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

  • Explore salary data from thousands of colleges. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, accessed February 28, 2018)
  • Consider whether nutrition labeling on restaurant menus and vending machine items has affected the nation's obesity crisis. (Congressional Research Service, February 5, 2018)
  • Find laws state by state and federal law on recording conversations. (Matthiesen, Wickert, & Lehrer, S.C., January 3, 2018)
  • Read about mobile device addiction in children and parents. (USA Today, February 22, 2018)

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

  • "Top 5 issues 2018." By John Mountjoy, et al. Capitol Ideas, January/February 2018, pp. 7-25.
    Previews the top five issues facing states in 2018 in the policy areas of education, energy and environment, fiscal and economic development, federal affairs, health, international affairs, transportation, workforce development, and agriculture. Includes Medicaid waivers, infrastructure, the opioid epidemic, and the 2018 farm bill reauthorization.
  • "What does it mean to be evangelical?" Christian Science Monitor, January 29, 2018, pp. 18-20.
    Examines the historical, political, and cultural roots of Christian evangelicals and considers whether the current political identification is doing harm to the religious identification.
  • "Developers have built it, but will hyperscale hop on the DFW bandwagon?; Top 10 projects in DFW." By Candace Carlisle. Dallas Business Journal, February 16, 2018, pp. 16-17, 20-21.
    Profiles the North Texas data center market and how it compares across the nation.
  • "Harassment a pressing issue for schools." By Stephen Sawchuck. Education Week, February 7, 2018, pp. 1, 17.
    Reports the #MeToo movement has raised awareness of sexual harassment in the K-12 environment and few schools address the topic with their students. Suggests there is need for sex education that includes discussion of healthy relationships and sexual consent, noting California is currently the only state that requires schools to address consent.
  • "States are teaching flawed lessons on slavery, says study." By Stephen Sawchuck. Education Week, February 7, 2018, p. 10.
    Discusses study conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center on how slavery is taught in schools in the United States. Concludes schools are failing to teach fundamental aspects of history based on ten key concepts on slavery used in the study to evaluate content standards, textbooks, and teacher/student experiences.
  • "Open for business: Trump's tenants." By Dan Alexander and Matt Drange. Forbes, February 28, 2018, pp. 88, 90-95.
    Assembles a first-of-its-kind look at who is paying rent to President Trump, tracking how many millions are involved and possible conflicts of interest.
  • "Medicaid versus Marketplace coverage for near-poor adults: effects on out-of-pocket spending and coverage." By Fredric Blavin, et al. Health Affairs, February 2018, pp. 299-307.
    Reports that more restrictive eligibility and enrollment policies, combined with higher premiums for Marketplace coverage relative to Medicaid, led to lower insurance enrollment rates and higher out-of-pocket spending for near-poor adults.
  • "The problem with work requirements for Medicaid." By Aaron E. Carroll. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), February 20, 2018, pp. 646-647.
    Argues that the number of Medicaid recipients who could work but choose not to is small, and therefore, imposing work requirements for Medicaid would result in increased administrative costs that likely would not be balanced by increased savings.
  • "2017 legislative changes in incentive programs." By Betty W. McIntosh, Jane Orlin, and Brooklin Salemi. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, February 2018, pp. 28-33.
    Highlights recent legislation in four states creating new tax credits and economic development incentives, including Arkansas' new sales and use tax exemptions, job tax credits in Arizona and Georgia, and New Jersey's incentives aimed at expanding the retail and service industries.
  • "Easing the burden: why paid family leave policies are gaining steam." By Maya Rossin-Slater. Policy Brief (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research), February 2018, pp. 1-6.
    Describes current research on the impacts of paid family leave on workers, children, and employers.
  • "Net neutrality debate rages on: can we agree on ground rules for debate?" By Stephen Goodman. Public Utilities Fortnightly, February 2018, pp. 69, 73.
    Provides perspectives on the latest developments in the net neutrality debate.
    Related information at: and
  • "Making the Fairness Doctrine great again." By Thomas Hazlett. Reason, March 2018, pp. 34-39.
    Discusses the history of regulatory policies dedicated to furthering "the public interest" in media and how this will affect new information markets. Argues ideological diversity is improved with fewer public interest rules.
  • "Too big to fine, too small to fight back." By Naveena Sadasivam. Texas Observer, Feb./March 2018, pp.12-21.
    Investigates enforcement activity of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality [TCEQ] from 2009 to 2017. Reports there is a significant disparity in penalties levied by TCEQ: small gas station owners often face steep fines for minor recordkeeping violations while large industrial facilities pay low or no fines for pollution violations.

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.