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Current Articles & Research Resources, December 20

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

  • Review the final rule related to bump stocks. (U.S. Department of Justice, December 18, 2018)
  • Consider the popularity of vaping among teens. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, December 17, 2018)
  • Explore facets of school safety, including educator training and student mental health. (Federal Commission on School Safety, December 18, 2018)
  • Read about lawsuits related to public officials blocking people on social media. (Nextgov, December 13, 2018)

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

  • "Teaching in Texas: Along the border." By Jesus Chavez. ATPE News (Association of Texas Professional Educators), Winter 2018, pp. 22-27.
    Examines how geography and culture influence learning. Profiles teachers whose classrooms are significantly affected by the Texas-Mexico border.
  • "State and local efforts to support young adult mental health: Policy for transformed lives." By Nia West-Bey, Shiva Sethi, and Paige Shortsleeves. Center for Law and Social Policy, November 2018, pp. 1-19.
    Features mental health policies to support young adults ages 18-25 in four states (Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, and Oregon) and three cities (Louisville, Los Angeles, and New York City). Highlights best practices, challenges, and necessary policy and systems supports for improving young adult mental health.
  • "Texas: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (state fact sheet 2018)." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, December 3, 2018, pp. 1-2.
    Provides Texas state demographic data on who participates in SNAP (formerly food stamps), benefits received, and SNAP's economic benefits. Related information at: https://www.cbpp.org/research/food-assistance/a-closer-look-at-who-benefits-from-snap-state-by-state-fact-sheets#Texas.
  • "Many challenges ahead." By David Lerman, et al. CQ Weekly, November 26, 2018, pp. 32-33.
    Summarizes likely agenda for the 116th Congress. Discusses the Democrats' majority in the House of Representatives.
  • "Conquering CO2: Towards zero carbon." Economist Technology Quarterly, December 1, 2018, pp. 3-12.
    Examines whether the problem of a changing climate can be overcome and what it would take to get carbon dioxide out of the global economy.
  • "A smarter war on drugs." By Howard K. Koh, R. Gil Kerlikowske, and Michael P. Botticelli. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 11, 2018, pp. 2301-2302.
    Outlines tactics to better address substance use or dependence disorders by connecting the worlds of criminal justice and health, including drug courts, increased access to naloxone for overdoses, diversion from prosecution and jail toward case management and support services, and postoverdose outreach.
  • "The long-term economic forecast for Texas metropolitan areas." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 35, No. 9, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Provides economic projections for the state's largest metropolitan statistical areas from 2017-2045.
  • "The perfect storm: Flood compliance amid changing environmental, regulatory and financial conditions." By Mark Liston. Texas Banking, December 2018, pp. 14-17.
    Explores the impact of a changing environment and recent "superstorm" hurricanes, such as Hurricane Harvey, on the financial services industry, including the National Flood Insurance Program, and the importance of flood hazard determination for lenders.
  • "Opioid overreach?" By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, December 2018, pp. 40-43.
    Details physicians' concerns about opioid prescription restrictions set by pharmacies that sometimes conflict with physicians' lawful orders. Considers the balance between the mandate on pharmacists from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] to assess the medical purpose of a prescription for a controlled substance, without the pharmacist crossing over to practicing medicine without a license.
  • "Rural residencies." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, December 2018, pp. 32-34, 36-37.
    Describes rural residency programs and how they may help identify and recruit physicians who want to practice in rural areas, where there is a shortage of physicians. Notes that there are three such programs in Texas and the difficulty in securing funding for rural residencies, with legislation such as HB2996, 85th Legislature, R.S., not passing.
  • "Expecting care." By Rebecca Grant. Texas Observer, Dec/Jan 2018-19, pp. 20-24, 26.
    Examines the high rate of teen pregnancies in the foster care system in Texas. Report at: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5728d34462cd94b84dc567ed/t/5ad4aa001ae6cfce64d7316f/
    1523886600659/fostering-healthy-texas-lives.pdf
    .
  • "Give me shelter." By Maya Rhodan. Time, November 26, 2018, pp. 36-41.
    Discusses the complex challenges presented by refugees seeking asylum in the United States, including whether asylum can be granted. Focuses on Texas-Mexico border crossings.

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.

'Tis the Season

Each year, the House and Senate chambers are gaily decked out for the holidays with large Christmas trees—both more than 20 feet tall! Decorating trees of that magnitude presents a challenge, but with the help of constituents, Representatives and Senators do just that.

House and Senate members work with their communities to provide an ornament decorated to represent their districts. Members might engage professional artists, school children, family members, or others, to paint glass balls and/or insert items inside and out to adorn the ornaments.

Since 2009, the House has compiled an album each year to document the ornaments (see right); you can view the current album in the House chamber while the tree is on display through January 2. The LRL has acquired and scanned past albums—peruse them online from our catalog, or visit us to see the books in person!

 
Clockwise from top: Selections from the 2009 and 2016 'Tis the Season House albums of district ornaments; Sample of a Senate ornament; Sen. Jane Nelson is one of several senators who tweeted pictures from the Senate's tree decorating party; Sample of a House ornament.

Current Articles & Research Resources, December 13

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

  • Review federal provisions related to compassionate use of investigational drugs. (Congressional Research Service, November 27, 2018)
  • Consider the health risks associated with secondhand smoke. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 7, 2018)
  • Read about how Americans access the news. (Pew Research Center, December 3, 2018)
  • Follow the Texas Highway Patrol on social media. (Texas Department of Public Safety, December 11, 2018)

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

  • "Under seize." By Mark Walsh. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, December 2018, pp. 20-21. Highlights case before the United States Supreme Court, Timbs v. Indiana, which questions whether the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against excessive fines prohibits states and local governments from imposing excessive fines, fees, and civil forfeitures. Related information at: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/timbs-v-indiana/.
  • "Education outlook for the 2019 legislative session." By Jennifer Mitchell. ATPE News (Association of Texas Professional Educators), Winter 2018, pp. 16-18.
    Details legislative priorities of the Association of Texas Professional Educators [ATPE] for the 86th legislative session. Addresses school finance, healthcare, pension benefits, compensation, and privatization.
  • "School finance by the numbers." ATPE News (Association of Texas Professional Educators), Winter 2018, pp. 20-21.
    Examines how the school finance system in Texas is affecting educators, students, and taxpayers. Includes statistics on state versus property taxpayer funding, per-student funding, teacher salaries, and more.
  • "An immigration patchwork in the states: How partisanship, regionalism, and shifting priorities impact state immigration laws." By Ramón Cristobal and Teresa Cardinal Brown. Bipartisan Policy Center, November 2018, pp. 1-30 (Note Length).
    Presents an overview of state immigration legislation from 2005–2017, with identification and driver's licenses, budgets, and enforcement as the top three categories of state laws enacted. Explores the effects of partisanship, regional disparities, and local economic factors in the consideration of state immigration legislation.
  • "Lecturer who called police on student wasn't biased but needs training, U. of Texas at San Antonio says." By Emma Pettit. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 23, 2018, p. A19.
    Details a recent incident at the University of Texas at San Antonio in which a lecturer called police to remove a black student from her class. Reports racial bias was not found in this situation, but the incident shows room for improvement around issues of diversity and inclusivity.
  • "'Deal-closing' fund too slow to attract new companies, site selector says." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, November 30, 2018, p. 3.
    Discusses corporate site selectors' assessment of the Texas Enterprise Fund incentive process and timetable.
  • "In patient safety efforts, pharmacists gain new prominence." By Rebecca Gale. Health Affairs, November 2018, pp. 1726-1729.
    Details how states could expand the role pharmacists play in working with patients and medication management. Points out that pharmacists could be on the front lines of improving patients' adherence to prescriptions, with opioids as a key example.
  • "Alternative state-level financing for hepatitis C treatment — The 'Netflix' model." By Mark R. Trusheim, William M. Cassidy, and Peter B. Bach. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), November 20, 2018, pp. 1977-1978.
    Considers the logistics of states making subscription-based arrangements with pharmaceutical corporations to pay for hepatitis C [HCV] treatment for the state's residents. Notes that this Netflix-type arrangement raises regulatory questions but could facilitate important public health gains.
  • "Pillars of fire." By Kevin D. Williamson. National Review, December 3, 2018, pp. 27-30.
    Profiles the oil and gas industry around Midland–Odessa. Considers the problems associated with a shortage of appropriate infrastructure and employees.
  • "Urban cowboys." By Michael Hendrix. National Review, December 3, 2018, pp. 19-20.
    Explains 2018 election results indicate that Texas cities are getting bluer and suburbs are turning purple, while rural areas are getting "redder and emptier." Suggests a Republican aim for future election success might be to keep "Texas attractive for red flight from blue states."
  • "Steel tariffs complicate Permian pipeline buildout." By Natalie Regoli. Oil and Gas Journal, November 5, 2018, pp. 68-71.
    Presents information about how the recent steel and aluminum tariffs are affecting oil and gas operations in the Permian Basin.
  • "Public schools for private gain: The declining American commitment to serving the public good." By David Labaree. Phi Delta Kappan, November 2018, pp. 8-13.
    Explores the progression in thinking of American education's mission from the view of building a better community (public good) to a means for private advancement in pursuit of better jobs (private good). Argues this change has caused society to back away from a social commitment to "other people's children."
  • "Pay up or stay put." By Rebecca Pirius. State Legislatures, November/December 2018, pp. 38-39.
    Reports on several recent state legislative efforts to tackle financial inequities associated with pretrial detention.
  • "Going the distance: Preparing for the 86th Texas Legislative Session is like training for a marathon." By Celeste Embrey. Texas Banking, December 2018, pp. 8-11.
    Previews the 86th Legislature from a banking industry perspective and includes the Texas Bankers Association 2019 legislative agenda.
  • "Parks in peril." By Joe Nick Patoski. Texas Observer, Dec/Jan 2018-19, pp. 12-19.
    Argues that Texas state parks are overburdened and deteriorating due to a variety of factors, including underfunding, an explosion in park visitors, development, and natural disasters. Addresses the Legislature's history of diminished support for the state's parks and what needs to be done to save them from ruin.

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 Reports to the 86th Legislature

We have received interim reports to the 86th Legislature from the following committees:

Looking for another report? The LRL's Legislative Reports database contains interim committee charges, reports, and other substantive legislative studies published in the House and Senate Journals back to 1846. You may search by committee list, committee name, charge text, or subject. The LRL will continue to add interim reports to the 86th Legislature to our database as we receive them.

Current Articles & Research Resources, December 6

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

  • Examine long-term Social Security projections. (Congressional Budget Office, December 2018)
  • Review economic data by region in Texas. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, 2018)
  • Consider factors that influenced how voters cast their ballots. (Pew Research Center, November 29, 2018)
  • Explore the world's greatest places, including Austin's own public library. (TIME, ©2018)

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

  • "Budget drivers: The forces driving state spending." Fiscal Notes, November 2018, pp. 1-12.
    Describes the structure of the General Appropriations Act, the four classifications of state revenue, and limits on state spending. Examines cost drivers in the state budget, primarily in three areas: education, health care, and transportation.
  • "A medical school for the community." By Jessica Bylander. Health Affairs, November 2018, pp. 1732-1735.
    Tells the story of the formation of University of Texas at Austin's Dell Medical School, noting Senator Kirk Watson's role in promoting its funding. Describes how the school reaches out to Austin's poorest residents and its innovative condition-specific bundled payment model.
  • "How many seniors live in poverty?" By Juliette Cubanski, et al. Internet Resource, November 2018, pp. 1-18.
    Analyzes data on poverty rates among older adults in the United States, comparing results using the official poverty measure and the Supplemental Poverty Measure [SPM]. Notes that based on the SPM, at least fifteen percent of people ages 65 and older live in poverty in nine states, including Texas.
  • "Curbing surprise medical bills can be a window into cost control." By Andrew B. Bindman. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), November 27, 2018, pp. 2065-2066.
    Describes the problem of surprise medical bills and notes that some states have passed laws to protect patients. Points out that setting a limit on what both patients and insurers pay health care providers and facilities for out-of-network services could help combat hospitals' anti-competitive practices and result in lower costs for patients.
  • "Millennials under the microscope: Who they are, and how they'll change America." By William H. Frey. Milken Institute Review, 4th Quarter 2018, pp. 64-83.
    Analyzes the demographics of the millennial generation, including size and diversity, language, immigration status, education, homeownership, financial security, and residence in large metropolitan areas. Focuses on the importance of the racial and ethnic diversity of millennials.
  • "The economic forecast for Texas." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Presents the state's economic forecast for the 2017 to 2022 period. Projects Texas will outpace the nation over the next five years, continuing its upward trend.
  • "Putting the public back into public accountability." By Derek Gottlieb and Jack Schneider. Phi Delta Kappan, November 2018, pp. 29-32.
    Concludes current school accountability systems fail to meaningfully engage the public. Proposes an evaluation system should include the public in defining a broad set of education aims, conducting evaluations, and charting a course for needed improvements.
  • "Utilities and the smart city: Building better communities." By Susan Partain and Paul Ciampoli. Public Power, November/December 2018, pp. 16-23.
    Provides examples of public power utilities that are helping lead smart city projects to help improve their communities, including CPS Energy in San Antonio.
  • "A gamble on sports." By Jackson Brainerd. State Legislatures, November/December 2018, pp. 42-44.
    Discusses policy concerns relating to state legalization and regulation of sports betting.
  • "Texas growers testify, stress need for eminent domain reform." By Jennifer Dorsett. Texas Agriculture, November 2, 2018, p. 18.
    Discusses the Texas Farm Bureau's legislative agenda for the 86th Legislature, which calls for reforms to how eminent domain proceedings are conducted between private companies and landowners.
  • "How population, economic growth will impact eminent domain law." By Luke Ellis and Justin Hodge. Texas Lawyer, December 2018, pp. 18, 20.
    Discusses the challenges presented in balancing the government's need to expand public infrastructure with the need to protect property rights. Illustrates how a shared border with Mexico, a thriving oil and gas economy, and population growth are creating eminent domain issues in federal and state courts.
  • "CPS Energy launches solar energy and battery storage project." Texas Public Power, October 2018, pp. 1, 8.
    Details CPS Energy's latest project involving battery storage, which received a grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to help pay for some of the costs. Related information at: https://www.cpsenergy.com/flexiblepath and https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp/
    ntig.html
    .

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 December 10

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.

 

December 10

Senate Committee on Business & Commerce 

Topic: Update from appropriate agencies, industry stakeholders and consumer groups related to market competition, consolidation practices and federal orders affecting the Texas health insurance marketplace

Topic: Texas Department of Insurance update on Hurricane Harvey related property and casualty insurance claims data analysis

 

December 12

Staff presentation and public testimony:

 

December 13

Commission decisions:

Staff presentation and public testimony:

Updated Exhibit: Legislator/Artist

Learn about the creative side of some Texas legislators in our recently updated "Legislator/Artist" exhibit. 

 

See a painting by Sen. Craig Estes (77th–85th Legislatures) and drawings—on Texas legislature subjects—by Reps. Neil Caldwell (56th–64th Legislatures) and Louis H. Scholl (34th–35th Legislatures).

 

Know of any other legislators, past or present, who have artistic talents? Let us know so we can add their work to our display!

 

Cover image ("Jack passed his court bill") by Rep. Neil Caldwell. Reproduced from Inside the Texas Legislature with State Representative Neil Caldwell, 1969.