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Current Articles & Research Resources, September 20

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

  • Review the draft State Flood Assessment. (Texas Water Development Board, September 17, 2018)
  • Read a multi-state report on the legal challenges of social media for employers. (Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Social Media Practice Group, 2017-2018 edition)
  • Consider the scam call epidemic and the increase in scam calls to consumers' mobile phones. (CNET, September 14, 2018)
  • Explore an online edition of the Congressional Research Service's U.S. Constitution Annotated. (Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School, accessed September 19, 2018)

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

  • "Occupational perfection: Identifying the careers high in volume and pay." By G. Scott Thomas. Austin Business Journal, September 7, 2018, pp. 4-5.
    Points out how Austin compares nationwide in occupations that are highly represented and highly compensated.
  • "NYU's free medical school has lessons for higher ed." By Beckie Supiano. Chronicle of Higher Education, September 7, 2018, pp. A46-A47.
    Examines New York University's decision to offer full-tuition scholarships to all current and future students in the doctor-of-medicine program. Reports the school hopes this will bring more socioeconomic diversity to the school and allow graduates to choose practices in health care in parts of the country that are currently underserved.
  • "Charter partnerships could bring changes for teachers." Classroom Teacher (Texas Classroom Teachers Association), Summer 2018, pp. 20-22.
    Discusses benefits and risks of charter partnerships, which allow school districts to partner with charter schools or other approved entities to assist failing campuses.
  • "America's housing market: Fixer-uppers." Economist, September 15th-21st, 2018, pp. 72-73.
    Reports how technology companies such as Opendoor are replacing real estate agents by buying and selling homes directly, speeding up and simplifying the home sales process.
  • "The financial crisis: Unresolved." Economist, September 8th-14th, 2018, pp. 20-22.
    Explains how the financial system has changed since the collapse of Lehman Brothers ten years ago. Questions whether policymakers have learned the right lessons to prevent another financial crisis.
  • "Safety burden looks at start of new school year." By Evie Blad. Education Week, September 5, 2018, pp. 1, 15.
    Discusses school safety challenges and security measures, school violence rates over time, and how school districts are responding. Notes consideration of 261 new school safety bills in state legislatures across the country since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
  • "The US training system for physicians — Need for deeper analysis." By S. Claiborne Johnston. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), September 11, 2018, pp. 982-983.
    Calls for increased data collection and analysis efforts on undergraduate and graduate medical education. Suggests topics to be considered such as the physician shortage and the role of osteopathic schools and physicians.
  • "More immigration, less teen employment." By Steven Camarota. National Review, September 10, 2018, pp. 14-16.
    Discusses research on the decline of teen summer employment and suggests immigrants have displaced teens in the labor market. Related information at: https://cis.org/Report/2018-Shaping-Be-Another-Bad-Summer-Teen-Employment.
  • "Back to the blackboard." By Jill Lepore. New Yorker, September 10, 2018, pp. 86-88, 90-93.
    Focuses on the history and legal reasoning of Plyler v. Doe, a case beginning in Tyler, Texas and ending with a 1982 United States Supreme Court opinion, holding the state cannot deny students a free public education, regardless of immigration status.
  • "What Netflix and Amazon pricing tell us about rate design's future." By Lon Huber and Richard Bachmeier. Public Utilities Fortnightly, September 2018, pp. 60-63.
    Explores the possible benefits and criticisms of applying a subscription service business model to energy utilities. Report at: https://www.navigantresearch.com/reports/defining-the-digital-future-of-utilities.
  • "The evolution of dual credit." By Amy Magee. Texas Lone Star (Texas Association of School Boards), September/October 2018, pp. 26-29, 43.
    Presents information on the dual credit program in Texas. Discusses the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's current study of dual credit effectiveness. Related information at: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=D455C380-7BA9-11E8-AE230050560100A9
  • "Capitol matters." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, September 2018, pp. 32-35.
    Lists the Texas Medical Association's recommendations for addressing Texas' Medicaid managed care problems; offers next steps to take in developing telemedicine programs.
  • "Coming of age." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, September 2018, pp. 14-21.
    Extols the benefits of HJR3 and HB4, 78th Legislature, R.S., the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act. Correlates the legislation's limits on medical liability suits with the record numbers of physicians settling in Texas and specialists filling voids in rural areas.

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.

Interim Hearings – Week of September 24

Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.

 

For recent posts on Interim Hearings, see Interim Hearing Resources on the LRL homepage. The "Recent Entries" list on the left provides quick access to interim hearings posts from previous weeks.

September 25

House Committee on County Affairs

Charge 3: Defendants' and inmates' behavioral health needs, mental health services upon release from the criminal justice system  

Charge 4: Population limitations found in Local Government Code Section 154.041 and Local Government Code Section 113.047, whether counties with population below 190,000 could benefit from population limitations being removed  

 

Charge 5: Monitor agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature: indigent defense and family drug treatment courts 

 

September 26

House Committee on County Affairs

Charge 3: Defendants' and inmates' behavioral health needs, mental health services upon release from the criminal justice system [see September 25 hearing]

 

Charge 5: Monitor agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature: behavioral health intervention on the school setting and Sandra Bland Act implementation

 

House Select Committee on Cybersecurity

Topic: State agency cybersecurity and data privacy practices, and HB 8, 85th Legislature, R.S., implementation

Topic: State of election security in Texas

Topic: Report on the Jack Voltaic 2 Cybersecurity Exercise

 

September 27

Joint Interim Committee on Disclosure of Emergency Call Information

Topic: Process, rules, handling, and processing of the disclosure of recordings and transcripts of emergency calls made by a subsequently deceased individual to a public safety agency or a public safety answering point

  • HCR 140, 85th Legislature, R. S., Requesting the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house of representatives to provide for a joint interim legislative study regarding the confidentiality of emergency calls.
  • HB 3640, 85th Legislature, R.S., Relating to the confidentiality of an emergency call.

 

House Committee on Natural Resources (Brownsville)

Charge 9: Water development opportunities involving neighboring states and Mexico; impact of noncompliance with the 1944 treaty with Mexico on the Rio Grande Valley Region  

Specific issues related to Charge 3: Status of groundwater policy in Texas: (b) Developments in case law regarding groundwater ownership and regulation, and (d) The appropriate consideration of the service area of a water supplier when groundwater resources are allocated based on surface ownership

Charge 6: Expedited decertification process created under SB 573, 82nd Legislature, R.S.; process for resolving disputes and assessing compensation for utilities whose service areas are decertified

 

September 28

Joint Interim Committee to Study State Judicial Salaries

Topics: State judicial salaries, the salaries of the highest appellate courts of the nine most populous states other than Texas, the salaries of judges on the United States Courts of Appeals, and the average starting base salaries of first-year associate attorneys at the five largest law firms in Texas

Organizing, Preserving, and Providing Access to Legislative Information Since 1969

The Legislative Reference Library recently updated our exhibit about the library and its work. Come by and learn more about our creation and leadership, discover answers to frequently asked questions, enjoy now and then photos of our reading room, and see photos documenting our work over time.

 

Now and then, the LRL in 2018 and 1910. See that bucket next to the man in the foreground of the picture? Yup, that's a spittoon. Our tables don't come with spittoons anymore, but visitors can bring their (covered) drinks to our library!

Current Articles & Research Resources, September 13

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

  • Be prepared in the event of a hurricane. (Office of the Texas Governor, accessed September 13, 2018)
  • Explore state regulation of short-term rentals. (National Conference of State Legislatures, September 2018)
  • Read about the benefits of walking. (Outside Online, September 10, 2018)
  • Review the process for appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Congressional Research Service, September 7, 2018)

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

  • "Center court." By Mark Walsh. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, September 2018, pp. 20-21.
    Discusses how United States Supreme Court justices rate on an ideological scale that does not rely exclusively on past votes.
  • "A new way to Uber." By Joshua Brustein. Bloomberg Businessweek, September 2, 2018, pp. 23-24.
    Profiles Uber's investment in the electric scooter market. Mentions how electric scooter businesses are navigating city ordinances and permitting restrictions.
  • "Contraception challenge." By Rokia Hassanein. Church & State, September 2018, pp. 4-5.
    Reports on a lawsuit challenging a settlement between the Trump administration and Notre Dame that allows the university to use religion to deny students and staff access to birth control. Related information at: https://nwlc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Complaint.pdf.
  • "Silicon Valley: A victim of its own success." Economist, September 1st-7th, 2018, pp. 19-22.
    Explains why Silicon Valley's preeminence as the epicenter of technology is on the wane, due in part to the technology industry's geographical diversification.
  • "Post-Wayfair options for states." By Joseph Bishop-Henchman, Hannah Walker, and Denise Grabe. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), August 29, 2018, pp. 1-21.
    Reviews the United States Supreme Court's recent decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair and discusses a "Wayfair checklist" of how state laws on sales tax collection would be considered constitutional under the Court's standard. Categorizes Texas as a "steady yellow light," meaning the state should proceed only after making legislative changes, including membership in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. Related information at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/17-494_j4el.pdf.
  • "Current eminent domain laws are fair for landowners." By Thure Cannon. Houston Business Journal, August 30, 2018, p. 42.
    Argues that the Texas pipeline industry has treated landowners fairly in cases of eminent domain. Suggests both sides need to work together to avoid costly litigation.
  • "Community health workers: Key partners in improving children’s health and eliminating inequities." By Sinsi Hernandez-Cancio, Shadi Houshyar, and Maria Walawender. Internet Resource, September 2018, pp. 1-16.
    Proposes the deployment and sustainable financing of community health workers [CHWs] into maternal and child health care delivery. Provides examples of ways CHWs have driven health equity for children and improve health outcomes for children of color.
  • "Hospitals and the unexpected impacts of Hurricane Harvey." By Wendy Lyons Sunshine. Internet Resource, July/August 2018, pp. 1-2.
    Recaps lessons learned by hospital administrators about where their medical facilities and staff were well-prepared for a disaster like Harvey and where they need to improve.
  • "Can't hardly wait – Cryptocurrency and state tax legislation." By Charlie Kearns and Dennis Jansen. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, September 2018, pp. 6-11, 48.
    Explains the basics of bitcoin and blockchain technology and explores recent trends in state cryptocurrency legislation, focusing on Vermont's "Blockchain-Based LLC" regime. Related information at: https://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2018/Docs/ACTS/ACT205/ACT205%20As%20Enacted.pdf.
  • "Credits and incentives update: How does the economic policy of tax reform impact economic development in the United States?" By Michael Eickhoff. Journal of State Taxation, Fall 2018, pp. 19-20, 44.
    Discusses the effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on economic development initiatives, including creation of the Opportunity Zone program to incentivize capital investment in low-income areas.
  • "Nexus news: Quill's physical presence nexus requirement is gone: What now?" By Jane Summers Haas and Daniel L. Stanley. Journal of State Taxation, Fall 2018, pp. 5-10.
    Describes the effect of the United States Supreme Court's June 21 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair overturning the physical presence standard for sales and use tax collection on remote and out-of-state sellers. Highlights reactions to the decision in the states, and various state initiatives to establish economic thresholds, rather than physical presence, for sales and use tax collection. Related information at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/17-494_j4el.pdf.
  • "The future of hours of work?" By John Pencavel. Policy Brief (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research), September 2018, pp. 1-4.
    Considers whether American employers are likely to follow other countries' experiments with shorter, more accommodating work hours and whether shorter hours would affect the structure of earnings.
  • "Keeping pace with emerging technologies." By R. K. Pendergrass. Public Power, July/August 2018, pp. 16-23.
    Provides three examples of utilities, including Bryan Texas Utilities, that have turned to new technologies to keep up with the changes the industry faces.
  • "The impact of tax and expenditure limitations on municipal revenue volatility." By Tucker C. Staley. State and Local Government Review, June 2018, pp. 71-84.
    Finds that more stringent tax and expenditure limitations [TEL] at the state level result in greater volatility of municipal revenues, using data from the Fiscal Policy Space project that includes data from Texas cities. Discusses the history and general impact of TELs in the states.
  • "States see energy booms along with economic expansion." By Tim Henderson. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), September 11, 2018, pp. 1-5.
    Reports rising oil and gas prices over the past two years are boosting many states' economies. Notes Texas and New Mexico had the largest recent increases in oil production.
  • "Active shooters: FBI reviews behaviors that may signal impending violence." By Barry Thompson. Texas Banking, September 2018, pp. 13-15.
    Discusses demographic characteristics, firearms acquisition, and planning behaviors of active shooters, as identified in a June 2018 FBI report, A Study of Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters in the United States Between 2000 and 2013. Report at: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/pre-attack-behaviors-of-active-shooters-in-us-2000-2013.pdf/view.
  • "Speaking out: State Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst." Texas Builder, July/August 2018, pp. 28-29.
    Interviews Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst about tree mitigation, regulatory restrictions, transportation and water infrastructure funding, and the response to Hurricane Harvey.
  • "Safety, security strategies." By Dax Gonzalez. Texas Lone Star (Texas Association of School Boards), August 2018, pp. 28-29.
    Summarizes discussion on school emergency plans addressed in the House Committee on Public Education, which met on June 27, 2018.

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.

Interim Hearings – Week of September 17

Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.

 

For recent posts on Interim Hearings, see Interim Hearing Resources on the LRL homepage. The "Recent Entries" list on the left provides quick access to interim hearings posts from previous weeks.

September 19

House Committee on Higher Education (Kingsville)

Charge: Dual credit course offerings

Charge: Financial losses to 2- and 4-year institutions, including facilities, from Hurricane Harvey

Charge: Title IX and sexual misconduct policies at institutions of higher education

 

September 20

Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform

Charge: Voter engagement in local government decisions around budgets and property tax rates through digital media and social media 

Charge: Property tax data and collection methods 

Charge: Effective tax rate and rollback tax rate calculations; appraisal review boards (ARBs) 

 

Legislating on the Range: Ending the Fence Cutting War of the 1880s

For most of the 1800s, Texas was open range. Then barbed wire came along, and even a trail driver like William H. Day saw the benefits of owning and then fencing off his newly purchased land in Coleman County. His wife, Mabel Doss Day, wrote about his efforts in a September 1879 letter: "Col. Day is building a fence around his pasture, which when done will contain forty thousand acres of land….He has twenty men at work on the fence and it keeps him busy bossing them."[1]

 

Mabel Day's involvement in the ranch became much more hands-on in 1881, after her husband died from injuries sustained in a stampede. To address debt and other concerns, she reorganized as Day Cattle Ranch Company, sold half-interests in her cattle to investors in Kentucky (while retaining full title to the land), and by 1883, Day Cattle Ranch was the largest fenced ranch in Texas.[2] Mabel Day became known as the "Cattle Queen of Texas."[3]

 

However, 1883 also saw an extensive drought and with it, the beginning of the fence wars. Cowmen without land struggled to find adequate grass and water on public land, and landowners sometimes were guilty of enclosing public land and roads with their fences. At least three men were killed in fights between fence cutters and ranchmen, and by fall 1883, damage from fence wrecking was estimated at $20 million.[4]

 

On September 13, 1883—135 years ago this week—the Austin Weekly Statesman noted that wire fence cutting had arrived in Coleman County.[5] Mabel Day was one of the many whose fence suffered. "They cut more than five miles of her fence and tacked a notice on her gate post that if she put the fence back up 'there would be the largest coroner's inquest in that pasture ever held in Texas.'" She did put the fence back up, only to have 10 more miles cut in broad daylight. Even when she sent armed men out to protect her fence, they were outnumbered, and she lost more than 100 miles of fence.[6]

 

Mabel Day became one of the leading voices in urging the legislature to action. Her letter to the editor of the Coleman Voice was reprinted in several newspapers, including the October 11, 1883, Austin Weekly Statesman: " For my part I think the men (?) who destroyed five miles of my fence last week could have with as much justice burnt my house…. I would like to address a question to the stockmen of this section. Is there no recourse for us in the matter? Should you, as business and law abiding men adopt any plan to protect your property I would beg to considered as one among you."[7]

 

A few days later on October 15, Gov. John Ireland called a special session of the 18th Legislature to convene in January 1884 and address fourteen topics, including "to consider and provide a remedy for wanton destruction of fences." In his message to the Legislature when they convened, Gov. Ireland casted blame on both the ranch owners and fence cutters. The House Committee on Fence Cutting was formed, several versions of bills to address the matter were introduced, and much debate ensued.

 

A central point of dispute for the lawmakers was whether punishment should be equal for illegal fence cutting and illegal fence building. In the final January 31 vote on House Bills 2, 8, and 9, Reps. Wortham, Galt, Garrison, and Burns are recorded in the House Journal saying, "We vote "no," because we believe that the punishment for the unlawful fencing of land and the cutting of a fence should be alike—that is to say, if the crime of fence cutting is declared a felony, the unlawful fencing of land should also be declared a felony. To do otherwise will very naturally be construed to mean class legislation, and create widespread dissatisfaction, well calculated to aggravate the evil now afflicting the State."

 

However, the bills passed in a 71-22 vote. Acts 1884, 18th 1st C.S.,ch. 21, General Laws of Texas, set out punishment for fence cutters; Acts 1884, 18th 1st C.S.,ch. 24, General Laws of Texas, required gateways in every three miles of fencing. Faced with jail time, the fence cutters put down their wire cutters; ranch owners installed gates. Mabel Day married Captain J.C. Lea in 1899 and moved with him to New Mexico, but she continued to oversee her Coleman County ranch. At the time of Mabel's death in 1906, her daughter inherited debt-free (and fenced) land.[8]

 

Tile image by Flickr user eflon and used under a Creative Commons Attribution Generic license.

 
[1] "Colonel William H. Day: Texas Ranchman," by James T. Padgitt, The Southwestern Historical Quarterly v. 53, July 1949-April 1950, Texas State Historical Association, Austin, TX (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/, accessed August 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History.

[2] Handbook of Texas Online, Elizabeth Maret, "Lea, Mabel Doss," accessed August 21, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/flejr.

[3] Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Fall 1984; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45447/: accessed August 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History.

[4] Handbook of Texas Online, Wayne Gard, "Fence cutting," accessed August 21, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/auf01.

[5] "Mrs. Mabel Day and the Fence Cutters," by James T. Padgitt, West Texas Historical Association Year Book, October 1950, https://padgitt.blogspot.com/2012/11/mrs-mabel-day-and-fence-cutters.html, accessed September 5, 2018.

[6] "Fence Cutting War Was Stormy Time," Coleman Democrat-Voice, August 12, 1980, (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth733459/, accessed August 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History.

[7] The Austin Weekly Statesman, v. 13, No. 6, Ed. 1, Thursday, October 11, 1883, (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth277915/: accessed August 29, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History.

[8] Handbook of Texas Online, Elizabeth Maret, "Lea, Mabel Doss."

Current Articles & Research Resources, September 6

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

  • Review President Trump's adjustments to federal pay increases. (The White House, August 30, 2018)
  • Read about the importance of natural light in the workplace. (Harvard Business Review, September 3, 2018)
  • Explore election laws related to alcohol. (National Conference of State Legislatures, August 23, 2018)
  • Consider the role convention centers play in communities. (Fiscal Notes, August 2018)

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

  • "Dual-credit classes serve some students in Texas well. But not all." By Katherine Mangan. Chronicle of Higher Education, August 17, 2018, p. A21.
    Highlights the Texas experience with dual-credit college classes. Presents the findings of studies by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the University of Texas System that show many students are well served but results may be dependent upon other factors. Report at: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=D455C380-7BA9-11E8-AE230050560100A9.
  • "Immigration: Crossing continents." Economist, August 25th-31st, 2018, pp. 16-18.
    Reviews the immigration policies and experiences of Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, and America. Proposes four policies that can help maximize the benefits of immigration, minimize its costs, and boost public support for it.
  • "Hate in schools." By Francisco Vara-Orta. Education Week, August 22, 2018, pp. 1, 16-20.
    Examines how hate-related and bias incidents are affecting students, educators, and school climate in K-12 schools. Notes most students targeted by hate incidents attend schools in suburban areas.
  • "Labor's last stand: Unions must either demand a place at the table or be part of the meal." By Garret Keizer. Harper's Magazine, September 2018, pp. 23-32.
    Discusses recent United States Supreme Court rulings on organized labor and the political debate about public-sector labor unions. Considers current challenges in the labor movement in the Trump era, and the economic relationship between capital and labor.
  • "Medicaid/CHIP participation reached 93.7 percent among eligible children in 2016." By Jennifer M. Haley, et al. Health Affairs, August 2018, pp. 1194-1199.
    Reports that children's participation in Medicaid/CHIP rose between 2013 and 2016 to reach 93.7 percent, but that growth has slowed since 2016.
  • "One year after the storm: Texas Gulf Coast residents’ views and experiences with Hurricane Harvey recovery." By Liz Hamel, et al. Internet Resource, August 2018, pp. 1-53 (Note Length).
    Measures Gulf Coast residents' challenges with housing, financial assistance, health care, and mental health after Hurricane Harvey, and examines views on priorities and preparedness moving forward. Notes that most affected residents say they have not received financial assistance, or that the financial help they have received will cover very little of their losses.
  • "Work requirements for health coverage." By Andy Slavitt. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 28, 2018, pp. 746-747.
    Argues that Medicaid work requirements will harm three groups of people: those who work but cannot consistently maintain the required hours, individuals whose disabilities are not recognized by the state, and those who would get lost in the administrative paperwork requirements. Advocates for Montana's approach of linking Medicaid with job training resources.
  • "Supreme Court abandons physical presence standard: An in-depth look at South Dakota v. Wayfair." By Sarah Horn, et al. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, September 2018, pp. 12-17.
    Considers the practical effects of South Dakota v. Wayfair on state sales tax authority and revenue collection. Discusses state "economic nexus" laws in South Dakota, Florida, and New York, and state reporting and notice requirements for out-of-state sellers. Related information at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/17-494_j4el.pdf.
  • "'More important than motorcycles'." By Kevin D. Williamson. National Review, August 27, 2018, pp. 26, 28-29.
    Profiles reality star Jesse James and his move from California to Texas and his new gunsmithing business. Compares the regulatory climates of California and Texas and explains how the gun culture has evolved to a new focus on precision marksmanship popularized by late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and by craftsmen such as James.
  • "The truth about the Second Amendment." By Charles C.W. Cooke. National Review, August 27, 2018, pp. 32, 34-36.
    Reviews the various interpretations of the Second Amendment, from a collective right of states to an individual's right to bear arms, by examining a variety of historical sources.
  • "States make more progress rebuilding rainy day funds." By Barb Rosewicz. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), August 29, 2018, pp. 1-9.
    Compares states' progress in rebuilding and expanding their rainy day funds since the last recession.

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.

Interim Hearings – Week of September 10

Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.

 

For recent posts on Interim Hearings, see Interim Hearing Resources on the LRL homepage. The "Recent Entries" list on the left provides quick access to interim hearings posts from previous weeks.

September 10

Senate Committee on State Affairs

Charge: Structure of court fees; oversight of fee collection

Charge: Attorney General's efforts related to price-gouging

Charge: Looting crimes during a disaster

 

September 11

Senate Committee on Finance

Charge: Implementation of funding initiative, Health Care Costs Across State Agencies - coordination efforts among state agencies to improve health care and reduce costs pursuant to General Appropriations Act, Article IX, Section 10.06 and Section 10.07

 

Charge: Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery funds

Charge: Long-term impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Texas economy and the gulf coast region

 

September 12

Senate Committee on Criminal Justice

Charge: Identify successful re-entry programs

Charge: State jail review to improve outcomes

Charge: Telemedicine in correctional facilities

Charge: Human trafficking awareness and prevention

Charge: Monitoring

  • SB 12, 85th Legislature, R.S., Relating to the creation of a grant program to assist law enforcement agencies with the purchase of bulletproof vests and body armor;
  • SB 30, 85th Legislature, R.S., Relating to the inclusion of instruction regarding interaction with peace officers in the required curriculum for certain public school students and in driver education courses and to civilian interaction training for peace officers; and
  • SB 1326, 85th Legislature, R.S., Relating to procedures regarding criminal defendants who are or may be persons with a mental illness or an intellectual disability and to certain duties of the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System related to persons with mental illness

 

Senate Committees on Education and Higher Education (Joint Hearing)

Charge: Dual credit

 

Senate Committee on Health & Human Services

Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, 85th Legislature and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation, including but not limited to:

  • Initiatives to increase capacity and reduce waitlists in the mental health system, including the construction of state hospitals and new community grant programs;
  • Initiatives to better understand the causes of maternal mortality and morbidity, including the impact of legislation passed during the first special session of the 85th Legislature. Recommend ways to improve health outcomes for pregnant women and methods to better collect data related to maternal mortality and morbidity;
  • Initiatives intended to improve child safety, Child Protective Services workforce retention, and development of additional capacity in the foster care system. Make additional recommendations to ensure children with high levels of medical or mental health needs receive timely access to services in the least restrictive setting;
  • Efforts to transfer case management of foster children and families to Single Source Continuum Contractors (SSCCs). Monitor the progress of this transition and make recommendations to ensure the process provides continuity of services for children and families and ongoing community engagement;
  • Initiatives to strengthen oversight of long-term care facilities to ensure safety and improve quality for residents and clients of these entities; and
  • Abortion complications and other reporting legislation that was passed by the 85th Legislature.

Topic: Rural hospitals

 

 

Joint Legislative Committee on Health & Human Services Transition

 

House Committees on Public Health and Urban Affairs (Joint Hearing)   

Charge: Housing instability, homelessness, and mental illness

 

September 13

House Committee on Natural Resources (Del Rio)

Specific issue related to Charge 3: Status of groundwater policy in Texas, g. emerging issues in groundwater and surface water interaction, in particular in areas of increasing competition for scarce resources

Charge 8: Hazards presented by abandoned and deteriorated groundwater wells

 

House Committee on Public Health   

Charge: Women's health services, Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force, pre-term and low birth weight births and use of alcohol and tobacco

Charge: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature, specifically, implementation of HB 10HB 13, and SB 292, 85th Legislature, R.S.

 

Topic: Implementation update regarding HB 337, 85th Legislature, R.S.

 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, August 30

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

  • Consider election security issues related to the 2018 midterm elections. (Congressional Research Service, August 16, 2018)
  • Explore safe bicycle passing laws by state. (National Conference of State Legislatures, August 2018)
  • Review the updated Certification Revenue Estimate. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, July 2018)
  • Sign up for the Capitol Complex plan newsletter for updates on construction and parking around the Capitol. (Texas Facilities Commission, accessed August 29, 2018)

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

  • "21st century cures for the opioid crisis: Promise, impact, and missed opportunities." By Leo Beletsky. American Journal of Law & Medicine, 2018, pp. 359-385.
    Analyzes the impact of the opioid crisis response elements of the 21st Century Cures Act. Includes examination of the Opioid State Targeted Response [STR] grant mechanism and its implementation by different states.
  • "How Medicaid work requirements will harm rural residents – and communities." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 22, 2018, pp. 1-2.
    Outlines briefly the potential effect of Medicaid work requirements on rural health coverage and access to rural health care.
  • "Improving customer service in health and human services through technology." By Sonal Ambegaokar, Rachael Podesfinski, and Jennifer Wagner. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 23, 2018, pp. 1-29.
    Examines the new phase of "client-facing technology" to streamline state and local government administration of eligibility, enrollment, and case management of programs supporting low-income families. Describes best practices by technology, including web-based tools, mobile-based technology, and call center tools.
  • "Carmaking in America: Rocky road ahead." Economist, August 25th-31st, 2018, pp. 51-52.
    Examines how the automobile industry is coping with the Trump administration's ongoing trade wars and President Trump's threats to impose a 25 percent tariff on all car imports.
  • "Construction technology: A bridge too far." Economist, August 18th-24th, 2018, pp. 67-68.
    Reports concerns that many bridges around the world that use reinforced concrete are deteriorating faster than expected. Report at: https://www.artbabridgereport.org/.
  • "Florida to create new database to stop school shootings." By Benjamin Herold. Education Week, August 22, 2018, p. 13.
    Addresses a new centralized database created by lawmakers in Florida as a means to prevent school shootings. Argues the law, which includes information from social media accounts, is vague and lacks adequate safeguards to protect the privacy and civil liberties of people.
  • "The deportation racket: Con artists are preying on undocumented immigrants in detention." By Micah Hauser. Harper's Magazine, September 2018, pp. 59-65.
    Describes the problem of notario fraud, including a legal scam perpetrated by a couple in Texas and the subsequent investigation by the Texas Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division. Notes Texas has been particularly aggressive in pursuing notario fraudsters under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  • "Direct primary care: One step forward, two steps back." By Eli Y. Adashi, Ryan P. Clodfelter, and Paul George. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 21, 2018, pp. 637-638.
    Explores the pros and cons of direct primary care [DPC], in which patients contract directly with a primary care physician to pay a recurring out-of-pocket fee in exchange for a defined set of primary care benefits. Argues that while the premises of DPC are good, it is not a scalable model to achieve systemic cost savings in health care payment reform.
  • "Senate GOP bill would amend key section of the Clean Water Act." By Nick Snow. Oil and Gas Journal, August 6, 2018, pp. 22-23.
    Describes recently introduced federal legislation, the Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2018, that would affect individual states under the Clean Water Act. Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/3303.
  • "Shipping, market constraints poised to slow US crude export growth." By Christopher E. Smith. Oil and Gas Journal, August 6, 2018, pp. 53-56.
    Identifies current projects contributing to the accelerated growth of domestic crude exports, such as the expansion of the Port of Corpus Christi.
  • "Water quality: Data tools improve nutrient monitoring." By Karlin Danielsen, et al. Opflow, August 2018, pp. 16-19.
    Argues that real-time nutrient systems offer a way for communities to address algal blooms. Provides a case study of the application of this kind of technology to Lake Erie.
  • "FAA reauthorization: A step toward improving utility drone use." Public Power, July/August 2018, p. 42.
    Summarizes the drone provisions from introduced legislation related to the Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which would affect how utilities use drones. Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4.
  • "Public health vs. private property in war on lead." By Rebecca Beitsch. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), August 23, 2018, pp. 1-8.
    Explains that conflicting rules regarding what can be done on public versus private property — and who can pay for it — present challenges for cities seeking to eliminate lead infrastructure within their water systems.

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.

Interim Hearings – Week of September 3

Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.

 

For recent posts on Interim Hearings, see Interim Hearing Resources on the LRL homepage. The "Recent Entries" list on the left provides quick access to interim hearings posts from previous weeks.

 

 

September 5

Charge: Sustainability of TRS-Care, funding retired teacher health care in Texas; implementation of HB 3976, 85th Legislature, R.S., and HB 30, 85th Legislature, 1st C.S.

Charge: Appropriations made to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for the E-rate Classroom Connectivity project; high-speed broadband and infrastructure in schools

 

Senate Committee on Higher Education

Charge: Improving transferability

 

Charge: Environmental safety during emergencies

Charge: Waste disposal regulation, permitting, disposal fees

Charge: Monitoring:

 

September 6

Topic: Recommendations relevant to costs, fees, and any other matters the committee determines are relevant to the compact facility and its oversight

 

House Committee on State Affairs

Charge 6: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature, including SB 11, 85th Legislature, 1st C.S., 2017

 

House Committee on Urban Affairs (Brownsville)

Charge: Affordable housing in urban and rural areas

Charge: Migrant labor housing facilities

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