LRL Home - Points of Interest

Current Articles & Research Resources, November 15

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

  • Review hate crime statistics from 2017. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fall 2018)
  • Consider whether and how electric scooters should be regulated. (Stateline, November 13, 2018)
  • Explore new activity guidelines for Americans. (JAMA, November 12, 2018)
  • Read about the "age wave" and the expectation that more Americans than ever will be living with Alzheimer's disease. (National Conference of State Legislatures, November 2018)

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

  • "Bracing for the blitz." By Liz Hayes. Church & State, November 2018, pp. 8-10.
    Describes the Religious Right's new state-based strategy, "Project Blitz," the movement's effort to push religious values legislation through twenty model bills. Points out the Project Blitz model bills and number of similar state proposals considered in 2018.
  • "The American economy: What goes up." Economist, November 3rd-9th, 2018, pp. 67-68.
    Examines factors that threaten economic growth, including a downturn in the housing market due to construction labor shortages, uncertainty about the trade environment, and speculation that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.
  • "Is America's next generation of voters ready for the job?" By Alyson Klein. Education Week, October 31, 2018, pp. 1, 12-13.
    Discusses results of a survey conducted of 18- and 19-year-olds who have not voted in an election. Presents a profile of the typical respondent who plans to vote for the first time.
  • "High school attrition improves by two points." By Roy L. Johnson. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), October 2018, pp. 1-2.
    Summarizes the latest Public School Attrition Study results, noting the attrition rate improved two points over last year but that Hispanic and black students were two times more likely to leave school before graduating than white students.
  • "SNAP helps almost 1.4 million low-income veterans, including thousands in every state." By Brynne Keith-Jennings and Lexin Cai. Internet Resource, Updated November 8, 2018, pp. 1-5.
    Shows that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP], formerly known as food stamps, makes a crucial difference for veterans who may be unemployed, working in low-wage jobs, or disabled. Estimates 97,000 veterans in Texas received SNAP benefits in 2015-2017.
  • "Coercing women's behavior: How a mandatory viewing law changes patients' preabortion ultrasound viewing practices." By Katrina Kimport, Nicole E. Johns, and Ushma D. Upadhyay. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, December 2018, pp. 941-960.
    Uses Wisconsin as a case study in examining the effect of mandatory ultrasound viewing law on the viewing behavior of women seeking abortion care. Reports that the presence of the law affected patients' viewing decision making, with a disproportionate impact on the viewing behavior of black women compared with white women.
  • "Separated." By Sarah Stillman. New Yorker, November 5, 2018, pp. 42-53.
    Reports that more than a quarter of a million children in the United States have a mother in jail and that Oklahoma has the highest rate of women's incarceration in the nation. Profiles the work of Still She Rises, a Tulsa-based public defender office, working exclusively with mothers in the criminal justice system.
  • "Geometry v. gerrymandering." By Moon Duchin. Scientific American, November 2018, pp. 48-53.
    Discusses ways mathematicians can approach redistricting and whether they may uncover gerrymandering via statistical methods.
  • "Front line: Using primary care to prevent suicide." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, November 2018, pp. 16-21.
    Considers how primary care physicians can identify and help patients who are at risk for suicide. Notes the nationwide shortage of psychiatrists and points out recent legislative reforms designed to improve mental health care in Texas, such as expanded access to telemedicine.
  • "Too big a step?" By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, November 2018, pp. 30-33.
    Urges Medicare to reverse "fail first" (also called "step therapy") drug program, which requires physicians and patients to prove certain drugs will not work for them before the health plan will pay for the next "step" up. Commends SB680, 85th Legislature, R.S., for helping physicians quickly override insurers' step therapy protocols.
  • "Treading water." By Charles E. Gilliland. Tierra Grande, October 2018, pp. 20-21.
    Discusses the status of the Waters of the United States rule [WOTUS], which was adopted in 2015. Reports the rule has been challenged, blocked, and revised due to the vocal opposition by landowners, who consider it an unprecedented expansion of land use control.

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.

Preview of the 86th Legislature

Below you'll find a preview of the 86th Texas Legislature. New and returning members will be sworn in on January 8, 2019, the opening day of the regular session.

 

Membership statistics for previous sessions are available on the library's Member statistics page.

 

Summary of the 86th Legislature

Party House Senate Overall
Democrat 67 11 78
Republican 83 19 102
Total 150 30 180

 

Gender House Senate Overall
Women 34 8 42
Men 116 22 138
Total 150 30 180

 

Members not returning to the 86th Texas Legislature

Not Returning Replacement
Sen. Konni Burton (R) Beverly Powell (D)
Sen. Craig Estes (R) Pat Fallon (R)
Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D)   Subject to special election
Sen. Don Huffines (R) Nathan Johnson (D)
Sen. Van Taylor (R) Angela Paxton (R)
Sen. Carlos Uresti (D) Pete Flores (R)
Rep. Rodney Anderson (R) Thresa "Terry" Meza (D)
Rep. Roberto Alonzo (D) Jessica González (D)
Rep. Diana Arévalo (D) Trey Martinez Fischer (D)
Rep. Cindy Burkett (R) Rhetta Andrews Bowers (D)
Rep. Byron Cook (R) Cody Harris (R)
Rep. Scott Cosper (R) Brad Buckley (R)
Rep. Tony Dale (R) John H Bucy III (D)
Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D) Sheryl Cole (D)
Rep. Gary Elkins (R) Jon E. Rosenthal (D)
Rep. Wayne Faircloth (R) Mayes Middleton (R)
Rep. Pat Fallon (R) Jared Patterson (R)
Rep. Helen Giddings (D) Carl Sherman (D)
Rep. Larry Gonzales (R) James Talarico (D)
Rep. Lance Gooden (R) Keith Bell (R)
Rep. Jason Isaac (R) Erin Zwiener (D)
Rep. Mark Keough (R) Steve Toth (R)
Rep. Linda Koop (R) Ana-Maria Ramos (D)
Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R) Candy Noble (R)
Rep. René Oliveira (D) Alex Dominguez (D)
Rep. Larry Phillips (R) Reggie Smith (R)
Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R) Julie Johnson (D)
Rep. Kevin Roberts (R) E. Sam Harless (R)
Rep. Mike Schofield (R) Gina Calanni (D)
Rep. Leighton Schubert (R) Ben Leman (R)
Rep. Ron Simmons (R) Michelle Beckley (D)
Rep. Joe Straus (R) Steve Allison (R)
Rep. Tomas Uresti (D) Leo Pacheco (D)
Rep. Jason Villalba (R) John Turner (D)
Rep. Paul Workman (R) Vikki Goodwin (D)

 

Photos of incoming legislators sourced from their respective campaign websites.

Current Articles & Research Resources, November 8

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

  • Review election returns in Texas. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed November 7, 2018)
  • Track election results in state legislative races. (National Conference of State Legislatures, accessed November 7, 2018)
  • Learn how to track federal legislation via email alerts. (Library of Congress, November 5, 2018)
  • Read about the current backlog of immigration court cases. (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, November 6, 2018)

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

  • "The petrostate of the union." By David Wethe, Rachel Adams-Heard, and Kevin Crowley. Bloomberg Businessweek, October 22, 2018, pp. 31-35.
    Analyzes the resurgence of the Permian Basin and how a shortage of workers and investors may hinder companies from maximizing their potential growth.
  • "How 'Obamacare' premiums are faring." By Rebecca Asoulin. Christian Science Monitor, October 15, 2018, p. 16.
    Considers the landscape for 2019 healthcare premiums, finding most states will see smaller increases. Notes there is at least one insurer in each county. Charts the wide variations in premiums and tax credits found among states.
  • "Spotlight on 'dark' money." By Christa Case Bryant. Christian Science Monitor, November 5, 2018, pp. 24-30.
    Highlights the history of Montana's strong campaign finance and disclosure laws. Discusses two Montana cases under consideration by the United States Supreme Court that might affect campaign finance laws in other states.
  • "What some campuses are doing to help undocumented students." By Andy Tsubasa Field. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 2, 2018, p. A25.
    Explains a recent study found that 71 percent of DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] students work while attending college. Mentions the study recommends colleges provide resource centers, along with mental and physical health services. Report at: https://www.thedream.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/TheDream.US-In-Their-Own-Words-Report-Oct-2018-1-2.pdf.
  • "Poverty in California: Amid plenty, want." Economist, October 27th-November 2nd, 2018, pp. 25-26.
    Explains how California ended up with America's highest poverty rate.
  • "Prison: A tale of two states." Economist, October 20th-26th, 2018, pp. 25-26.
    Contrasts two states' approaches to prison: Wisconsin's tough-on-crime methods and Minnesota's more progressive reforms.
  • "Why teachers stay silent about sexual assault." By Arianna Prothero. Education Week, October 10, 2018, pp. 1, 8.
    Examines why teachers are reluctant to report sexual harassment and misconduct. Addresses unique features of the teaching profession that make K-12 educators more at risk for abuse.
  • "Rebirth of a nation: Can states' rights save us from a second civil war?" By Jonathan Taplin. Harper's Magazine, November 2018, pp. 27-35.
    Examines the role of the Tenth Amendment in the current political climate and identifies states' rights initiatives on prescription drug costs, marijuana decriminalization, student loan debt, and other policy issues. Mentions Texas.
  • "Self-enforcing roadways." By Eric Donnell, Kristin Kersavage, and Abdul Zineddin. Public Roads, Autumn 2018, pp. 4-7.
    Explains how transportation agencies can design self-enforcing roadways to manage speeds on two-lane rural highways, reducing the severity of speeding-related crashes. Report at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/17098/17098.pdf.
  • "Texas moves toward adoption of Uniform Bar." By Ryan Salchert. San Antonio Business Journal, October 26, 2018, p. 7.
    Reports that the Texas Supreme Court has accepted a task force recommendation to adopt the Uniform Bar Examination that would allow Texas attorneys to practice law in 33 other states.
  • "Highs and lows of floodplain regulations." By Luis B. Torres, Clare Losey, and Wesley Miller. Tierra Grande, October 2018, pp. 22-25.
    Addresses building regulations recently implemented in Houston as a means to reduce residential damage from flooding.
  • "Steady as she goes: Texas apartment markets recovering." By Ali Anari and Harold D. Hunt. Tierra Grande, October 2018, pp. 14-19.
    Examines recovery of apartment markets in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio since the Great Recession and the state of Houston's market since the collapse of oil prices in 2014 and in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

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 November 12

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.

 

 

November 13

House Committee on Human Services

Charge 4

Charge: Current reimbursement methodology and rates in the foster care system

Charge: Prevalence of mental illness diagnoses on children in the foster care system

Charge: Abuse and neglect in nursing facilities; existing state and federal laws and regulations, including employee criminal background checks 

Top

 

November 14

Commission decisions:

 

Staff presentation and public testimony:

 

Resource Highlight: Senate Standing Committee Minutes Before 1973

House and Senate committee minutes are a valuable resource for understanding the work that goes into crafting legislation. Senate standing committee minutes in the Legislative Reference Library collection from before 1973 have been scanned and are available in the LRL's committee minutes database

 

Scanned minutes, particularly from earlier sessions, may also include other committee documentation, including agendas, exhibits, hearing notices, press releases, rules, testimony, transcripts, and vote sheets. Some interesting examples include:

Other interesting items include the minutes of the 60th Legislature's Senate Public Health Committee, which include a notebook containing bills with analysis and comment, and the legal paperwork surrounding the Committee of the Whole Senate (76th) – Election of Lieutenant Governor, convened to select the lieutenant governor when Rick Perry vacated the seat to become governor.

 

Note that some of the investigation committees' transcripts are best accessed using the committee search function.

 

The LRL database also allows users access to committee documents from House, Senate, and Joint committees, 63rd–77th Legislatures (1973–2001), as well as to search for minutes from the 78th–85th Legislatures that are available through Texas Legislature Online.

 

Visit our blog post about House standing committee minutes prior to 1973 to learn more about those resources.

Current Articles & Research Resources, November 1

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

  • Read about a newly-released hate crimes website. (U.S. Department of Justice, October 29, 2018)
  • Consider legal issues related to bike lanes. (Outside Online, October 27, 2018)
  • Track weekly flu activity. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed October 31, 2018)
  • Explore charts related to various sectors of the Texas and United States economies. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed October 31, 2018)

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

  • "A new way to work." By Mike Cronin. Austin Business Journal, October 26, 2018, pp. 4-6.
    Explains how professionals in several industries, including manufacturing and health care, could be doing business differently once a 5G wireless network is established in Austin.
  • "Leaving bench marks." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, October 22, 2018, pp. 24-30.
    Examines whether judges' personal views can be separated from their legal rulings. Highlights the case of Arkansas Judge Wendell Griffen and his personal anti-death penalty beliefs. 
  • "It's been 2 years since scandal erupted at Baylor: Yet the allegations continue." By Sarah Brown. Chronicle of Higher Education, October 12, 2018, pp. A18-A19.
    Summarizes the latest developments in the Baylor sexual assault scandal, including serious allegations against former regent chair, Richard Willis, and a letter from the NCAA providing notice of wrongdoing.
  • "All the president's men and women." By Rob Boston. Church & State, October 2018, pp. 9-11.
    Claims the president's Evangelical Advisory Board, which plays a significant role in administrative policies, is not in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act [FACA]. Explains FACA requirements for presidential advisory committees.
  • "American shale oil: Peering into the Permian." Economist, October 20th-26th, 2018, pp. 57-59.
    Examines whether the American shale industry can deliver both profits and production. Notes that despite its growth, the industry still faces constraints — bottlenecks in the pipeline infrastructure, a long-term labor shortage, and rising equipment costs due to tariffs on steel imports.
  • "The world economy: The next recession." Economist, October 13th, 2018, pp. 3-12.
    Suggests a toxic political environment and constrained central banks will present the greatest stumbling blocks to managing a new global downturn.
  • "State strategies to meet the needs of young children and families affected by the opioid crisis." By Becky Normile, Carrie Hanlon, and Hannah Eichner. Internet Resource, September 2018, pp. 1-18.
    Explores strategies used by child-serving agencies in Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Virginia to respond to the opioid epidemic. Offers information about funding sources and key considerations for states working to improve services for families affected by opioid use disorder.
  • "Regulating gene-edited crops." By Jennifer Kuzma. Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2018, pp. 80-85.
    Explores policy implications of the second generation of genetically modified crops. 
  • "Year of the strike." By Frederick M. Hess. National Review, October 29, 2018, pp. 20-22.
    Highlights recent teacher strikes and advocates for higher pay for talented teachers. Proposes paying for pay increases by trimming bureaucracy, overhauling benefits and getting pension funds on a solvent path. 
  • "School colors." By Hua Hsu. New Yorker, October 15, 2018, pp. 48-56, 58-59.
    Discusses the current affirmative action case alleging discrimination against Asian Americans by Harvard University. Profiles the involvement of Texan Edward Blum and includes a history of affirmative action policies.
  • "Broadband gap — rocket science?: Ending the disparity." By Steve Goodman. Public Utilities Fortnightly, October 2018, pp. 80-81.
    Identifies issues regarding disparity in broadband deployment, particularly in rural areas. Discusses ways the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] is trying to address this problem. Related information at: https://www.fcc.gov/5G and https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/reports/broadband-progress-reports/2016-broadband-progress-report
  • "Who has the best 'cyber hygiene'?" By Laura Fodor. State Legislatures, September/October 2018, p. 33.
    Highlights a report addressing states' security practices. Includes state ratings for residents' cyber preparedness and vulnerabilities to cyber attacks. Related information at: https://www.ponemon.org/blog/the-cyber-hygiene-index-measuring-the-riskiest-states
  • "If parents get deported, who gets their children?" By Teresa Wiltz. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), October 25, 2018, pp. 1-7.
    Reports immigration advocates are calling for greater resources from federal, state, and local officials to assist "grandfamilies" — grandparents, extended family members, or close family friends who are stepping in to care for or raise children separated from undocumented parents who have been arrested or deported. Report at: https://www.gu.org/app/uploads/2018/10/Grandfamilies-Report-SOGF2018.pdf
  • "'Keep them from harm and injustice'?" By Robert Van Boven. Texas Medicine, October 2018, pp. 4-5.
    Examines barriers to transparency of hospital errors in Texas. Outlines physicians' concerns about discretionary abuse of Texas Medical Board policies and procedures.
  • "Guns in America: The search for common ground begins with listening — to everyone." By Abigail Abrams, et alTime, November 5, 2018, pp. 26-30.
    Explores the history, culture, and controversies surrounding guns in the United States. Includes an interactive feature that presents the views and experiences of 245 different people, including Representative Jonathan Stickland, who represent a wide range of voices on the debate over guns.

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.

Capitol Spirits

Leading up to Halloween each year, we gather stories of supernatural and strange happenings in the Lone Star State. Below you'll find tales of epidemic, treasure, a curse, feuds, and more. You can find these and more stories on our Capitol Spirits Pinterest board

From the Legislative Reference Library, we hope you have a fun and safe Halloween!!

Shoal Creek

The environs of Shoal Creek have been the scene of many happy and hard times. Early settler Gideon White was killed along the creek by Indians in 1842. His daughter's husband, Edward Seiders, developed a popular recreation area there in the 1870s. General George Custer's troops camped by the creek during Reconstruction; some of the men died due to a cholera epidemic and were buried nearby. Perhaps their spirits still remain…

Shoal Creek Treasure

Tales of hidden treasure along Shoal Creek have captured the imagination of many Austinites, from O. Henry to a former county treasurer who was driven to suicide. A January 1897 article in the Austin Weekly Statesman stated, "It is a fever that is sapping the very foundation of our citizenship. It is making maniacs out of sensible men." Do ghostly figures still look for the gold on dark nights?

 

Abner Cook's bricks

Woodlawn Mansion was built in the 1850s by Abner H. Cook for James B. Shaw, Texas Comptroller. Shaw sold the house after the untimely deaths of his wife and young daughter. Along with other Cook buildings such as the Governor's Mansion and the Neill-Cochran House, the Woodlawn Mansion is associated with sad events or ghostly sightings. Could they carry the Shoal Creek curse through the energy imbued in their bricks that were created from clay and a kiln near the creek? [Photo credit: Austin History Center].

Columbus County Feud and Senator Marcus Harvey Townsend

Marcus Harvey Townsend served in the Texas Legislature representing Colorado County, first as a representative in the 18th Legislature and then as a senator in the 21st and 22nd Legislatures. He and his family gained notoriety with their violent feud with the Stafford family and then with their inter-family trouble known as the Colorado County Feud. These violent events occurred around the town of Columbus, Texas, which perhaps explains why it has been described as "profoundly haunted."  

Fort Colorado

In 1836 Robert M. Coleman established Fort Colorado in Eastern Travis County. His tenure as commander was short-lived, either due to a dispute with Sam Houston or the death of a Ranger under his command. However, legend offers another story: Coleman was meeting secretly with a Comanche medicine man to bring about peace when the medicine man was shot by a soldier. Coleman was relieved of duty and drowned within a year. Are the ghostly figures seen on foggy nights Coleman and the medicine man, still discussing peace?

Bertram Store / Clay Pit

Rudolph Bertram ran a thriving wholesale grocery, saloon, and general store on Guadalupe Street in the 1880s. Business was conducted downstairs, with living quarters up above. The space now houses the popular Clay Pit Restaurant, but diners may share the space with previous inhabitants. Is the apparition of a small child Bertram's young son who died of typhoid fever? And are the upstairs party noises an echo of wild times at the brothel that was joined to the saloon through a basement tunnel?

 

Cover image by Daniel Mingus

Current Articles & Research Resources, October 25

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

  • Examine redistricting laws state by state. (National Conference of State Legislatures, October 1, 2018)
  • Review protections from financial harm for older consumers. (Federal Trade Commission, October 18, 2018)
  • Consider the drawbacks of medical crowdfunding. (Health Affairs Blog, October 23, 2018)
  • Explore the national shortage of poll workers. (Stateline, October 22, 2018)

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

  • "Prescription for profit." By Jen Skerritt. Business Week, October 15, 2018, p. 17.
    Points out that several countries have legalized medical marijuana. Observes that pharmaceutical companies are exploring ways that medical marijuana could curb the use of opiates or replace opiates for pain management.
  • "Expanding access to health care, from bedside to webside." By Debra Miller. Capitol Ideas, September/October 2018, pp. 24-26.
    Describes four types of current telehealth applications: live video, store-and-forward, remote patient monitoring, and mobile health.
  • "After #MeToo, state legislatures make changes." By Rebecca Asoulin. Christian Science Monitor, October 8, 2018, pp. 18, 20.
    Charts the progress state legislatures have made in protections against sexual misconduct through enhanced training, improved policies, or legislation.
  • "AT&T's service for first responders sees strong demand as effort ramps up." By Brian Womack. Dallas Business Journal, October 12, 2018, p. 28.
    Discusses AT&T's role in building FirstNet, America's first nationwide public safety broadband network. Related information at: https://firstnet.gov/.
  • "Democratic policies: Universal pictures." Economist, October 13th-19th, 2018, pp. 27-28.
    Considers whether Medicare could become a workable single-payer system for all health insurance claims. Notes the obstacles, including lack of agreement as to what Medicare for all actually means.
  • "Long-term obligations and the Texas Legacy Fund." Fiscal Notes, September-October 2018, pp. 1-16.
    Provides an overview of Texas' long-term financial obligations in state employee pensions (ERS), health care benefits for retired teachers and TRS-Care solvency, prepaid tuition, and deferred maintenance on state buildings. Proposes creation of an endowment fund from a portion of the Economic Stabilization Fund ("Rainy Day Fund"), to be known as the Texas Legacy Fund, which would be used for investment in higher returns and to retire long-term obligations.
  • "Assessing the impact of state policies for prescription drug monitoring programs on high-risk opioid prescriptions." By Yuhua Bao, et al. Health Affairs, October 2018, pp. 1596-1604.
    Analyzes three approaches to state policies on prescription drug monitoring programs [PDMPs]. Supports comprehensive use mandates and delegate laws to optimize prescribers' use of PDMPs.
  • "Harvard's discrimination problem." By Robert Verbruggen. National Review, October 15, 2018, pp. 34-36.
    Reviews the legal reasoning in Fisher v. University of Texas and similar United States Supreme Court cases. Describes some of the legal arguments and principles that come into play in the case currently in federal district court dealing with whether Harvard University is disfavoring Asian Americans, an overrepresented minority group. Related information at: https://www.clearinghouse.net/detail.php?id=14188.
  • "Melting pot or civil war?" By Reihan Salam. National Review, October 15, 2018, pp. 23-26.
    Argues the United States immigration system needs a greater emphasis on skill-based immigration and lesser emphasis on extended family ties. Suggests that is the only way to build a middle-class, multiracial community and egalitarian economy.
  • "Waters of U.S. rule blocked in Texas, two other states." By Justin Walker. Texas Agriculture, October 5, 2018, p. 33.
    Reports that the Waters of the United States [WOTUS] rule has been blocked by a federal judge for Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Explains that WOTUS allows the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate ponds, streams, and other bodies of water on private land.
  • "EPA proposed to replace Clean Power Plan with new rule." By Paul Ciampoli and Ethan Howland. Texas Public Power, September 2018, pp. 3, 6, 9.
    Discusses the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule to replace the Clean Power Plan. Includes the American Public Power Association's response, as well as a summary of a report, addressing this proposal. Report at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-08/documents/utilities_ria_proposed_ace_2018-08.pdf. Related information at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-08-31/pdf/2018-18755.pdf.

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 October 29

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.

 

October 30

Topic: The State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) Advisory Committee advises the Texas Water Development Board on the administration of SWIFT funds. This committee will review the overall operation, function, and structure of the fund at least semi-annually and advises the board on any water related matter.

New & Noteworthy List: October 2018

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the six titles from our October 2018 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. American Fix: Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis — and How to End It
By Ryan Hampton
Presents a new agenda for addressing the opioid crisis from the perspective of an addiction recovery activist and former opioid user. Discusses the challenges addicts face, the drawbacks of current treatments, and the roles of politics and large pharmaceutical companies. Challenges the decades-old recovery model and offers a comprehensive plan of action to take on the crisis and fix it.
All Points Books, 2018. 290 pages.
362.29 H189A 2018


 

 

2. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
By Beth Macy
Weaves together stories from drug abusers and their families, dealers, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies, to explain how opioid addiction has come to afflict American communities across geographic, race, gender, and class lines. Provides historical context starting in the late 1800s for opioid abuse and treatment. Describes interventions that have been proven to work, such as drug courts, medication-assisted treatment [MAT], and drug monitoring programs to promote responsible prescribing practices.
Little, Brown and Company, 2018. 311 pages.
362.290973 M259D 2018


 

 

3. Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World
By Bethany McLean
Examines the cycles of the U.S. oil industry and the development of hydraulic fracturing and the shale revolution, particularly in the Permian Basin in Texas. Profiles fracking pioneer Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy.
Columbia Global Reports, 2018. 138 pages.
333.8230973 M132S 2018


 

 

4. Shale Boom: The Barnett Shale Play and Fort Worth
By Diana Davids Hinton
Profiles the development and proliferation of fracking and its impact on the Fort Worth area and the petroleum industry. Chronicles the rise of the Barnett Shale boom and the factors that led to its eventual bust.
TCU Press, 2018. 229 pages.
333.8 H597S 2018


 

 

5. Texas Ethics Laws: An Annotated Guide to Lobby and Campaign Finance Laws in Texas
By Andrew Cates
Provides text of Texas campaign finance and lobby laws along with pertinent primary and secondary sources that are illustrative of the statutes' applications. Features cross-references to Texas Ethics Commission advisory opinions, Attorney General opinions, case law, practice notes, and the Texas Administrative Code.
Independently published, 2018. 467 pages.
328.33 C283T 2018

 

 

6. Texas Cemeteries: The Resting Places of Famous, Infamous, and Just Plain Interesting Texans
By Bill Harvey
Explores the final resting places of notable and fascinating Texans by highlighting Texas cemeteries. Profiles the stories of individuals who were significant figures in Texas history or who made important cultural contributions to the state. Presents heroes and villains, including activists, outlaws, educators, athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, politicians, veterans, and more.
University of Texas Press, 2003. 274 pages.
976.4 H262T 2003

More Entries