas' comparative trade advantage, especially in energy-related manufacturing and oil and gas mining. Describes how trade policy uncertainty and steel and aluminum tariffs could disrupt and affect the world standing of Texas manufacturing.
  • "Back from the brink." By Savannah Gilmore and Erica Mackellar. State Legislatures, March/April 2019, pp. 8-11, 13.
    Reports federal tax reforms, United States Supreme Court decisions, and legislative changes to states' tax policies have resulted in net revenue increases, placing states in a better position to weather the next economic downturn.
  • "Eminent domain works in Texas — for the takers." By Russell Boening. Texas Agriculture, April 5, 2019, p. 2.
    Discusses the eminent domain process in Texas and how it negatively affects land owners. Mentions HB991 and SB421, 86th Legislature.
  • "Results of the 2018 unfunded mandate survey."  Texas County Progress, April 2019, pp. 16-23.
    Reviews the effects various unfunded and under-funded mandates have on local government and property taxes. (Report at: https://31j8fe2l56f122iue1wuvve1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2018-Unfunded-Mandates-Book-Final_WebVersion.pdf)
  • "AIMing to save lives." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, April 2019, pp. 21-23.
    Discusses maternal health initiatives that prevent maternal deaths in hospital settings. Highlights AIM Bundles, guidelines set up by the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health [AIM]. Includes maternal health-related bills from the 86th Legislature.

 

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, April 11

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community. 

  • Read about proposed legislation in Congress that would prohibit the IRS from offering free tax filing online. (ProPublica, April 9, 2019)
  • Consider work zone safety on Texas roads. (Texas Department of Transportation, April 8, 2019)
  • Beware of phone scammers after your personal information. (Texas Health & Human Services, April 9, 2019)
  • See how well your science knowledge stacks up against other Americans. (Pew Research Center, March 28, 2019)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • "Dismal grades." By Lorelei Laird. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, April 2019, pp. 18-19.
    Reports the advent of legislatively-mandated school performance standards is helping school finance litigation plaintiffs convince courts that states aren't giving school districts the funding necessary to meet those standards.
  • "Do ecosystems have rights?" By Amanda Paulson and Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, April 1, 2019, pp. 16-17.
    Considers the rights-of-nature movement as embodied in the "Lake Erie Bill of Rights" recently passed by voters in Toledo, Ohio. Reviews the various legal principles that might be used to interpret such rights.
  • "Admissions officers didn't cause the scandal. But they helped shape the culture that spawned it." By Eric Hoover. Chronicle of Higher Education, March 22, 2019, pp. A10-A11.
    Explains the recent college admission scandal uncovered the wealth and privilege that have long been a part of college admission issues in setting up unfair advantages for higher-income students. Suggests this is an opportunity for colleges to examine more rigorously the inequities in current processes and procedures.
  • "Why thousands of college grads start their careers at a rental-car-company." By Beckie Supiano. Chronicle of Higher Education, March 15, 2019, pp. A10-A12, A14.
    Profiles the management-training program at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and its requirement that candidates have a bachelor's degree. Explains the company sees degree completion as evidence of competencies necessary to succeed in an entry-level job and move up.
  • "Joint resolution." By Jennifer Shutt. CQ Weekly, March 4, 2019, pp. 16-22.
    Discusses federal legislation to loosen the nation's marijuana laws and the unlikely coalition of lawmakers behind the effort for change. Addresses the growing acceptance of marijuana use, the disparities between federal and state laws, and the outlook for changing marijuana policy.
  • "Hanging with the anti-vaxxers: Sharp exchanges." Economist, March 30th-April 5th, 2019, pp. 34, 36.
    Considers how the pro-vaccine camp can respond effectively to those who oppose vaccines. Notes the growing influence of vaccine-choice political action committees.
  • "Fairness matters: A chart book on who pays state and local taxes." Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, March 2019, pp. 1-18.
    Analyzes the distribution of state and local taxes and the adequacy of tax systems to fund schools, health care, infrastructure, and other public services. Illustrates the tax burden in sales tax-reliant systems, especially for low- and moderate-income families. Includes Texas. (Related document at: https://itep.org/whopays/).
  • "Why do hundreds of US women die annually in childbirth?" By Anita Slomski. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), April 2, 2019, pp. 1239-1241.
    Investigates rising maternal mortality rates in the United States and underlying causes of pregnancy-related deaths. Reports 60 percent of maternal deaths are preventable and the leading cause of death varies significantly by race.
  • "The short-term forecast for the US economy." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Highlights the latest forecast for the economy over the 2018 to 2023 period.
  • "Lower oil prices, tight labor markets to restrain Texas growth in 2019." By Keith R. Phillips and Judy Teng. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), First Quarter 2019, pp. 10-13.
    Presents an economic forecast of the Texas energy, manufacturing, and construction sectors for 2019.
  • "The final word: Dennis Bonnen." By Jane Carroll Andrade. State Legislatures, March/April 2019, pp. 37.
    Interviews Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
  • "An analysis of Texas jail bookings: How Texas counties could save millions of dollars by safely diverting people from jail." Appendix. Texas Appleseed, April 2, 2019, pp. 1-11.
    Analyzes jail booking records from large Texas counties (Bell, Collin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hidalgo, Jefferson, McLennan, Montgomery, Tarrant, and Travis), to describe who is being booked into jail, on what charges, and how long they are staying. Addresses how counties could safely reduce jail populations.
  • "Time and treasure: Faith-based response to Hurricane Harvey." By Noah Westfall, Erica Nelson and Bee Moorhead. Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, March 10, 2019, pp. 1-10.
    Highlights the role of faith-based communities in Hurricane Harvey disaster response and recovery. Advocates a public/private collaboration for disaster response in Texas that would ensure financial accountability and transparency.
  • "Borders without enough doctors." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, April 2019, pp. 30-37.
    Profiles El Paso physicians who volunteer their time to provide medical care for asylum-seekers along the Texas border. Reports their goal is to build a nationwide network of volunteer doctors.
  • "Goodbye to an aquifer." By Brantley Hargrove. Texas Monthly, April 2019, pp. 90-102.
    Discusses the effects of recent drought and population increase on the Trinity Aquifer and the availability of groundwater in Bell County and Williamson County. Contrasts the work of the Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District in Bell County and the lack of a groundwater conservation district in Williamson County. Mentions HB1594, 86th Legislature.

 

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

National Library Week 2019

This week, April 7-13, 2019, is National Library Week. This year’s theme, Libraries = Strong Communities, illustrates how today’s libraries are at the heart of our cities, towns, schools and campuses. The LRL is proud to not only serve members of the Texas Legislature and state agencies but also members of the public.

 

The library provides many helpful resources for constituents including:

 

• Bill status hotline: 877-824-7038 (toll-free in Texas). Texas residents can call toll-free for information on pending bills, committee hearings, elected officials, the legislative process, and online legislative resources. The hotline is available during session Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m., and Friday 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., with extended hours when either chamber is in session.

 

• State agency hotlines and citizen assistance provides frequently requested contact numbers and websites for state agencies, arranged by the following topics: Aging & Seniors; Children & Families; Consumer Protection & Tax Assistance; Courts & Legal Assistance; Health, Social Services & Public Safety; Labor, Employment & Retirement; Mortgage & Foreclosure Assistance; Natural Resources; Professional Licensing & Complaints; State Government; Transportation; and Utilities.

 

• Contacting your legislator includes information on how to contact members of the Legislature, as well as proper forms of address for elected officials. 

 

• Legislative agencies and the legislative process in Texas lists the agencies in the legislative branch with their roles and responsibilities, and includes overviews of the legislative process.

 

The library is open to the public for study and research purposes; however, circulation privileges are limited to legislators, their staff, and employees of other legislative agencies.

 

To find out more about what we do, as well as the variety of resources we provide, we invite you to visit and explore our website. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, read our blog, or subscribe to one of the library's RSS feeds.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, April 4

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community. 

  • Compare citation in lieu of arrest policies among the states. (National Conference of State Legislatures, March 18, 2019)
  • Track cases of EV-D68 and its association with acute flaccid myelitis. (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, March 29, 2019)
  • Consider whether automakers should be held accountable for auto accidents. (Regulation, Spring 2019)
  • Read about the gender wage gap by occupation. (Institute for Women's Policy Research, April 2019)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • "A jolt to the system." By Mary Ellen McIntire. CQ Weekly, March 25, 2019, pp. 14-18, 20, 22-23.
    Discusses how "Medicare for All" or a single-payer health care system could affect health care and the economy in the United States. Suggests health care will be a significant but divisive issue in the 2020 elections.
  • "New frontier in old war." By Sandhya Raman. CQ Weekly, March 4, 2019, pp. 23-26.
    Addresses medication abortions and the conflicts surrounding access to the procedure. Discusses pending litigation that could change the future of medication abortion.
  • "Cyberdefense for Texas state government: Public data systems, infrastructure under attack." By Jackie Benton. Fiscal Notes, March 2019, pp. 7-10.
    Reviews the tougher cybersecurity requirements and the state's implementation of the Texas Cybersecurity Act (HB8, 85th Legislature, R.S.) and the Texas Cybercrime Act (HB9, 85th Legislature, R.S.) and cybersecurity appropriations in the 2018-19 state budget. Interviews Representative Giovanni Capriglione.
  • "Texas cybersecurity: Protecting data systems: Texans lose big to cybercrime." By Courtney King. Fiscal Notes, March 2019, pp. 1, 3-6.
    Charts annual costs of cybercrime by industry sector and compares Texas to other states in terms of cybercrime victims and financial losses. Describes cybersecurity efforts in Texas and the labor shortage of information security analysts.
  • "Texas brew." By Marcie Richter. Fort Worth Business Press, March 25-31, 2019, pp. 12-13.
    Addresses efforts by craft spirits distilleries and breweries to lift restrictive laws relating to the sale of products to-go. Argues changes are necessary in order for these smaller craft businesses to succeed.
  • "2018 in review: Remote vendor nexus." By Steve Oldroyd and Todd Faciana. Journal of State Taxation, Spring 2019, pp. 21-26.
    Reviews sales-and-use tax developments of 2018 that affect remote vendors, including the United States Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair.
  • "Warning: The plastic crisis is about to get worse: Fracking triggered a production boom – with toxic consequences." By Zoe Carpenter. Nation, April 1, 2019, pp. 12-17, 26.
    Discusses expansion of plastics production and the petrochemical industry in the United States, including new and expanded facilities, pipelines, and shipping infrastructure. Highlights a dispute about Exxon's site for Project Yosemite on farmland north of Corpus Christi and citizen concerns in Portland, Texas. Mentions Governor Greg Abbott.
  • "A low cost LEGO house decree!" By Michael Hendrix. National Review, March 25, 2019, pp. 22-23.
    Considers modular construction as a way to alleviate the housing shortage by cutting construction time in half and reducing costs by up to 20 percent. Describes modular construction as offsite manufacturing of prefabricated units that are later assembled on-site.
  • "Scoot over: Get ready for rental mopeds." By Eric Boehm. Reason, May 2019, p. 17.
    Identifies rental mopeds as the next feature in the "micromobility" trend hitting cities. Suggests mopeds have advantages over scooters such as better visibility for other motorists, seating for two riders, higher speeds, and storage compartments for helmets.
  • "Gun-rights counties vow to resist new restrictions." By Matt Vasilogambros. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), April 2, 2019, pp. 1-7.
    Reports more than two hundred counties are pushing back against state legislatures — refusing to enforce new state laws that restrict gun access.
  • "STAAR wars." By Mimi Swartz. Texas Monthly, April 2019, pp. 50-60.
    Profiles educators and education advocates and their concerns with the readability level of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness [STAAR] test. Includes past efforts to study and reevaluate the reading section of the test.
  • "Black market wildlife." By Russell Roe. Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, April 2019, pp. 32-37.
    Investigates the illegal wildlife trade in Texas. Examines how illegally taken and smuggled wildlife can affect Texas' ecosystems.

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

Former Members Day and Speaker's Reunion Day 2019

Former Members Day

The Texas Senate will be celebrating Former Members Day on Thursday, April 4. This event is an opportunity to recognize those who have served in the Texas Senate.

 

This time-honored tradition will include a dinner on April 3, and a reception the following morning. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and current members of the Texas Senate will recognize former members on the Senate floor on April 4.

 

In addition, the names of senators who have died since the previous Former Members Day will be read on the floor and copies of the Senate's biennial publication, A State of Remembrance, will be distributed.

 

 

 

Speaker's Reunion Day

The Texas House of Representatives will be celebrating Speaker's Reunion Day on Friday, April 5. This time-honored tradition — which dates back to 1876 — was originally known as Speaker's Day.

 

In 1995, HB 1527, 74th Legislature, became law, officially designating a day to honor all former members of the Texas House of Representatives; it also changed the name to Speaker's Reunion Day. Now, this biennial event continues to be an opportunity for all current and former members to congregate and celebrate their service to the State of Texas.

 

This year, Speaker Dennis Bonnen has invited all former House members for breakfast at the Capitol, an introduction on the House floor, and a barbecue lunch on the Capitol grounds. Members who served in the House back to the 1950s will be attending the event.

 

 

Texas Legislators: Past & Present

 

For information about current and former members of the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives, search the Texas Legislators: Past and Present database.

 

The library also has a complete list of lieutenant governors and speakers on our website.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 28

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community. 

  • See how Austin tops the list of best cities for wildlife. (National Wildlife Federation, March 12. 2019)
  • Note the federal rule banning bump stocks became effective on March 26, 2019. (The Federal Register, accessed March 27, 2019)
  • Find judicial nomination statistics for U.S. district and circuit courts. (Congressional Research Service, March 21, 2019)
  • Get answers to all your bluebonnet questions. (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, ©2019)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • "Texas may collect more online sales taxes." By Kimberly Reeves. Austin Business Journal, March 22, 2019, p. 18.
    Highlights SB70 and SB890, 86th Legislature, proposals creating a streamlined process to collect sales tax from out-of-state online retailers and setting up the mechanism for the remittance of payments. Includes comments by Senator Donna Campbell and mentions former Representative John Otto.
  • "Solving unsolved murders." By Patrik Jonsson. Christian Science Monitor, March 4, 2019, pp. 24-30.
    Explains over 250,000 unsolved murder cases have accumulated in the United States since 1980, with a current average of 40 percent of cases going unsolved. Discusses the causes of the increased caseload and new approaches to solving cold cases.
  • "Day care for all." Economist, March 9th-15th, 2019, pp. 26, 28.
    Suggests a proposal for nationwide publicly-funded child care centers would be less efficient than simple cash transfers to poor families with children.
  • "Immigrant health, value-based care, and emergency Medicaid reform." By Dhruv Khullar and Dave A. Chokshi. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), March 12, 2019, pp. 928-929.
    Argues that there are economic and public health advantages to states availing themselves of existing policy options to provide limited, value-oriented health care coverage (such as prenatal and dialysis-related care) to immigrant populations.
  • "Anyone's game: Sports-betting regulations after Murphy v. NCAA." By Patrick Moran. Legal Policy Bulletin (CATO Institute), March 11, 2019, pp. 1-10.
    Suggests the federal government should leave the regulation of sports betting to the states, as they have done for other types of gambling. Related information at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-476_dbfi.pdf.
  • "Mexican-American resistance to school segregation." By Jarrod Hanson and Ruben Donato. Phi Delta Kappan, February 2019, pp. 39-42.
    Examines the school segregation of Mexican-American children by highlighting five court cases (including two from Texas) that illustrate how local school officials made intentional decisions based on social status and race.
  • "Who benefits from increasing health insurance subsidies: Patients or providers?By Marika Cabral. Policy Brief (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research), March 2019, pp. 1-4.
    Finds that a little over half of Medicare Advantage subsidy increases are passed on to beneficiaries in the form of lower premiums or improved benefits — a pressing concern for seniors who depend on Medicare for health care coverage.
  • "Does storage increase carbon? Expect the unexpected." By Charles Bayless. Public Utilities Fortnightly, March 2019, pp. 54-58.
    Explains how energy storage transactions could actually increase carbon emissions. Related information at: https://inesazevedo.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/HIttinger_2015.pdf.
  • "Poll on paid sick leave hints at voters' power of change." By Tony Quesada. San Antonio Business Journal, March 15, 2019, p. 3.
    Examines a recent poll that showed 74 percent of Texas voters support municipalities requiring businesses to offer paid sick days.
  • "Rural America faces a housing cost crunch." By Tim Henderson. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), March 25, 2019, pp. 1-4.
    Discusses the problem of housing affordability, attributing the crisis in rural rental housing to the expiration of federal incentive programs. Points out Texas' Irion County had one of the largest household cost-burden increases in 2017.
  • "A field guide to the taxes of Texas." Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, March 2019, pp. 1-25.
    Provides a graphical overview of major Texas state and local taxes, including sales and use, motor vehicle sales, motor fuel, franchise, oil production, and natural gas production taxes. Describes revenue by source, future revenue growth, historical volatility, and major exemptions for each tax. Includes charts on local property and sales taxes.
  • "Rounds: News from America's best medical society." By Joey Berlin, Sean Price, and David Doolittle. Texas Medicine, March 2019, pp. 14-19.
    Summarizes highlights of the Texas Medical Association [TMA]'s recent advocacy concerns, including a pay bump for physicians seeing Medicaid patients, insurance reform, rural hospitals, maternal and children's health issues, and do-not-resuscitate [DNR] laws.
  • "Home economics." By Gus Bova and Christopher Collins. Texas Observer, March/April 2019, pp. 24-28.
    Examines how immigrants are reviving rural communities such as Dalhart, Texas, where most voters support President Donald Trump.

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

Bills in the News: Pharmacies and Prescription Drugs

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 86th legislative session, and related resources.

 

Concerned about the rising costs of pharmaceuticals, the opioid epidemic, or whether pharmacists can object to filling certain prescriptions? There are a few different ways to find bills related to the topics and more about pharmacies, pharmacists, and the pharmaceutical industry.   

 

Pharmacies and pharmacists play a significant role in the lives of many Texans, from administering vaccinations to catching potential drug interactions. If a bill relates to pharmacies, pharmacists, and related licensing, it can be found under PHARMACIES & PHARMACISTS.

 

The definition of "pharmacy benefit manager" appears in Insurance Code § 4151.151. These managers fill the role of administrator of pharmacy benefits and are referenced throughout the statutes in relation to health and prescription drug benefits. Bills that relate to pharmacy benefit managers can be found via the subject PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS.

 

A broad range of more than 100 bills filed this legislative session relate to the subject MEDICINE & PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. Proposed legislation regarding compassionate use, prescriptive authority, prescription drug prices, restrictions on over-the-counter medications, and prescription opioids all falls within this subject.

 

To see a complete list of subject headings for the 86th Legislature, select "Reports" under the "Legislation" tab. Then select "S - Subject Headings" from the "Bills by Subject" drop-down menu.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 21

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community. 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • "Accenture grilled over IT contract gone awry." By Kimberly Reeves. Austin Business Journal, March 8, 2019, p. A4.
    Reports on the delays and ballooning costs associated with the overhaul of the state's child support system. Includes comments by Representative Giovanni Capriglione.
  • "Infrastructure: Derailment in California." By Mark Niquette. Bloomberg Businessweek, March 4, 2019, pp. 42-43.
    Explores the costs and controversy related to the California bullet-train project. Contrasts the California project with the Texas Central Partners' Texas bullet-train project..
  • "How UT-Austin's bold plan for reinvention went belly up." By Lindsay Ellis. Chronicle of Higher Education, March 8, 2019, pp. A12-A14, A16, A18.
    Examines the University of Texas at Austin's Project 21, an initiative aimed at reimagining the undergraduate experience through a redesign of curricula and increased use of live, online classes. Suggests many problems led to the demise of the project, including a lack of clear direction, bureaucratic issues, and funding.
  • "Measles: Fever Pitch." Economist, March 9th-15th, 2019, p. 81.
    Provides an overview of measles outbreaks in America. Points out almost half of the counties in the United States have a vaccination rate lower than the level needed to prevent an outbreak.
  • "Texas politics: Twilight in Austin." Economist, March 9th-15th, 2019, pp. 23-24.
    Discusses Texas Republicans' change of tone and approach in the 86th Legislature and the move away from divisive social issues that marked the 2017 session. Includes comments by former House Speaker Joe Straus.
  • "Firearm policies that work." By April M. Zeoli and Daniel W. Webster. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), March 12, 2019, pp. 937-938.
    Examines policies that have been implemented with the hope of reducing firearm injury deaths, including prohibiting individuals who have committed violence in the past from possessing a firearm and deregulation of civilian gun-carrying policies. Argues that evidence indicates prohibiting high-risk individuals from possessing firearms is most effective.
  • "Defund it already." By Alexandra DeSanctis. National Review, March 11, 2019, pp. 35-37.
    Reviews previous attempts to defund Planned Parenthood from federal programs.
  • "What is the Green New Deal?" By Travis Kavulla. National Review, March 11, 2019, p. 14-16.
    Describes the body of the Green New Deal as being direct government investment in renewable energy coupled with progressive social policies. Argues instead for a Customer Empowerment Act that allows more choice for electric customers and suggests the marketplace is the best model for uniting customers with clean energy at an economical price.
  • "The myth of de facto segregation." Phi Delta Kappan, February 2019, pp. 35-38.
    Explains how racial segregation exacerbates student achievement gaps by concentrating children with the most serious challenges at the same schools. Argues prevailing patterns of residential segregation arose from specific government policies and not de facto personal decisions.
  • "Can victims' rights go too far?" By Matthew Harwood. Reason, April 2019, pp. 34-40.
    Reviews the background and rise of the Marsy's Law movement and its goal of increasing victims' rights in state laws. Details concerns about the laws' assault on due process and the presumption of innocence.
  • "Dubious diagnosis." By Charles Piller. Science, March 8, 2019, pp. 1026-1031.
    Examines the tenuous diagnosis of "prediabetes" and whether patients diagnosed with the condition benefit from treatment with pharmaceuticals.
  • "Mental health trails metal detectors in school safety dollars." By Christine Vestal. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), March 13, 2019, pp. 1-5.
    Examines the debate over how much state money to invest in school mental health services versus metal detectors and alarm systems. Mentions Governor Greg Abbott's school safety action plan and the Austin Independent School District's mental health centers.
  • "Farmers, ranchers advocate for eminent domain reform in Austin." By Jennifer Dorsett. Texas Agriculture, March 1, 2019, p. 12.
    Highlights Texas farmers' and ranchers' concerns regarding eminent domain. Mentions HB991 and SB421.
  • "Closing a loophole." By Joey Berlin.Texas Medicine, March 2019, pp. 36-38.
    Describes how some hospital systems may be circumventing the intent of SB1148, 85th Legislature, R.S., which puts the decision of whether to require MOC [maintenance of certification] into the hands of the physicians on staff. Calls for bill clarifying the statute.
  • "Dammed to fail." By Naveena Sadasivam. Texas Observer, March/April 2019, pp. 12-17.
    Investigates the failure rate of unregulated dams in Texas. Addresses legislation that removed state oversight of small dams in 2011. Mentions Representative Charlie Geren.

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

 

New & Noteworthy: March 2019

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the seven titles from our March 2019 New & Noteworthy list

Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, contact the library at 512-463-1252, or use our PDF request form.

 

1. Governor's Budget, 2020-2021
By Office of the Governor
Presents Governor Greg Abbott's budget priorities for the Fiscal 2020-2021 biennium, which are meant to elevate education, expand economic opportunity, ensure public safety, and provide a resilient infrastructure for the future.
Office of the Governor, 2019. 18 pages.
Online at: https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/Governors-Budget-FY-2020-2021.pdf
L1800 B859 2020-21G


 

 

2. The Handy Texas Answer Book
By James L. Haley
Provides a fun introduction to Texas by covering a "kaleidoscope of facts, figures, people, history, economy, quirks, and foibles." Presents information in an easy to browse Q&A format and covers well-known topics as well as the lesser known, making this an interesting title for all readers. Includes a timeline, extensive index, and bibliography for further reading.
Visible Ink, 2019. 360 pages.
976.4 H137H 2019


 

 

3. Medicare Explained
By Kelly J. Rooney, ed.
Explains the Medicare program, highlighting services that health care providers and physicians provide. Details the statutory and regulatory changes made to Medicare in 2018, as well as the process for submitting and appealing Medicare claims.
Commerce Clearing House, 2019. 393 pages.
368.382 C736 2019


 

 

4. Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation
By Steve Luxenberg
Provides context and insight into the history of discrimination beyond slavery that lay the groundwork for the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision, which cemented the "separate but equal" concept into legal doctrine. Recounts the story of Homer Plessy, a light-skinned black man whose entrance into a "whites only" railroad coach precipitated the case, as well as the lawyers and judges who worked for and against Plessy's case.
W. W. Norton & Company, 2019. 505 pages.
342.7308 L979S 2019


 

 

5. Final Report: December 2018 (Penal Laws)
By Commission to Study and Review Certain Penal Laws
Addresses penal laws outside of the Penal Code that may prevent people from easily understanding whether they are in compliance with Texas state laws. Details the findings and recommendations, including recommendations from the 2016 report that were not addressed in the 85th Legislature.
Commission to Study and Review Certain Penal Laws, 2018. 84 pages.
Online at: https://lrl.texas.gov/scanned/SIRSI/Report_HB351_85R.pdf
C995.8 F49 2018


 

 

6. Making the Bible Belt: Texas Prohibitionists and the Politicization of Southern Religion
By Joseph L. Locke
Traces how clerics and Christian activists brought together southern religion and electoral politics and constructed what we now call the Bible Belt. Begins with the end of Reconstruction in the 1870s to the start of Prohibition in 1919, arguing that Texas religious leaders played key roles in the adaptation of the clericalism that has become a central facet of today's political scene.
Oxford University Press, 2017. 207 pages.
277.64082 L793M 2017


 

 

7. Water for Texas, 2017 State Water Plan
By Texas Water Development Board
Provides a roadmap for how to address the water needs that accompany Texas' rapid population growth by identifying water management strategies and their associated costs for communities across the state. Note: the electronic copy includes the 2017 State Water Plan Amendments.
Texas Water Development Board, 2017. 150 pages.
Online at: https://www.twdb.texas.gov/waterplanning/swp/2017/
W605.8 W291P 2017


 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 14

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community. 

  • Read about the CDC's new study on e-scooter injuries. (CNBC, March 8, 2019)
  • See which states have laws that address medical balance billing. (National Conference of State Legislatures, March 2019)
  • Track Medicaid eligibility with a federal database for states offered by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. (Council of State Governments, March 12, 2019)
  • Consider differences between Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage. (The Manhattan Institute, February 28, 2019)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • "K-12 school funding up in most 2018 teacher-protest states, but still well below decade ago." By Michael Leachman and Eric Figueroa. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 6, 2019, pp. 1-14.
    Analyzes trends in state K-12 school finance and per pupil spending since the 2008 recession, including the effect of recent teacher protests in Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and West Virginia on school funding levels. Mentions Texas state formula funding per student is now 20 percent under 2008 levels, adjusted for inflation.
  • "State-level data for understanding child welfare in the United States: Child maltreatment, foster care, adoption from foster care, kinship caregiving: Texas state profiles." Child Trends, February 26, 2019, pp. 1-8.
    Presents state and national data, including Texas state profiles, on child maltreatment, foster care, kinship caregiving, and adoption, for fiscal year 2017.
  • "Praying for sanity." By Rob Boston. Church & State, March 2019, pp. 11-12.
    Addresses common myths about the role of prayer, Bible reading, and religion in public schools.
  • "Texas leaves $4B on the table every year because of this policy, study finds." By Evan Hoopfer. Dallas Business Journal, February 22, 2019, p. 23.
    Highlights study produced for the Texas Association of Manufacturers that finds the state's aerospace and defense sectors could benefit economically if the Texas franchise tax is aligned with federal requirements in the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
  • "Medicine: A higher purpose." Economist, March 2nd-8th, 2019, pp. 47-48.
    Examines the rising interest in the re-purposing of off-patent drugs. Considers whether the benefits outweigh high costs and regulatory obstacles.
  • "Social media and law enforcement — watching: The detectives." Economist, February 23rd-March 1st, 2019, pp. 28-29.
    Examines how the police track what people say and do online. Raises privacy concerns.
  • "Rethinking the structure of teacher retirement benefits: Analyzing the preferences of entering teachers." By Josh B McGee and Marcus A. Winters. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, March 2019, pp. 63-78.
    Explores the differences between two types of defined benefit retirement plans for teachers. Presents evidence that teachers in New York City and Philadelphia prefer the cash balance plan [CB], an alternative model to the final average salary [FAS] plan, which most public school teachers participate in today.
  • "Jungle warfare – Amazon HQ2 disclosure fights and battle over tax transparency." Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, March/April 2019, pp. 36-39.
    Discusses the legal battles and transparency concerns about the state and local tax [SALT] incentive packages offered to Amazon for its second headquarters. Notes the Amazon HQ2 lottery has led to increased attention on corporate financial and tax incentives generally. Uses Kentucky as a recent example of tax transparency conflicts.
  • "The jail health-care crisis." By Steve Coll. New Yorker, March 4, 2019, pp. 28-37.
    Considers the state of medical care for jail inmates and the increased use of for-profit companies to provide these services. Highlight's Texas' Sandra Bland Act as an example of reform in the care of the incarcerated.
  • "Side effects in education: Winners and losers in school voucher programs." By Yong Zhao. Phi Delta Kappan, February 2019, pp. 63-66.
    Reviews studies analyzing the benefits of school choice initiatives.
  • "The wall won't end pot smuggling at the border. Legalization will." By David Bier. Reason, April 2019, pp. 22-29.
    Argues smuggling of marijuana across the Mexican border has decreased due to legalization in the United States. Suggests the same principle should be applied to the illegal immigration problem.

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

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