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: and

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.