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Current Articles & Research Resources, May 17

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

  • Examine data sets and maps related to wind turbines in the U.S.  (The United States Wind Turbine Database, accessed May 16, 2018)
  • Explore the comprehensive online source for information about voting in Texas. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed May 16, 2018)
  • Find out about air quality in your area. (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, accessed May 16, 2018)
  • Read about President Trump's federal court nominations during the first year of his term. (Congressional Research Service, May 2, 2018)

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

  • "Oil and gas rebound powers GDP growth." By Daniel Salazar. Austin Business Journal, May 11, 2018, p. 12.
    Reports strong mining and construction sectors fueled Texas' gross domestic product [GDP] growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, leading all other states. Estimates GDP will grow about 4.2 percent in 2018, but warns policy missteps in international trade could hurt export-dependent states. Related information at:
  • "Helping manufacturing-intensive communities: What works?" By Timothy J. Bartik. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, May 9, 2018, pp. 1-17.
    Discusses economic development in communities with above-average shares of manufacturing. Outlines three cost-effective ways to promote manufacturing job growth, including expansion of services to small and medium-sized manufacturers, infrastructure and land investment, and public spending on job training programs.
  • "In Kentucky, a test of Medicaid rules." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, May 7, 2018, pp. 18-20.
    Examines the procedures and rules Kentucky is using to re-design its Medicaid program and become the first state to enforce work and community engagement requirements on a portion of Medicaid recipients. Related information at:
  • "A university in Texas promised scholarships to 50 Nepali students. Then it revoked the offer." Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2018, pp. A20-A21.
    Highlights the recent "oversight" that caused the University of Texas at Tyler to rescind offers to 50 Nepali students of full-ride scholarships the university could not afford.
  • "Efforts to stop human trafficking." By Beth A. Williams. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Spring 2018, pp. 623-629.
    Explains the federal government's approach to stopping human trafficking. Describes efforts across the country to apprehend and prosecute human traffickers and provide assistance to human trafficking victims.
  • "Renewable power cos. see potential home in Houston." Houston Business Journal, May 3, 2018, pp. 18-19.
    Examines Houston's future as the home of leading companies in the renewable energy industry.
  • "EIA's estimates for Texas crude oil production account for incomplete state data." By Emily Geary and Jess Biercevicz. Internet Resource, March 26, 2018, pp. 1-2.
    Reports that there are differences in the data published by the United States Energy Information Administration and by the Texas Railroad Commission for crude oil and lease condensate production, which indicates differences in the treatment of incomplete and lagged data. Includes an example of recently reported data and explains why this may occur. Related information at:
  • "Hurricane Harvey: The experiences of immigrants living in the Texas Gulf Coast." By Bryan Wu, et al. Internet Resource, March 2018, pp. 1-12.
    Surveys immigrants living in the Texas Gulf Coast region to better understand their experiences with Hurricane Harvey and improve ongoing and future disaster recovery efforts among this particularly vulnerable population.
  • "Rating teacher-preparation programs: Can value-added make useful distinctions?" By Paul T. von Hippel and Laura Bellows. Internet Resource, Summer 2018, pp. 1-8.
    Examines the effectiveness of ranking teacher-preparation programs based on teachers' "value-added" to student testing scores. Re-analyzes prior evaluations of teacher-preparation programs from six locations, including Texas.
  • "Weather alert: Move forward on clean energy." By Jim Murphy. Natural Resources & Environment, Spring 2018, pp. 52-53.
    Observes that weather-related disasters around the world are becoming more common and more severe. Suggests that relying more on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar provides for a more stable and secure energy supply.
  • "Emergency preparedness: Resiliency is key to effective disaster planning." By Sarah A. Deslauriers. Opflow, March 2018, pp. 26-28.
    Argues that water utilities need to develop contingency plans to prepare for and respond to extreme weather events that could negatively impact operations and reliable service. Refers to a resource from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Related information at:
  • "Powering into the future." By Glen Andersen. State Legislatures, May 2018, pp. 24-25, 27.
    Considers the costs and challenges involved in modernizing existing electricity distribution infrastructure to accommodate technological advancements and a rapidly changing energy market.
  • "This jobs program just might get people back to work." By Sophie Quinton. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), May 9, 2018, pp. 1-6.
    Discusses new federal law, part of the Bipartisan Budget Act, which will require states participating in the reemployment grant program to create evidence-based programs that improve employment outcomes of people who receive unemployment compensation and reduce their time receiving benefits. Highlights Nevada's successful model. Related information at: and
  • "Finding ways to save new moms." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, May 2018, pp. 36-38.
    Explores work by the Texas Medical Association's Maternal Health Congress, the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force, and the Texas Department of State Health Services, to understand better Texas' maternal mortality rate and identify proposed actions.
  • "The interview: The map master Michael Li." By Michael Barajas. Texas Observer, April/May 2018, pp. 10-11.
    Interviews Michael Li, Senior Counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program and author of the Texas Redistricting and Election Law blog, on the upcoming Texas redistricting case to be heard by the United States Supreme Court. Provides background information on redistricting litigation in Texas.

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.