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New & Noteworthy: January 2019

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the seven titles from our January 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. Topics for the 86th Legislature.
By House Research Organization
Highlights prominent issues lawmakers are expected to consider during the 86th Texas Legislature. Provides succinct summaries of a variety of topics including school finance, property taxes, Hurricane Harvey, school safety, criminal penalties, transportation funding, and Medicaid.
House Research Organization, 2018. 15 pages.
Online at: https://hro.house.texas.gov/pdf/focus/topics86-1.pdf
L1801.9 ST94 86-1


 

 

2. Implementation of 2017 Sunset Recommendations: Compliance Report
By Sunset Advisory Commission
Provides the status of state agencies’ progress in implementing Sunset recommendations and required statutory changes from the 85th Legislature. Contains bill provisions along with the status and comments on implementation for ten agencies, including the Texas Department of Transportation and the Employees Retirement System of Texas.
Sunset Advisory Commission, 2019. 56 pages.
Online at: https://www.sunset.texas.gov/public/uploads/files/reports/Implementation%20of%202017%20Sunset%20Recommendations.pdf
S1500.8 IM7C 2019


 

 

3. State of Texas Annual Cash Report, Fiscal 2018
By Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Provides insight into the state's financial condition, detailing revenues and expenditures on a cash basis, as required by Texas Government Code § 403.013. Reflects revenue and expenditure details for all funds in the Texas Treasury.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 2018. 472 pages.
Online at: https://comptroller.texas.gov/transparency/reports/cash-report/
C2600.3 R299C 2018


 

 

4. The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
By Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
Examines social trends that the authors argue have resulted in the spread of three great "untruths": fragility, emotional reasoning, and an "us versus them" mentality. Describes how these "untruths" have taken hold in American childhood and education and are affecting free speech in our country's universities.
Penguin Press, 2018. 269 pages.
306.20973 L969C 2018


 

 

5. Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine: Sorting Out the Recycling System
By Beth Porter
Presents the history, efficacy, and problems of recycling and waste disposal. Reports that the U.S. currently recycles approximately only 34 percent of its waste, while other countries recycle twice this quantity. Identifies actions necessary to employ and strengthen recycling systems.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2018. 164 pages.
363.72 P833R 2018


 

 

6. Women in Texas History
By Angela Boswell
Provides a chronological overview of women's history in Texas, from Native American Texas to the end of the twentieth century. Considers physical, geographic, legal, political, social, and cultural factors that challenged and shaped Texas women's roles in creating the state of Texas. Includes a section on women in politics, including state legislators such as Sen. Barbara Jordan, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Rep. Irma Rangel, and other political female "firsts."
Texas A&M University Press, 2018. 275 pages.
305.409764 B657W 2018


 

 

7. Austin, Texas
By Karen R. Thompson and Kathy R. Howell
Documents the unique history of Austin with more than 200 vintage photographs. Highlights the public face of the city in sections on the Texas Capitol, University of Texas, and downtown. Provides a peek at everyday life with photos of business, entertainment, and educational activities, among other pursuits.
Arcadia Publishing, 2000. 128 pages.
976.431 T374A 2000


 

 

Legislative Agency Service Fair, January 24

At the beginning of each session, the Legislative Agency Service Fair provides an opportunity for new members and their staff to learn more about the services each agency offers.

 

This year, the fair will be held on Thursday, January 24, from 10:30 until noon, in the Legislative Reference Library, Capitol, 2N.3.

 

Staff from the following legislative agencies will be in attendance: Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Reference Library, State Auditor's Office, Sunset Advisory Commission, and Texas Legislative Council. Also attending will be a representative from the National Conference of State Legislatures. You might come away with more than information—we will have selected publications and other items to give away.

 

Please drop by the fair to learn more about how legislative agencies can support your work!

 

Rep. Dade Phelan (HD-21) reviews materials from the Legislative Reference Library with LRL Assistant Director, Catherine Wusterhausen, at the 2015 agency fair.

Current Articles & Research Resources, January 10

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

  • Review how to read bills and statutes. (Texas Legislative Council, accessed January 9, 2019)
  • Explore trends in crime in the U.S. (Pew Research Center, January 3, 2019)
  • Read about the status of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 elections. (Congressional Research Service, January 2, 2019)
  • View recent state legislation related to financial crimes against the elderly. (National Conference of State Legislatures, January 3, 2019)

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

  • "Breakdown." By Julianne Hill. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, January-February 2019, pp. 37-43. Reports on how states are using prisons and jails to house mentally ill persons who have not been convicted of crimes, due to the lack of psychiatric hospital beds and community-based mental health services.
  • "Student crossing." By Story Hinckley. Christian Science Monitor, November 26, 2018, pp. 24-30.
    Profiles the Luna County, New Mexico, school system's inclusion of students who live in a nearby Mexican town. Quotes the Deming, New Mexico, mayor on the value of the cross-border education program in educating future citizens and leaders. Explains the value of building the potential local tax base in a small rural town and reducing future welfare expenditures.
  • "'I'm solution-agnostic'." Chronicle of Higher Education, December 14, 2018, p. A6-A7.
    Interviews Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist from Texas Tech University and one of the authors of the recent National Climate Assessment, on climate change and her role in the discussions surrounding this topic. Report at: https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/front-matter-about/.
  • "The people have spoken: Private school vouchers have a long track record of failure at the ballot box." By Rob Boston. Church & State, January 2019, pp. 9-11.
    Provides an overview of high-profile state legislative proposals since 1967 that sought to establish voucher plans or other types of public aid to private and religious schools but were defeated at the ballot box.
  • "1,800 companies left California in a year — with a lot bound for Texas." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, December 21, 2018, pp. 14-15.
    Points out the top reasons California companies are relocating to states with a better business climate. Notes the top ten states and cities that gained the most from California business relocations and migrations.
  • "Municipal limits: Less than the sum of their parts." Economist, December 22nd, 2018-January 4th, 2019, pp. 41-42.
    Considers the negative effects of municipal fragmentation, using the current structure in Birmingham, Alabama, as an example. Offers examples of approaches cities and metro areas can take to build and maintain regional cooperation, promote unity, and deliver better services to all residents. Related information at: http://togetherweprosper.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/PARCA-Cooperation-in-Greater-Bham_FINAL170609.pdf.
  • "How is telemedicine being used in opioid and other substance use disorder treatment?" By Haiden A. Huskamp, et al. Health Affairs, December 2018, pp. 1940-1947.
    Argues that tele-SUD [telemedicine for substance use disorder] is being under-utilized and could increase access to SUD treatment, particularly in rural areas. Notes regulatory and reimbursement barriers and that Congress and the states are passing legislation to address them.
  • "Telehealth in health centers: Key adoption factors, barriers, and opportunities." By Ching-Ching Claire Lin, et al. Health Affairs, December 2018, pp. 1967-1974.
    Examines factors associated with adoption of telehealth services by health centers and barriers to use, such as cost, reimbursement, and technical issues. Notes that Medicaid reimbursement policies promoting live video and store-and-forward services were associated with a greater likelihood of telehealth adoption and potentially improved access to care.
  • "States move to substitute opioids with medical marijuana to quell epidemic." By Rebecca Voelker. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 18, 2018, pp. 2408-2410.
    Considers the pros and cons of states adopting laws and regulations allowing certain patients with opioid prescriptions instead to buy cannabis at a registered dispensary with a physician's written certification.
  • "EPA finalizes amendments to refinery emissions control requirements." Oil and Gas Journal, December 3, 2018, pp. 37-38.
    Clarifies the Environmental Protection Agency's final rule, amending the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants and New Source Performance Standards for refineries, which recently went into effect. Related information at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/11/26/2018-25080/national-emission-standards-for-hazardous-air-pollutants-and-new-source-performance-standards.
  • "FCC's decision accelerating broadband deployment: They struck a decent balance." By Steve Goodman. Public Utilities Fortnightly, December 2018, pp. 52-53.
    Examines the role of local and state governments in light of the Federal Communications Commission's recent decision regarding broadband deployment. Related information at: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-facilitates-wireless-infrastructure-deployment-5g.
  • "Austin Energy launches school EV program." Texas Public Power, November-December 2018, p. 9.
    Provides information about EVs for Schools, an Austin Energy program that focuses on installing electric vehicle charging stations at Austin Independent School District campuses. Related information at: https://austinenergy.com/ae/green-power/plug-in-austin/school-charging.
  • "Georgetown wins $1 million prize for local solar panels." Texas Public Power, November-December 2018, p. 8.
    Highlights a prize Georgetown won that will be used to generate renewable energy locally. Related information at: https://mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org/ideas/georgetown/.
  • "The forgotten lessons of LBJ's domestic legacy." By Rebecca Shimoni Stoil. Washington Monthly, January/February/March 2019, pp. 33- 37.
    Explores the coalition building behind the success of some aspects of The Great Society, such as Medicare and federal student loans.

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 Effective, January–April 2019

In January 2019, 6 bills or sections thereof that were passed by the 85th Legislature take effect. Sections of three bills passed by the 84th Legislature also take effect this month.

 

In addition, sections of HB 29, 85th Legislature, will take effect on March 1, 2019, and HB 2803 and SB 1969 will take effect on April 1, 2019.

 

To keep up with new laws throughout the year, check the Library's list of bill effective dates.

Resource Highlight: First Days of Session Business

On the first day of session next week, Tuesday, January 8, the House of Representatives will elect a new Speaker of the House, and the Senate will elect a new Senate President Pro Tem, per Texas Constitution, Article 3, Section 9. Access past Senate President Pro Tem information and Speaker election documents on our website to learn more about historic leaders within the Texas Senate and House.

 

The two chambers typically adopt their rules from the previous session for the first day, and then adopt updated rules in the following days. Visit our House & Senate Rules and Precedents page to see historic rules of the Texas Legislature.

 

A list of the members-elect for the 86th Legislature is available here.

Hearing Notices

January 9

Commission decisions:

Pending business:

Final vote on commission recommendations to the 86th Legislature

 

Status report on implementation of 2017 Sunset recommendations

 

January 11

 

Review and adopt the items of information required to set the Article VIII constitutional limit on certain appropriations for the 2020-21 biennium

Current Articles & Research Resources, December 20

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

  • Review the final rule related to bump stocks. (U.S. Department of Justice, December 18, 2018)
  • Consider the popularity of vaping among teens. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, December 17, 2018)
  • Explore facets of school safety, including educator training and student mental health. (Federal Commission on School Safety, December 18, 2018)
  • Read about lawsuits related to public officials blocking people on social media. (Nextgov, December 13, 2018)

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

  • "Teaching in Texas: Along the border." By Jesus Chavez. ATPE News (Association of Texas Professional Educators), Winter 2018, pp. 22-27.
    Examines how geography and culture influence learning. Profiles teachers whose classrooms are significantly affected by the Texas-Mexico border.
  • "State and local efforts to support young adult mental health: Policy for transformed lives." By Nia West-Bey, Shiva Sethi, and Paige Shortsleeves. Center for Law and Social Policy, November 2018, pp. 1-19.
    Features mental health policies to support young adults ages 18-25 in four states (Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, and Oregon) and three cities (Louisville, Los Angeles, and New York City). Highlights best practices, challenges, and necessary policy and systems supports for improving young adult mental health.
  • "Texas: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (state fact sheet 2018)." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, December 3, 2018, pp. 1-2.
    Provides Texas state demographic data on who participates in SNAP (formerly food stamps), benefits received, and SNAP's economic benefits. Related information at: https://www.cbpp.org/research/food-assistance/a-closer-look-at-who-benefits-from-snap-state-by-state-fact-sheets#Texas.
  • "Many challenges ahead." By David Lerman, et al. CQ Weekly, November 26, 2018, pp. 32-33.
    Summarizes likely agenda for the 116th Congress. Discusses the Democrats' majority in the House of Representatives.
  • "Conquering CO2: Towards zero carbon." Economist Technology Quarterly, December 1, 2018, pp. 3-12.
    Examines whether the problem of a changing climate can be overcome and what it would take to get carbon dioxide out of the global economy.
  • "A smarter war on drugs." By Howard K. Koh, R. Gil Kerlikowske, and Michael P. Botticelli. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 11, 2018, pp. 2301-2302.
    Outlines tactics to better address substance use or dependence disorders by connecting the worlds of criminal justice and health, including drug courts, increased access to naloxone for overdoses, diversion from prosecution and jail toward case management and support services, and postoverdose outreach.
  • "The long-term economic forecast for Texas metropolitan areas." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 35, No. 9, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Provides economic projections for the state's largest metropolitan statistical areas from 2017-2045.
  • "The perfect storm: Flood compliance amid changing environmental, regulatory and financial conditions." By Mark Liston. Texas Banking, December 2018, pp. 14-17.
    Explores the impact of a changing environment and recent "superstorm" hurricanes, such as Hurricane Harvey, on the financial services industry, including the National Flood Insurance Program, and the importance of flood hazard determination for lenders.
  • "Opioid overreach?" By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, December 2018, pp. 40-43.
    Details physicians' concerns about opioid prescription restrictions set by pharmacies that sometimes conflict with physicians' lawful orders. Considers the balance between the mandate on pharmacists from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] to assess the medical purpose of a prescription for a controlled substance, without the pharmacist crossing over to practicing medicine without a license.
  • "Rural residencies." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, December 2018, pp. 32-34, 36-37.
    Describes rural residency programs and how they may help identify and recruit physicians who want to practice in rural areas, where there is a shortage of physicians. Notes that there are three such programs in Texas and the difficulty in securing funding for rural residencies, with legislation such as HB2996, 85th Legislature, R.S., not passing.
  • "Expecting care." By Rebecca Grant. Texas Observer, Dec/Jan 2018-19, pp. 20-24, 26.
    Examines the high rate of teen pregnancies in the foster care system in Texas. Report at: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5728d34462cd94b84dc567ed/t/5ad4aa001ae6cfce64d7316f/
    1523886600659/fostering-healthy-texas-lives.pdf
    .
  • "Give me shelter." By Maya Rhodan. Time, November 26, 2018, pp. 36-41.
    Discusses the complex challenges presented by refugees seeking asylum in the United States, including whether asylum can be granted. Focuses on Texas-Mexico border crossings.

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.

'Tis the Season

Each year, the House and Senate chambers are gaily decked out for the holidays with large Christmas trees—both more than 20 feet tall! Decorating trees of that magnitude presents a challenge, but with the help of constituents, Representatives and Senators do just that.

House and Senate members work with their communities to provide an ornament decorated to represent their districts. Members might engage professional artists, school children, family members, or others, to paint glass balls and/or insert items inside and out to adorn the ornaments.

Since 2009, the House has compiled an album each year to document the ornaments (see right); you can view the current album in the House chamber while the tree is on display through January 2. The LRL has acquired and scanned past albums—peruse them online from our catalog, or visit us to see the books in person!

 
Clockwise from top: Selections from the 2009 and 2016 'Tis the Season House albums of district ornaments; Sample of a Senate ornament; Sen. Jane Nelson is one of several senators who tweeted pictures from the Senate's tree decorating party; Sample of a House ornament.

Current Articles & Research Resources, December 13

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

  • Review federal provisions related to compassionate use of investigational drugs. (Congressional Research Service, November 27, 2018)
  • Consider the health risks associated with secondhand smoke. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 7, 2018)
  • Read about how Americans access the news. (Pew Research Center, December 3, 2018)
  • Follow the Texas Highway Patrol on social media. (Texas Department of Public Safety, December 11, 2018)

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

  • "Under seize." By Mark Walsh. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, December 2018, pp. 20-21. Highlights case before the United States Supreme Court, Timbs v. Indiana, which questions whether the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against excessive fines prohibits states and local governments from imposing excessive fines, fees, and civil forfeitures. Related information at: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/timbs-v-indiana/.
  • "Education outlook for the 2019 legislative session." By Jennifer Mitchell. ATPE News (Association of Texas Professional Educators), Winter 2018, pp. 16-18.
    Details legislative priorities of the Association of Texas Professional Educators [ATPE] for the 86th legislative session. Addresses school finance, healthcare, pension benefits, compensation, and privatization.
  • "School finance by the numbers." ATPE News (Association of Texas Professional Educators), Winter 2018, pp. 20-21.
    Examines how the school finance system in Texas is affecting educators, students, and taxpayers. Includes statistics on state versus property taxpayer funding, per-student funding, teacher salaries, and more.
  • "An immigration patchwork in the states: How partisanship, regionalism, and shifting priorities impact state immigration laws." By Ramón Cristobal and Teresa Cardinal Brown. Bipartisan Policy Center, November 2018, pp. 1-30 (Note Length).
    Presents an overview of state immigration legislation from 2005–2017, with identification and driver's licenses, budgets, and enforcement as the top three categories of state laws enacted. Explores the effects of partisanship, regional disparities, and local economic factors in the consideration of state immigration legislation.
  • "Lecturer who called police on student wasn't biased but needs training, U. of Texas at San Antonio says." By Emma Pettit. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 23, 2018, p. A19.
    Details a recent incident at the University of Texas at San Antonio in which a lecturer called police to remove a black student from her class. Reports racial bias was not found in this situation, but the incident shows room for improvement around issues of diversity and inclusivity.
  • "'Deal-closing' fund too slow to attract new companies, site selector says." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, November 30, 2018, p. 3.
    Discusses corporate site selectors' assessment of the Texas Enterprise Fund incentive process and timetable.
  • "In patient safety efforts, pharmacists gain new prominence." By Rebecca Gale. Health Affairs, November 2018, pp. 1726-1729.
    Details how states could expand the role pharmacists play in working with patients and medication management. Points out that pharmacists could be on the front lines of improving patients' adherence to prescriptions, with opioids as a key example.
  • "Alternative state-level financing for hepatitis C treatment — The 'Netflix' model." By Mark R. Trusheim, William M. Cassidy, and Peter B. Bach. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), November 20, 2018, pp. 1977-1978.
    Considers the logistics of states making subscription-based arrangements with pharmaceutical corporations to pay for hepatitis C [HCV] treatment for the state's residents. Notes that this Netflix-type arrangement raises regulatory questions but could facilitate important public health gains.
  • "Pillars of fire." By Kevin D. Williamson. National Review, December 3, 2018, pp. 27-30.
    Profiles the oil and gas industry around Midland–Odessa. Considers the problems associated with a shortage of appropriate infrastructure and employees.
  • "Urban cowboys." By Michael Hendrix. National Review, December 3, 2018, pp. 19-20.
    Explains 2018 election results indicate that Texas cities are getting bluer and suburbs are turning purple, while rural areas are getting "redder and emptier." Suggests a Republican aim for future election success might be to keep "Texas attractive for red flight from blue states."
  • "Steel tariffs complicate Permian pipeline buildout." By Natalie Regoli. Oil and Gas Journal, November 5, 2018, pp. 68-71.
    Presents information about how the recent steel and aluminum tariffs are affecting oil and gas operations in the Permian Basin.
  • "Public schools for private gain: The declining American commitment to serving the public good." By David Labaree. Phi Delta Kappan, November 2018, pp. 8-13.
    Explores the progression in thinking of American education's mission from the view of building a better community (public good) to a means for private advancement in pursuit of better jobs (private good). Argues this change has caused society to back away from a social commitment to "other people's children."
  • "Pay up or stay put." By Rebecca Pirius. State Legislatures, November/December 2018, pp. 38-39.
    Reports on several recent state legislative efforts to tackle financial inequities associated with pretrial detention.
  • "Going the distance: Preparing for the 86th Texas Legislative Session is like training for a marathon." By Celeste Embrey. Texas Banking, December 2018, pp. 8-11.
    Previews the 86th Legislature from a banking industry perspective and includes the Texas Bankers Association 2019 legislative agenda.
  • "Parks in peril." By Joe Nick Patoski. Texas Observer, Dec/Jan 2018-19, pp. 12-19.
    Argues that Texas state parks are overburdened and deteriorating due to a variety of factors, including underfunding, an explosion in park visitors, development, and natural disasters. Addresses the Legislature's history of diminished support for the state's parks and what needs to be done to save them from ruin.

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 Reports to the 86th Legislature

We have received interim reports to the 86th Legislature from the following committees:

Looking for another report? The LRL's Legislative Reports database contains interim committee charges, reports, and other substantive legislative studies published in the House and Senate Journals back to 1846. You may search by committee list, committee name, charge text, or subject. The LRL will continue to add interim reports to the 86th Legislature to our database as we receive them.

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