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

  • Explore sunset reviews of occupational licensing in Texas and other states. (National Conference of State Legislatures, July 2018)
  • Consider the quality and safety of tap water in the U.S. (NPR, July 27, 2018)
  • Note the deadline to apply for an emergency grant to repair Hurricane Harvey damage to historic sites is August 15. (Texas Historical Commission, accessed August 8, 2018)
  • Look up at the night sky this weekend to see the Perseid meteor shower. (Mashable, August 8, 2018)

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

  • "Tear gas to tweets." By Jessica Mendoza. Christian Science Monitor, July 30, 2018, pp. 24-30.
    Examines how protest movements have evolved since 1968, from attempts to raise public awareness to promoting change within government through increased representation. Comments that despite well-intentioned laws and changes in public opinion, these movements still tend to coalesce around race, gender, and inequality.
  • "The Dallas tech surge: Demand is climbing — and so are paychecks." By Brian Womack. Dallas Business Journal, July 27, 2018, pp. 12-14.
    Discusses the rising cost of business for tech firms in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
  • "Pollution and the law: Prosecuting Flint." Economist, July 28th-August 3rd, 2018, pp. 21-22.
    Explains the types of lawsuits that have been filed in response to the Flint, Michigan water contamination crisis. Considers the extent to which government officials can be held accountable for their actions on the job.
  • "Electronic health records associated with lower hospital mortality after systems have time to mature." By Sunny C. Lin, Ashish K. Jha, and Julia Adler-Milstein. Health Affairs, July 2018, pp. 1128-1135.
    Suggests that national implementation of electronic health records [EHRs] in hospitals should yield improvements in mortality rates, but the investment will take time to be realized. Notes that small and nonteaching hospitals appear to have the most to gain.
  • "The role of community health centers in addressing the opioid epidemic." By Julia Zur, et al. Internet Resource, July 2018, pp. 1-12.
    Examines findings from a 2018 survey of community health centers on activities related to the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder [OUD]. Reports that most community health centers have seen an increase in the number of patients with OUD in the past three years, but they face many treatment capacity challenges in responding to the opioid epidemic.
  • "COST's principles of state business tax conformity with federal tax reform." By Douglas L. Lindholm, Karla Frieden, and Ferdinand Hogroian. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, August 2018, pp. 14-19.
    Summarizes the Council on State Taxation's [COST] principles of state business tax conformity with federal tax reform. Argues states should carefully analyze potential revenue changes and tax policy implications.
  • "Polysubstance abuse among adolescents in a low income, rural community: Latent classes for middle- and high-school students." By Roderick A. Rose, et al. Journal of Rural Health, Summer 2018, pp. 227-245.
    Examines rural adolescent substance use, noting that opioid misuse is associated with initiation of illicit drugs prior to age thirteen. Observes patterns of younger adolescents in certain groups turning to prescription drugs and inhalants.
  • "Fixing the hole when the rains come in: How to narrow the gap between coverage and damage in catastrophe insurance." Milken Institute Review, Third Quarter 2018, pp. 46-53.
    Discusses risk management in catastrophe insurance. Considers costs of natural disasters and the role of public policy to incentivize private financial institutions to manage risk.
  • "School district crisis preparedness, response, and recovery plans — United States, 2006, 2012, and 2016." By Judy Kruger, et al. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), August 3, 2018, pp. 809-814.
    Examines school districts' implementation of policies to improve school crisis preparedness, response, and recovery plans. Notes that large districts (greater than or equal to 10,000 students) were significantly more likely than were small districts (less than or equal to 4,999 students) to provide funding for or offer crisis preparedness training for school faculty, staff members, and students' families.
  • "Harvey highlights Houston MUD bond development funding." By Laila Assanie and Michael Weiss. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Second Quarter 2018, pp. 3-7.
    Considers the possibility of funding new housing infrastructure with municipal utility district [MUD] bonds after the historic flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Discusses MUD creation, taxing powers, and the growing reach and influence of MUDs in the Houston housing market.
  • "Another use for drones: Investigating car wrecks." By Jenni Bergal. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), August 6, 2018, pp. 1-5.
    Reports more police agencies are using drones to reconstruct vehicle accidents, reducing staff time and the time roads are closed. Notes some states that require police to get a search warrant to use drones for surveillance are adding exemptions for crash reconstruction.
  • "Bordering on empty." By Naveena Sadasivam. Texas Observer, August/September, 2018, pp. 12-21.
    Argues climate change is having a significant toll on the Rio Grande and the water infrastructure of the Rio Grande Valley. Discusses how hotter, dryer weather affects cities and towns, irrigation districts, and the agriculture industry in the area.
  • "Price-formation studies." Texas Public Power, July-August 2018, pp. 5, 7.
    Summarizes two recent reports from the Energy Regulatory Commission of Texas [ERCOT] that address the Public Utility Commission's Project to Assess Price-Formation Rules in ERCOT's Energy-Only Market. Related information at: http://interchange.puc.texas.gov/Search/Filings?UtilityType=A&ControlNumber=47199&ItemMatch=Equal&DocumentType=ALL&SortOrder=Ascending.  Reports at: http://www.ercot.com/content/wcm/lists/144930/Study_of_the_Benefits_of_Marginal_Losses_FINAL.pdf  and http://www.ercot.com/content/wcm/lists/144930/Study_of_the_Benefits_of_Real-Time_Co-optimization_FINAL.pdf

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.