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Current Articles & Research Resources, November 29

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

  • Consider the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S. (Pew Research Center, November 27, 2018)
  • Explore the state of the current U.S. military. (The Heritage Foundation, ©2019)
  • Read about how the connotations of the word "political" have changed over time. (OUPblog, November 23, 2018)
  • Examine how shifting economic activity affects the prosperity of different communities and regions. (The Hamilton Project, September 2018)

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

  • "Public flagships are offering more middle-income scholarships. What gives?" By Chris Quintana. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 9, 2018, p. A32.
    Highlights financial-aid packages from public flagship universities aimed at students from middle-income families. Mentions the University of Texas at Austin has expanded income limits for students eligible for financial aid.
  • "Rowlett condemnation case tests post-Kelo statute." By Janet Elliott. Dallas Business Journal, November 9, 2018, p. 9.
    Reports on a pending case before the Texas Supreme Court, KMS Retail Rowlett, LP v. City of Rowlett, Texas, which examines the limitations placed on the use of eminent domain codified in Texas Government Code § 2206.001. Related information at: http://www.search.txcourts.gov/Case.aspx?cn=17-0850&coa=cossup and https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/GV/htm/GV.2206.htm#2206.001.
  • "Farming in America: Tough row to hoe." Economist, November 10th-16th, 2018, pp. 67-69.
    Examines the impact of President Trump's trade policy on American agriculture. Expects farm incomes to drop by thirteen percent this year, as more than a fifth of agricultural exports face new tariffs.
  • "Post-Wayfair options for states." By Joseph Bishop-Henchman, Hannah Walker, and Denise Grabe. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, November/December 2018, pp. 6-19, 46, 48.
    Describes the effect of the United States Supreme Court's decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair on state Internet sales tax laws and presents a "Wayfair checklist" and policy choices for state legislators. Characterizes Texas as a "steady yellow light" state, meaning it should only proceed after making legislative changes, including joining the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement [SSUTA]. Related information at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/17-494_j4el.pdf.
  • "Would state-based single-payer health insurance cure what ails?" By Simon F. Haeder. Milken Institute Review, 4th Quarter 2018, pp. 43-53.
    Describes the characteristics and cost savings of a single-payer health insurance system, as well as the potential for single-payer to develop in the states amid the limits of federalism and the complexity of the health insurance market.
  • "Firearm homicides and suicides in major metropolitan areas — United States, 2012–2013 and 2015–2016." By Scott R. Kegler, Linda L. Dahlberg, and James A. Mercy. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), November 9, 2018, pp. 1-5.
    Reports that firearm homicide rates in large metro areas and the national rate overall began increasing in the years examined, and firearm suicide rates have continued to increase in large metro areas and the nation overall.
  • "Employee contributions to public pension plans (2018)." National Association of State Retirement Administrators, October 2018, pp. 1-12.
    Examines employee contribution plan designs across states, policies, and recent trends. Includes a table of employee contribution rates by state, including Employees Retirement System of Texas and Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
  • "Education as reeducation." By Frederick M. Hess and Grant Addison. National Review, November 12, 2018, pp. 48, 50, 52.
    Argues school reform groups, such as UnboundEd, have turned to ideological agendas and left-wing activism. Suggests a focus on implicit bias has turned school reform from a unifying pursuit to a divisive exercise.
  • "Too much democracy." By Yascha Mounk. New Yorker, November 12, 2018, pp. 46, 48-51.
    Considers the findings in a new book, Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself, which suggests strong political parties would do better than activists in developing a long-term view aimed at rational policy choices instead of irresponsible promises. Points out the book's recommendations ignore large social and economic trends which might be more important.
  • "Preparation for capable citizenship: The schools' primary responsibility." By Michael A. Rebell. Phi Delta Kappan, November 2018, pp. 18-23.
    Points out the highest courts in a majority of states have stated that "preparation for capable citizenship" is a primary purpose of the education clause in state constitutions. Argues schools must create environments that respect pluralism and individualism while instructing in civic knowledge and skills and providing participatory experiences.
  • "50% less energy in transportation by 2050: Alliance to Save Energy 50 x 50 Commission: Reinventing U.S. mobility." Public Utilities Fortnightly, November 1, 2018, pp. 76-81.
    Features a discussion on the Alliance to Save Energy's 50 x 50 Commission and their recent report, which compiles a set of consensus recommendations for policymakers and the private sector to reduce transportation-related energy use 50 percent by 2050. Report at: https://www.ase.org/sites/ase.org/files/ase-50x50-full_policyreport-final.pdf.
  • "Could plastic driver's licenses become a thing of the past?" By Jenni Bergal. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), November 20, 2018, pp. 1-6.
    Reports several states have started digital driver's license programs while other states are studying or testing digital licenses. Discusses Louisiana's program, the first to make digital licenses available. Notes concerns about privacy and data security risks.
  • "Reflections of Hurricane Harvey: One year later." By Jessica Hovel. Texas Builder, November/December 2018, pp. 12-18.
    Describes Hurricane Harvey rebuilding from a construction industry perspective, as well as infrastructure funding and flood mitigation in Houston and along the Texas Gulf Coast.
  • "Evening out the scale." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, November 2018, pp. 44-46.
    Describes the lack of transparency that can lead to surprise medical bills, also referred to as balance billing. Explains the Texas Medical Association's plans to advocate in the next legislative session for more accountability from insurers, while preserving physicians' right to bill for their services.
  • "FCC order could remove public power pole attachment exemption." By Paul Ciampoli. Texas Public Power, October 2018, pp. 3, 6, 9.
    Explains a recent declaratory ruling and order from the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] addressing 5G infrastructure and other advanced wireless services, which could affect the oversight of electric utility pole attachments. Considers the potential impact of this ruling and order. Related information at: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-18-133A1.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.

New & Noteworthy: November 2018

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the seven titles from our November 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. Capitalism in America: A History
By Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge
Traces American history through the lens of capitalism and its influence on the development of the United States, as interpreted by Alan Greenspan, former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, and Adrian Wooldridge, the Economist's political editor. Employs three organizing themes in considering economic history: productivity, creative destruction (displacing previously productive assets and their associated jobs with newer technologies and their jobs), and politics. Argues that entitlement and financial system reforms are necessary to restore America's "fading dynamism."
Penguin Press, 2018, 2018. 450 pages.
330.973 G853C 2018


 

 

2. The Embattled Vote in America: From the Founding to the Present
By Allan J. Lichtman
Delves into the history and politics of the vote in America from the drafting of the Constitution to present day. Argues that when the Founding Fathers gave control over elections to individual states, they made a critical error that resulted in restrictive consequences for minorities, women, and democracy throughout American history. Addresses voting rights, voter ID laws, voter purges, gerrymandering, and more.
Harvard University Press, 2018. 257 pages.
324.6 L617E 2018


 

 

3. The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas
By Monica Munoz Martinez
Sheds light on the neglected history of anti-Mexican violence in the 1910s Texas-Mexico borderlands. Describes specific incidents and provides insight into collaboration among authorities and vigilantes to incite violence and cover up crimes. Includes an examination of Rep. José T. Canales' 1919 efforts to bring criminal charges against several Texas Rangers for their mistreatment of Mexican Americans. Calls for continued efforts to recover histories of racial violence and for a public reckoning with violence.
Harvard University Press, 2018. 300 pages.
323.1168 M366I 2018


 

 

4. Managed Migrations: Growers, Farmworkers, and Border Enforcement in the Twentieth Century
By Cristina Salinas
Examines the relationship between immigration laws/policies and agricultural laborers and farmers in Texas during the 1940s and 1950s. Explores how the migration of Mexican workers was handled on a local level by the border patrol, farm owners, and Mexicans working the fields. Argues that these groups, not necessarily the federal government, set up the framework for border enforcement policies.
University of Texas Press, 2018. 208 pages.
325 SA33M 2018


 

 

5. Interim Report: 2017 Hurricane Harvey Response to the 86th Legislature
By Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs
Highlights the committee's investigative work on interim charges relating to flood planning and response. Addresses the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, jurisdictional challenges during flooding events, funding for flood mitigation and prevention projects, and the creation of a proactive state flood plan. Includes committee testimony and policy recommendations.
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs, 2018. 140 pages.
Online at: https://lrl.texas.gov/scanned/interim/85/Ag86r.pdf
L1836.85 AG86R


 

 

6. Texas Considers Policy Responses to Opioid Crisis
By House Research Organization
Analyzes the current status of opioid abuse and addiction in the country, emphasizing the increase in opioid-related overdose deaths. Summarizes basic facts on current treatments, interventions, and prevention strategies. Reviews policies that may be considered by lawmakers in the 86th Legislature to aid in the reduction of opioid-related misuse, overdoses, and deaths.
House Research Organization, 2018. 11 pages.
Online at: https://hro.house.texas.gov/pdf/focus/opioids.pdf
L1801.9 ST94 85-9


 

 

7. U.S. Immigration: A Primer for State Policy Makers
By Anne Morse
Presents an overview of current immigration and refugee policy in the United States. Examines the role of states and developments in state immigration legislation. Concludes with a discussion of the fiscal and economic impact of immigration. Includes a list of federal actions on immigration for 2017–2018.
National Conference of State Legislatures, 2018. 32 pages.
Online at: http://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/Documents/immig/2018_Immigration_Primer_32492.pdf
331.67 N213I 2018

Interim Hearings – Week of November 26

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 27

Senate Committee on Education 

Charge: Mandate relief/innovation: Education Code, cost-drivers, unnecessary mandates, reduction/elimination of inefficiencies, policies or opportunities targeted to improving student outcomes, and better utilization of taxpayer resources

Charge: Monitor SB 22 and SB 7, 85th Legislature, R.S.

 

 

November 28

Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform (Conroe)

Charge: Effective tax rate and rollback tax rate calculations

Charge: Appraisal review boards (ARBs)

Charge: Replacing property tax with sales tax or other consumption tax revenue

 

November 30

Topic: Determine and adopt a sufficient balance to maintain in the Economic Stabilization Fund

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 66 12 78
Republican 83 19 102
Total 149 31 180

 

Gender House Senate Overall
Women 34 9 43
Men 115 22 137
Total 149 31 180

 

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) Carol Alvarado (D)
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. Carol Alvarado (D) Christina Morales (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. Joe Pickett (D) Art Fierro (D)
Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R) Julie Johnson (D)
Rep. Justin Rodriguez (D) Ray Lopez (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. Post updated 3/13/19 to reflect the results of the HD 125 special election to fill Rep. Justin Rodriguez's seat; updated 3/6/19 to reflect the results of the HD 145 special election to fill Sen. Alvarado's seat; updated 1/30/19 to reflect the results of the HD 79 special election to fill Rep. Pickett's seat; updated 1/8/19 to reflect the scheduled February 12 special election to fill the HD 125 seat vacated by Rep. Justin Rodriguez; updated 12/18/18 and 12/27/18 to reflect the indicated resignation of Rep. Joe Pickett (HD 79) and the scheduled January 29 special elections to fill the HD 145 (formerly held by Carol Alvarado) and HD 79 seats; updated 12/12/18 to reflect the results of the Senate District 6 special election to fill U.S. Representative-elect Sylvia Garcia's vacated seat.

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.