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

  • Consider the amicus brief joined by Texas related to the Second Amendment. (Attorney General of Texas, October 9, 2018)
  • Read about how the USMCA could improve on NAFTA. (National Conference of State Legislatures, October 4, 2018)
  • Examine the economic impact of breweries by state. (U.S. Census Bureau, October 3, 2018)
  • Explore how common it is for teachers to have additional summer employment. (National Center for Education Statistics, October 2018)

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

  • "Losing the democratic habit." By Yoni Appelbaum. Atlantic Monthly, October 2018, pp. 74-77.
    Argues that historically, civic participation has been the norm with United States citizens joining mostly apolitical, democratically-governed associations. Explains we are "no longer a nation of joiners" and public faith in democracy has eroded due to this.
  • "A $250M pill to ease Austin's housing ills?" By Daniel Salazar. Austin Business Journal, September 28, 2018, pp. 4-6.
    Describes Austin's affordable housing bond proposition — one of seven bond proposals on the city's November 6 ballot. Notes the 2018 bond package is 285 percent larger than the $65 million housing package in 2013.
  • "Possible effects of border wall policy take shape." By Daniel Salazar. Austin Business Journal, October 5, 2018, p. A6.
    Reports the latest developments associated with an Austin City Council resolution [No. 20180201-067] directing the city manager to review the economic effects a border wall would have on Austin and to develop a policy requiring companies seeking to do business with the city to disclose their ties to the proposed border wall on the United States–Mexico border. Related information at:
  • "Stops along the way to driverless trucks." By Sean Slone. Capitol Ideas, September/October 2018, pp. 40-43.
    Discusses recent Wisconsin and Mississippi legislation allowing driver assistive truck platooning technology, in which the lead truck controls the other trucks following behind, in a step toward autonomous or "driverless" trucks. Considers the implications of automation in the trucking industry.
  • "Violence against women in rural communities: What we know and what we don't know." By Walter DeKeseredy. Criminal Justice Research Review, Fall 2018, pp. 2-4.
    Explores the study of violence against women in rural communities.
  • "Texas Supreme Court asked to decide 'Jarndyce v. Jarndyce' boundary dispute." By Janet Elliott. Dallas Business Journal, September 14, 2018, p. 69.
    Highlights SB2242, 85th Legislature, R.S., a local bill that gave the Texas Supreme Court original jurisdiction to determine the outcome of a tax boundary dispute that began in 1972, as well as the allocation of property tax refunds.
  • "Teachers running for office show strength in primaries." Education Week, September 26, 2018, pp. 1, 13.
    Discusses what is behind the surge in teachers competing for state legislative seats this election year, which is being referred to as the "year of the teacher."
  • "California's drug transparency law: Navigating the boundaries of state authority on drug pricing." By Katherine L. Gudiksen, et al. Health Affairs, September 2018, pp. 1503-1508.
    Analyzes California's drug transparency bill, comparing it to other states' efforts to address pharmaceutical pricing trends. Considers the political and legal boundaries of state action to rein in drug prices. Related information at:
  • "Math pathways: Expanding options for success in college math." By Elizabeth Ganga and Amy Mazzariello. Internet Resource, October 2018, pp. 1-9.
    Reviews three math pathway models, including one developed in Texas, that allow college students to study math relevant to their academic or career pursuits.
  • "Everything you know about state education rankings is wrong." By Stan J. Liebowitz and Matthew L. Kelly. Reason, November 2018, pp. 20-25.
    Argues traditional school rankings are riddled with methodological flaws. Presents new rankings which concentrate on student performance, not educational funding, and disaggregate students by age, subject, and race to produce a new quality score. Lists Texas as ranking fifth in quality and second in efficiency.
  • "Opioid bill expands treatment options." By Christine Vestal. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), October 4, 2018, pp. 1-4.
    Highlights proposed federal legislation that would give states more options to expand access to opioid addiction treatment and invests in new law enforcement efforts to curb illicit drugs. Related information at:
  • "The battle over biometrics." By John G. Browning. Texas Bar Journal, October 2018, pp. 674, 676.
    Examines variations in laws relating to the collection, storage, and use of biometric data, focusing on the three states that have adopted such laws: Illinois, Texas, and Washington.
  • "The cost of going to law school." By Angela Morris. Texas Lawyer, October 2018, pp. 22-24, 26.
    Provides important data metrics about Texas law schools to help prospective applicants analyze the affordability of law school and to envision their finances after graduation.
  • "Something is wrong with the sex offender registry, and deregulation is the only tool we have to fix it." By Matthew Ferrara and Emma Hamilton. Voice for the Defense, September 2018, pp. 20-30.
    Reports that the vast majority of studies measuring the impact of the registration and community notification of sexual offenders have found that there has been no impact on the number of sexual re-offenses, and that registries might even increase the chance of recidivism by isolating the offender from the community.

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.