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Current Articles & Research Resources, June 28

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

  • Read about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision related to cell phone location tracking and Fourth Amendment rights. (Electronic Frontier Foundation, June 22, 2018)
  • Consider recent facts about the death penalty in the U.S. and around the world. (Pew Research Center, June 27, 2018)
  • Check on the water quality before heading to Texas' beaches. (Texas General Land Office, accessed June 27, 2018)
  • Review the 2018 Kids Count Data Book. (Annie E. Casey Foundation, June 27, 2018)

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

  • "Investigations, subpoenas, fines: City unveils details on how new sick-leave ordinance could be enforced." By Daniel Salazar. Austin Business Journal, June 22, 2018, p. 10.
    Discusses the proposed rules for implementing the administrative, investigation, and civil penalty assessment provisions of Austin's Earned Sick Time ordinance, which becomes effective beginning October 1, 2018. Related document at:
  • "Four states with robust prescription drug monitoring programs reduced opioid dosages." By Rebecca L. Haffajee, et al. Health Affairs, June 2018, pp. 964-974.
    Examines state prescription drug monitoring programs [PDMPs] and the implementation by four states of robust registration and use mandates. Reports that robust PDMPs may be able to significantly reduce opioid dosages dispensed, percentages of patients receiving opioids, and high-risk prescribing. 
  • "Wind and solar energy will keep power prices low and avoid blackouts." By Meghan Nutting. Houston Business Journal, June 15, 2018, p. 42.
    Examines the advantages of renewable energy technologies over older, costlier, and polluting technologies. Discusses how solar energy can reduce the likelihood of blackouts during heat waves and how wind farms can operate during heavy storms to deliver continuous power. 
  • "Many recommend teaching mental health in schools. Now two states will require it." By Christine Vestal. Internet Resource, June 15, 2018, pp. 1-7.
    Discusses the inclusion of mental health education in public schools. Reports New York recently enacted legislation that requires mental health instruction in K-12 grades; Virginia now requires it in the ninth and tenth grades. Notes Texas is one of twenty states that does not require counselors in public schools.
  • "Redefining disability." By Robert Verbruggen. National Review, June 25, 2018, pp. 30-32.
    Argues the current disability system needs to be reformed. Explores the advantages of temporary or partial benefits and of holding employers accountable for their workers' claims. 
  • "Under fire." By Jim Geraghty. National Review, June 25, 2018, pp. 16-17.
    Reviews the National Rifle Association's successes and setbacks in furthering their agenda at both the federal and state levels. 
  • "Security: Technology advances expand water system security options." By Nelson Mix, et al.  Opflow, May 2018, pp. 10-14.
    Profiles several enhanced technologies that provide new opportunities for water utilities to upgrade and improve security monitoring.
  • "The economic forecast for Texas." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Presents the state's economic forecast for the next five years. Indicates the state economy will continue its upward trend and will outpace the national economy. 
  • "We're still competing: Perspectives on competition from regulation veteran." Public Utilities Fortnightly, June 1, 2018, pp. 32-35.
    Shares the perspective of the former Texas Public Utilities Commission Chair Barry Smitherman regarding competition and transmission in the energy market, as well as the future of the electric power industry. Related document at:
  • "Innocent until proven guilty, but only if you can pay." By Scott Shackford. Reason, August/September 2018, pp. 22-29.
    Discusses the cash bail system, which makes it more likely that poor defendants will be imprisoned while they await trial. Explains various attempts at reform, including the recent Harris County lawsuit, and identifies unintended consequences that might occur. Related document at:
  • "Lien on me." By John Council. Texas Lawyer, July 2018, pp. 24-26.
    Comments on recent Texas Supreme Court decision, In re North Cypress Medical Center Operating Co., Ltd., relating to medical billing disputes. Considers the decision's impact on health care price transparency. Related document at:
  • "TMA: TMB should stop hiding experts' reviews of complaints." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, June 2018, pp. 12-13.
    Reports on the Texas Medical Association's [TMA] testimony before the Sunset Advisory Commission's April hearing on the Texas Medical Board [TMB]. Highlights the TMA's recommendations for amending how the TMB handles complaints against physicians. 

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.