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

  • See which airports have the least secure Wi-Fi. (Fortune, July 18, 2018)
  • Review the EPA's assessment of the response to the Flint water crisis. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, July 19, 2018)
  • Read about Google's Chrome browser flagging sites that don't use HTTPS. (ZDNet, July 24, 2018)
  • Consider U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's answers to questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee. (U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, July 21, 2018)
  • Explore a visual representation of spending on health care in the United States. (California Health Care Foundation, April 6, 2018)

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

  • "Security retrofit." By Charles Sosnik. American School Board Journal, August 2018, pp. 24-26.
    Offers suggestions on how older school buildings can be renovated to improve security and reduce incidents of school shootings.
  • "Employment and wages: Labour party." Economist, July 14th-20th, 2018, pp. 25-26.
    Explains the benefits of labor shortages. Suggests that a labor market in which firms must compete for workers should help resolve America's biggest economic problems — inadequate wage growth and slow productivity growth.
  • "Physicians' participation in Medicaid increased only slightly following expansion." By Hannah T. Neprash, et al. Health Affairs, July 2018, pp. 1087-1091.
    Provides data and analysis on primary care physician participation in Medicaid before and after the 2014 expansion. Reports that most physicians in expansion states maintained or slightly increased their Medicaid participation; there was no significant change among physicians in non-expansion states.
  • "Work to protect landowners from eminent domain laws continues." By Robert McKnight. Houston Business Journal, July 19, 2018, p. 46.
    Summarizes the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association's efforts related to eminent domain.
  • "Sales tax holidays: An ineffective alternative to real sales tax reform." By Dylan Grundman. Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, July 2018, pp. 1-5.
    Finds that sales tax holidays are poorly targeted and too temporary to change the regressive nature of a state's tax system in a substantial way.
  • "Trends and characteristics of occupational suicide and homicide in farmers and agriculture workers, 1992–2010." By Wendy Ringgenberg, et al. Journal of Rural Health, Summer 2018, pp. 246-253.
    Identifies patterns specific to suicide and homicide rates in the agricultural industry to aid in targeting prevention strategies.
  • "Red-state rumblings: After nearly a decade of Republican anti-tax 'experiments,' are voters fed up with being the guinea pigs?" By Bryce Covert. Nation, July 30/August 6, 2018, pp. 20-24.
    Examines the effects of recent large-scale tax cuts in Oklahoma, Kansas, and other Republican-led states on teachers, school funding, business creation, and job growth. Comments on the ensuing backlash by teachers in Oklahoma.
  • "Life after Roe." By Ramesh Ponnuru. National Review, July 30, 2018, pp. 14-15.
    Considers potential changes to the political landscape if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Predicts Congress would likely deadlock on any new laws, and therefore, state supreme courts and state legislatures would possibly control a variety of new laws.
  • "The big question." By Joshua Rothman. New Yorker, July 23, 2018, pp. 26-28, 30, 32.
    Discusses a variety of books and studies that explain why our "intuitive comparisons between the past and the present are unreliable," with many polls showing people believe the past was better despite data to the contrary. Suggests this view has affected our politics.
  • "Source water protection: Pursue sustainability to protect source water." By Adam West. Opflow, June 2018, pp. 20-23.
    Provides a case study of a water utility in Arkansas that uses sustainability principles and best practices to support water source protection efforts.
  • "How labor regulation harms unskilled workers." By Warren Meyer. Regulation (CATO Institute), Summer 2018, pp. 44-50.
    Suggests mass government regulation that raises the price of labor and limits business growth will prompt employers to turn to fewer, higher-skilled workers and automation.
  • "Autonomous vehicles: No driver ... no regulation?" By Joan Claybrook and Shaun Kildare. Science, July 6, 2018, pp. 36-37.
    Discusses autonomous vehicle [AV] technology and calls for some regulation of AVs. Points out recent fatal crashes involving AVs and explains that voluntary federal guidelines fall short of addressing the public's concerns about AVs.
  • "Finding common ground: School safety." By Ben Erwin. State Legislatures, July/August 2018, pp. 22-25.
    Reports on the different approaches state legislatures are taking to address school safety concerns. Notes more than 200 school safety bills and resolutions have been proposed since the shootings in Parkland, Florida.
  • "H-town: Houston and hurricanes." By Robert W. Gilmer. Tierra Grande, July 2018, pp. 6-9.
    Discusses the economic impact of eight major storms, including Hurricane Harvey, on Houston. Argues Houston's economy has proven resilient but flood management and infrastructure continue to be a challenge.

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.