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

  • Consider election security issues related to the 2018 midterm elections. (Congressional Research Service, August 16, 2018)
  • Explore safe bicycle passing laws by state. (National Conference of State Legislatures, August 2018)
  • Review the updated Certification Revenue Estimate. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, July 2018)
  • Sign up for the Capitol Complex plan newsletter for updates on construction and parking around the Capitol. (Texas Facilities Commission, accessed August 29, 2018)

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

  • "21st century cures for the opioid crisis: Promise, impact, and missed opportunities." By Leo Beletsky. American Journal of Law & Medicine, 2018, pp. 359-385.
    Analyzes the impact of the opioid crisis response elements of the 21st Century Cures Act. Includes examination of the Opioid State Targeted Response [STR] grant mechanism and its implementation by different states.
  • "How Medicaid work requirements will harm rural residents – and communities." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 22, 2018, pp. 1-2.
    Outlines briefly the potential effect of Medicaid work requirements on rural health coverage and access to rural health care.
  • "Improving customer service in health and human services through technology." By Sonal Ambegaokar, Rachael Podesfinski, and Jennifer Wagner. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 23, 2018, pp. 1-29.
    Examines the new phase of "client-facing technology" to streamline state and local government administration of eligibility, enrollment, and case management of programs supporting low-income families. Describes best practices by technology, including web-based tools, mobile-based technology, and call center tools.
  • "Carmaking in America: Rocky road ahead." Economist, August 25th-31st, 2018, pp. 51-52.
    Examines how the automobile industry is coping with the Trump administration's ongoing trade wars and President Trump's threats to impose a 25 percent tariff on all car imports.
  • "Construction technology: A bridge too far." Economist, August 18th-24th, 2018, pp. 67-68.
    Reports concerns that many bridges around the world that use reinforced concrete are deteriorating faster than expected. Report at:
  • "Florida to create new database to stop school shootings." By Benjamin Herold. Education Week, August 22, 2018, p. 13.
    Addresses a new centralized database created by lawmakers in Florida as a means to prevent school shootings. Argues the law, which includes information from social media accounts, is vague and lacks adequate safeguards to protect the privacy and civil liberties of people.
  • "The deportation racket: Con artists are preying on undocumented immigrants in detention." By Micah Hauser. Harper's Magazine, September 2018, pp. 59-65.
    Describes the problem of notario fraud, including a legal scam perpetrated by a couple in Texas and the subsequent investigation by the Texas Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division. Notes Texas has been particularly aggressive in pursuing notario fraudsters under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  • "Direct primary care: One step forward, two steps back." By Eli Y. Adashi, Ryan P. Clodfelter, and Paul George. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 21, 2018, pp. 637-638.
    Explores the pros and cons of direct primary care [DPC], in which patients contract directly with a primary care physician to pay a recurring out-of-pocket fee in exchange for a defined set of primary care benefits. Argues that while the premises of DPC are good, it is not a scalable model to achieve systemic cost savings in health care payment reform.
  • "Senate GOP bill would amend key section of the Clean Water Act." By Nick Snow. Oil and Gas Journal, August 6, 2018, pp. 22-23.
    Describes recently introduced federal legislation, the Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2018, that would affect individual states under the Clean Water Act. Related information at:
  • "Shipping, market constraints poised to slow US crude export growth." By Christopher E. Smith. Oil and Gas Journal, August 6, 2018, pp. 53-56.
    Identifies current projects contributing to the accelerated growth of domestic crude exports, such as the expansion of the Port of Corpus Christi.
  • "Water quality: Data tools improve nutrient monitoring." By Karlin Danielsen, et al. Opflow, August 2018, pp. 16-19.
    Argues that real-time nutrient systems offer a way for communities to address algal blooms. Provides a case study of the application of this kind of technology to Lake Erie.
  • "FAA reauthorization: A step toward improving utility drone use." Public Power, July/August 2018, p. 42.
    Summarizes the drone provisions from introduced legislation related to the Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which would affect how utilities use drones. Related information at:
  • "Public health vs. private property in war on lead." By Rebecca Beitsch. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), August 23, 2018, pp. 1-8.
    Explains that conflicting rules regarding what can be done on public versus private property — and who can pay for it — present challenges for cities seeking to eliminate lead infrastructure within their water systems.

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.