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.