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

  • Follow how Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts are progressing. (Rebuild Texas, January 29, 2018)
  • Read about American satisfaction with the federal government. (American Customer Satisfaction Index, January 30, 2018)
  • Learn what information Google tracks on Android users. (Quartz, January 24, 2018)
  • See where Texas ranks among states susceptible to cybercrime. (Website Builder Expert, January 2, 2018)
  • Consider the legalization of sports betting. (Stateline, January 31, 2018)

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

  • "Doctors' payments incite debate." By Will Anderson. Austin Business Journal, January 19, 2018, pp. 4-5.
    Questions whether the billions in annual payments from drug and medical device companies to doctors are really supporting innovative research in the health care sector and advancements in treatment.
  • "Investing in our future: what you need to know as Texas re-examines the school finance system." By Chandra Villanueva. Center for Public Policy Priorities, January 2018, pp. 1-6.
    Provides background on past school finance commissions, the strengths and challenges of the current finance system, and recommendations for improvements.
  • "Teacher salaries need to be higher!" Classroom Teacher (Texas Classroom Teachers Association), Winter 2017-18, p. 9.
    Details teacher salary legislation proposed during the special session of the 85th Texas Legislature. Examines why these bills failed to pass.
  • "Building a wall of anxiety." By Rebecca Adams. CQ Weekly, January 22, 2018, pp. 14-24.
    Discusses how President Trump's changing immigration policies affect immigrant health care. Reports both legal and undocumented immigrants are avoiding medical treatment and vaccinations for fear of arrest or deportation.
  • "Disaster insurance: storm-tossed." Economist, January 13th-19th, 2018, pp. 67-68.
    Reports insured worldwide natural-catastrophe losses hit an all-time high of $135 billion in 2017. Notes total losses, including uninsured ones, reached $330 billion.
  • "The oil price: crude thinking." Economist, January 20th-26th, 2018, pp. 63-65.
    Discusses the ups and downs in the oil price and its changing influence on the world economy.
  • "Ed. Department finds Texas suppressed spec. ed. enrollment." By Christina A. Samuels. Education Week, January 17, 2018, p. 6.
    Presents the United States Department of Education's findings that Texas violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] by placing barriers in the path of children who qualified for special education.
  • "Child support in the age of complex families." By Kathryn Edin. Issues in Science and Technology, Winter 2018, pp. 38-45.
    Examines aspects of how child support is provided in families characterized by unmarried parents and economic instability.
  • "Lessons from the opioid epidemic to reinvigorate tobacco control initiatives." By Ilana Richman and Harlan M. Krumholz. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), January 23/30, 2018, pp. 339-340.
    Suggests that campaigns for tobacco control should be renewed and perhaps paired with efforts to address the opioid epidemic. Notes that deaths attributed to secondhand smoke exposure alone exceeds the number of Unites States residents who die of an opioid overdose in one year.
  • "Where the jobs are." By Michael Hendrix. National Review, February 5, 2018, pp. 19-20.
    Examines rising wages and demand for workers in urban areas such as Austin and Plano, but states smaller metro and rural areas are not seeing the same robust growth. Contrasts the different factors at play and forecasts the situation for 2018.
  • "No refuge." By Sarah Stillman. New Yorker, January 15, 2018, pp. 32-43.
    Highlights the case of Maria S. v. John Doe , involving a young woman living in Texas who was deported and later found dead. Describes the plight of many asylum seekers who are sent back to their native countries despite threats of danger to them.
  • "Look who's coming to town: partnerships bring in big business." By Jessica Porter. Public Power, November/December 2017, pp. 26-31.
    Points out a couple of ways public power utilities are working to draw big businesses to their communities.
  • "Everyone benefits from EV managed charging: commissioners can alleviate EV growing pains." By Tanuj Deora and Erika Myers. Public Utilities Fortnightly, January 2018, pp. 27, 55.
    Argues that, by implementing managed charging programs, utilities can reduce stress that electric vehicles [EVs] will add to the grid. Includes lessons learned from EV state pilot programs and explores benefits of managed charging.
  • "Harris County faces challenges following Hurricane Harvey deluge." Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Fourth Quarter 2017, pp. 8-9.
    Presents a conversation with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on the aftermath and economic impact of Hurricane Harvey, business and residential disruption from the storm, and Emmett's recently announced 15-point flood control proposal.
    Related information at:
  • "Leading indicators, storm data guide Houston economic forecast." By Jesse Thompson. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Fourth Quarter 2017, pp. 10-13.
    Forecasts Houston's post-Hurricane Harvey employment growth using economic models that incorporate storm damage data and leading economic indicators. Discusses the high job growth and volatility of Houston's metro area economy.
  • "The tipping point." By Jackson Brainerd. State Legislatures, February 2018, pp. 20-23.
    Reports on recent state legislative action to limit exemptions that allow certain groups to be paid less than the federal or state minimum wage.

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.