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

  • Consider new flexibility granted to the states for operating food stamp programs. (Politico, December 5, 2017)
  • Read about amicus briefs filed for Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. (Heritage Foundation, December 5, 2017)
  • Explore how new technologies can help manage diabetes. (National Institutes of Health, December 2017)
  • Find resources related to vaccinating against and tracking the flu in Texas. (Texas Department of State Health Services, last updated October 9, 2017)

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

  • "Guardian of the vote." By Jill Leovy. Atlantic Monthly, December 2017, pp. 16, 18, 20.
    Reports on Barbara Simons and her work with the nonprofit, Verified Voting, and their goal of getting paper ballots in every state to combat the vulnerability of electronic systems.
  • "Unnatural disaster." By Shannon Sims. Bloomberg Businessweek, November 20, 2017, pp. 52-59.
    Examines the legal aspects of flood control measures implemented in west Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Quotes Senator Joan Huffman.
  • "The scholars behind the quest for reparations." By Marc Parry. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 17, 2017, pp. A14-A16.
    Highlights the work of Hilary Beckles and other historians as they seek reparations for slavery. Explains new scholarship focuses on the role slavery played in the development of American capitalism.
  • "Emergency management." By Andrew Siddons. CQ Weekly, November 13, 2017, pp. 24-28.
    Discusses the current opioid crisis in the United States. Examines how Scott Gottlieb, the new commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration [FDA], plans to address the crisis.
  • "Wages: great again." Economist, November 18th-24th, 2017, pp. 23-24.
    Discusses the surge in wages for workers in blue-collar occupations. Notes the acceleration in manufacturing employment this year in Texas and surrounding oil states.
  • "Health IT in Texas: the doctor is ... online." By Lauren Mulverhill. Fiscal Notes, November 2017, pp. 7-10.
    Examines health information technology as a promising solution for the challenges of rural health care and the physician shortage, including the expansion of telemedicine enacted by SB1107, HB1697, SB922, and SB1633, 85th Legislature, R.S.
  • "Statewide payment and delivery reform: do states have what it takes?" By Judy Feder, et al. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, December 2017, pp. 1113-1125.
    Cautions federal and state policy makers that state leaders' political desire to be the stewards of health care for the state's entire population may be affected by statutory authority and purchasing power.
  • "Are sugar-sweetened beverages taxes legal? Williams v. Philadelphia." By Kevin A. Diehl. Journal of State Taxation, Winter 2017, pp. 17-22, 38.
    Highlights the legal arguments in a recent Pennsylvania soda tax case in which the appellate court found that the City of Philadelphia's beverage tax did not violate the Sterling Act's prohibition on duplicative taxes, and does not fall under the preempted sales tax category.
    (Related information at:
  • "The new frontier: automobile insurance in the ride-share world." By Catherine L. Hanna. Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Fall 2017, pp. 17-20.
    Discusses how ridesharing challenges the traditional insurance dichotomy between personal and commercial activities. Explains the effect of HB1733, 84th Legislature.
    (Related information at:
  • "American families are broken and blended." By Robert Verbruggen. National Review, November 27, 2017, pp. 18, 20.
    Reports that about 40 percent of children in the United States are born to unmarried parents. Comments on the economic, technological, and cultural developments that have led to this situation and result in children experiencing a number of family-structure transitions.
  • "The serial-killer detector." By Alec Wilkinson. New Yorker, November 27, 2017, pp. 30-35.
    Highlights the Murder Accountability Project [MAP], which seeks to track and accurately account for unsolved homicides in the United States, including identifying potential serial killers.
    (Related information at:
  • "Gerrymandering educational opportunity." By Meredith P. Richards. Phi Delta Kappan, November 2017, pp. 65-70.
    Argues that gerrymandering school attendance zones can create educational communities that increase diversity and improve educational opportunities.
  • "Energy and politics at FERC: an independent agency?" By Robin Lunt. Public Utilities Fortnightly, November 2017, p. 65.
    Discusses United States Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry's role in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's [FERC] proposed rule that addresses rates for wholesale electricity markets.
    (Related information at:'s%20Letter%20to%20the%20Federal%20Energy%20Regulatory%20Commission.pdf)
  • "How immigration crackdowns screw up Americans' lives." By Shikha Dalmia. Reason, December 2017, pp. 26-36.
    Explains how American citizens are harmed in overzealous immigration crackdowns, which include deporting American citizens, treating border towns as hostile territory, and driving restaurateurs out of business.
  • "FERC to issue rule on markets to preserve 'fuel-source.'" By Paul Ciampoli. Texas Public Power, October 2017, pp. 3, 6-8.
    Discusses the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee's [FERC] proposed rule addressing rates for wholesale electricity markets.
    (Related information at:

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.