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

  • Explore health system performance in Texas. (The Commonwealth Fund, ©2018)
  • Examine human trafficking laws and support systems for survivors. (National Conference of State Legislatures, May 31, 2018)
  • Read about electronic storage detection dogs. (CNET, June 11, 2018)
  • Track drought conditions in Texas. (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, June 2018)

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

  • "Defendant's choice." By Lorelei Laird. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, June 2018, pp. 18-19.
    Highlights the results of Comal County's experiment to let indigent clients choose their own court-approved lawyer instead of using the traditional "wheel" system in which the next lawyer on the list is appointed.
  • "Assessing the House opioid package's Medicaid bills: While some advance access to treatment, one raises serious concerns." By Anna Bailey, et al. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, June 11, 2018, pp. 1-7.
    Summarizes several bills in the United States House of Representatives that would address the opioid epidemic. Discusses potential changes to Medicaid that could improve substance use disorder provider capacity and reduce insurance coverage gaps.
  • "Medicine: From A&E to AI." Economist, June 9th-15th, 2018, pp. 68-69.
    Reports on several projects that aim to use artificial intelligence to improve diagnoses and the speed and precision of medical treatments.
  • "Santa Fe shooting sparks debate on school design." By Evie Blad. Education Week, May 30, 2018, p. 13.
    Discusses the design of architecturally safer schools in light of the recent shooting at Santa Fe High School. Addresses both unobtrusive safety measures and aggressive physical security measures. Mentions Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
  • "Interpreting the complexities of the cooperative 'fix.'" Ethanol Today, May/June 2018, pp. 16-17.
    Examines the change to Section 199A in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1/text.
  • "How to prepare your office for an active shooter." By Jackie Ford. Houston Business Journal, June 7, 2018, p. 18.
    Outlines several steps employers can take to reduce the likelihood of workplace violence.
  • "As overdoses climb, emergency departments begin treating opioid use disorder." By Rita Rubin. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), June 5, 2018, pp. 2158-2160.
    Reports on the increase in hospital emergency departments that are undergoing the federally required training to dispense buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid use disorder. Explains that without this training, emergency departments could not initiate medication-assisted addiction treatment.
  • "Incarcerated immigrants in 2016: Their numbers, demographics, and countries of origin." By Alex Nowrasteh and Michelangelo Landgrave. Policy Brief (CATO Institute), June 4, 2018, pp. 1-8.
    Finds that immigrants — legal and illegal — are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans. Points out that illegal and legal immigrants who immigrate at a younger age — ages 0 to 17 — are more likely to be incarcerated as adults.
  • "When your community wants renewables: Making changes, meeting demand." By John Egan. Public Power, May-June 2018, pp. 37-41.
    Highlights ways that public power utilities are improving customers' access to renewable power. Includes examples, such as the Georgetown Utility Systems in Georgetown, Texas.
  • "Scientists aim to smoke out wildfire impacts." By Warren Cornwall. Science, June 1, 2018, pp. 948-949.
    Discusses how researchers plan to study wildfire smoke plumes during the summer in the western United States.
  • "Teacher pay is a problem." By Michelle Exstrom. State Legislatures, June 2018, pp. 22-23.
    Considers recent efforts by state legislatures to address teacher salaries and teacher turnover. Notes the percentage of teachers in each state who hold second jobs.
  • "Children with autism left behind by low Medicaid rates." By Michael Ollove. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), June 12, 2018, pp. 1-6.
    Highlights two class action federal lawsuits that may open a new and effective strategy to challenge low Medicaid reimbursement rates, which have a substantial impact on children's access to medically necessary and legally required treatment.
  • "Swat team." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, June 2018, pp. 20-25.
    Explains the need for better education of and by physicians on vector-borne illnesses (diseases that are spread by bugs). Notes that vector-borne illnesses often are misdiagnosed and are underreported. Cites HB2055, 84th Legislature, and HB3576 and SB570, 85th Legislature, R.S., that addressed these problems (and notes setbacks with funding and vetoes).
  • "Pension fund health relies on employer contributions." By Max Patterson. TEXPERS Pension Observer, Vol. 2 2018, pp. 5, 7.
    Highlights a recent Texas Public Policy Foundation panel on public pension reform, which included Representative Dan Flynn and Senator Royce West.
  • "This man wants to be on birth control." By Alexandra Sifferlin. Time, June 18, 2018, pp. 38-43.
    Discusses recent research being conducted on new hormonal and non-hormonal contraceptive methods for men.

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.