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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.

October 18, 2018 list Print (PDF)

"Too old to execute?" By Mark Walsh. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, October 2018, pp. 20-21
Discusses a case before the United States Supreme Court, Madison v. Alabama, which questions whether a state can execute a person whose mental disability, such as dementia, leaves the person with no memory of committing the capital offense.
Related information at: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/madison ...
"There's an (updated) app for that." By Courtney Daniel. Capitol Ideas, September/October 2018, pp. 10-13
Explores how technological innovations, including cloud computing and drone deployment, help state and local governments improve services to citizens. Notes the use of AirMap's drone technology in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
"Student leader quits over funds from Turning Point." By Michael Vasquez. Chronicle of Higher Education, October 5, 2018, p. A18
Highlights the recent resignation of Texas State student body president, Brooklyn Boreing, amid allegations of improperly taking campaign donations from Turning Point USA. Explains this conservative group is actively pursuing influence with student body presidents and that Texas State has rules against accepting funds from outside organizations.
"Trying times." By Liz Hayes and Kate Perelman. Church & State, October 2018, pp. 12-13
Provides a timeline of the Trump administration's stances on the separation of church and state.
"Rising vaper pressure." By Andrew Siddons. CQ Weekly, September 24, 2018, pp. 21-24
Discusses the harsh penalties the vaping industry is facing if it does not develop plans to prevent the underage use of flavored e-cigarettes. Addresses the complexities of regulating vaping products, which are also seen as promising smoking cessation devices.
"Ending gerrymandering: Mad scrap." Economist, October 6th-12th, 2018, pp. 26, 28
Reports on four states' efforts to use the ballot initiative process to remove control of legislative redistricting from legislators. Reviews Michigan's proposal for an independent redistricting commission.
Related information at: https://ballotpedia.org/Michigan_Proposal_2,_Indep ...
"North American trade: NEWFTA." Economist, October 6th-12th, 2018, pp. 31-32, 34
Discusses the biggest changes in the re-negotiated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], re-named the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement [USMCA]. States the USMCA does not eliminate all the uncertainties related to trade relations and may face obstacles in getting Congress' approval.
"Basic economic security in the United States: How much income do working adults need in each state?" By Joo Yeoun Suh, et al. Fact Sheet (Institute for Women's Policy Research), October 2018, pp. 1-8
Measures how much income working adults of different family types need to be economically secure in each state. Shows 67 percent of working adults in Texas are economically secure.
See: https://iwpr.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/R590_N ...
"Addressing maternal mortality and morbidity in California through public-private partnerships." By Elliott K. Main, Cathie Markow, and Jeff Gould. Health Affairs, September 2018, pp. 1484-1493
Details the cooperative work of the California Department of Public Health and the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative to investigate maternal deaths and improve maternity care. Notes that while the national mortality rate has worsened in the 2010s, by 2013 California's rate had been cut in half.
"School funding: The role of the courts." By Michael A. Rebell. Internet Resource, September 2018, pp. 1-6
Examines the role judicial intervention has played in states' efforts to achieve adequate and equitable funding in education. Highlights legal challenges in Texas.
See: http://www.nasbe.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Re ...
"Drones, AI, IoT, and the brave new world of cybersecurity." By Elisa Wood. Public Power, September-October 2018, pp. 16-18, 20-23
Considers potential cybersecurity-related threats utilities face from drones, artificial intelligence [AI], and the Internet of things [IoT].
See: https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/dro ...
"This way out." By Devika Subramanian, Robert M. Stein, and Leonardo Dueñas-Osorio. Scientific American, October 2018, 74-79
Discusses the evolution of a detailed risk map developed for the Houston area to inform people of risks of flooding, wind damage, and storm surge, and whether they should evacuate during a weather event.
"Texas property taxes soar as homeowners confront rising values." By Jason L. Saving. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Third Quarter 2018, pp. 7-11
Explores a "precipitous rise" in property taxes in Texas, along with large increases in property tax valuations.
See: https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/resear ...
"'A sea of blood and smoking ruin': Reflections on Sam Houston and slavery." By Randolph B. Campbell. Southwestern Historical Quarterly, October 2018, pp. 134-142
Describes Sam Houston's evolving beliefs on slavery through his personal history and speeches. Addresses Houston's stance in light of today's moral standard where slavery is concerned.
"Halting harassment." By Jon Griffin. State Legislatures, September/October 2018, pp. 22-23, 25
Reports the #MeToo movement has prompted state lawmakers to review sexual harassment policies and to rework training programs and investigative processes. Notes states have introduced more than 125 bills in 2018 relating to sexual harassment issues.
Related information at: http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatu ...
"Advanced education?" By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, October 2018, pp. 28-31
Recommends that Texas increase its regulation over advanced practice registered nurse [APRN] training. Notes that unlike the state's authority over registered nurse and licensed vocational nurse programs via the Texas Board of Nursing, the Higher Education Coordinating Board does not have the ability to set specific education standards for APRN programs.
See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=48655
"Rounds: News from America's best medical society." Texas Medicine, October 2018, pp. 14-16, 18
Discusses Texas Medical Association [TMA] advocacy concerns, including updates to the state's prescription process for certain controlled substances, proposed state rules for chiropractors and informed consent, maternal morbidity and mortality study recommendations, and support for vaccinations.