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Current Articles & Research Resources, June 21

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

  • Explore housing and homeownership trends. (Joint Center for Housing Studies, June 2018)
  • Review the definitions of "rural" in the Texas statutes and rules. (Texas Legislative Council, June 2018)
  • Consider the economic aspects of groundwater in Texas. (Texas Water Journal, May 21, 2018)
  • Explore sheriffs' fees by county. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed June 21, 2018)

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

  • "Solar energy: On the solarcoaster." Economist, June 16th-22nd, 2018, pp. 53-55.
    Examines whether the global solar (photovoltaic) industry can survive without subsidies.
  • "Voting: Multiple choice." Economist, June 16th-22nd, 2018, pp. 21-22.
    Discusses Maine's first statewide election using ranked-choice voting [RCV], where voters rank the entire field by preference, from first to last, rather than voting for a single candidate. Considers the pros and cons of RCV elections.
  • "Ready for shooter? Some school police say no." By Evie Blad. Education Week, June 6, 2018, pp. 1, 11-13.
    Discusses results of national survey conducted of school resource officers by Education Week Research Center. Reports on how prepared these officers feel they are for active-shooter situations in schools. Mentions Governor Greg Abbott. Report at:
  • "Schools see new dilemma in teens who cyberbully themselves." By Sasha Jones. Education Week, May 30, 2018, p. 18.
    Addresses digital self-harm in schools, a new form of expression that some students are using to cope with emotional pain and self-hatred. Discusses the difficulty school officials are having assisting students who are cyberbullying themselves.
  • "Frequent emergency department users: A statewide comparison before and after Affordable Care Act implementation." By Shannon McConville, et al. Health Affairs, June 2018, pp. 881-889.
    Reports that the likelihood of being a frequent emergency department [ED] user decreased in the two years following implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Notes that the largest predictors of frequent ED use included having a diagnosis of a mental health condition or a substance use disorder.
  • "Texas residents’ views on state and national health policy priorities." By Liz Hamel, et al. Internet Resource, June 2018, pp. 1-16.
    Reports that according to a 2018 Texas Health Policy Survey, over half of Texans wanted the state legislature to increase spending on health care programs, and two-thirds of Texans said the state should expand its Medicaid program and better ensure that low-income adults can get the health care they need.
  • "The ethics of Medicaid's work requirements and other personal responsibility policies." By Harald Schmidt and Allison K. Hoffman. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), June 12, 2018, pp. 2265-2266.
    Recommends safeguards the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should put in place for states implementing work requirements, to ensure they are prioritizing protecting health over political goals.
  • "Vital signs: Trends in state suicide rates — United States, 1999–2016 and circumstances contributing to suicide — 27 states, 2015." By Deborah M. Stone, et al. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), June 8, 2018, pp. 1-8.
    Reports that during 1999-2016, suicide rates increased in nearly every state. Includes a map that indicates Texas' rate increased in the 19 to 30 percent range.
  • "Finished water: Zero-discharge treatment plant converts brackish wastewater to extend Texas drinking water supply." Opflow, May 2018, p. 40.
    Highlights the El Paso Full Recovery Desalination Plant.
  • "Multiservice utilities: A one-stop shop for communities." Public Power, May-June 2018, pp. 28, 30-32.
    Explores benefits and challenges to public power utilities that are multiservice providers for their communities.
  • "How to (legally) make your own off-the-books handgun." By Mark McDaniel. Reason, July 2018, pp. 47-52.
    Discusses the considerations the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives uses in determining whether specific gun parts fall under the definition of a firearm. Provides instructions for assembling a Glock 17 handgun and suggests debates over gun control that focus on commercial manufacture may be futile when considering such homemade weapons.
  • "Federal bill would limit opioid scrips for acute pain." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, June 2018, pp. 42-44.
    Discusses proposed three-day limit on opioid prescriptions for acute pain that is part of United States Senate Bill 2456, also known as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0. Includes opinions from pain doctors on the measure.
  • "Rate case scheduling rule adopted." Texas Public Power, May 2018, p. 4.
    Provides an update on a rule the Public Utilities Commission of Texas adopted at their April 12 meeting. Related information at:
  • "System benefit repeal." Texas Public Power, May 2018, pp. 4-5.
    Reports that the Public Utilities Commission of Texas approved a proposal repealing and amending rules regarding the System Benefit Fund, which was previously eliminated by the Legislature. Related information at:

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.