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

  • Be prepared in the event of a hurricane. (Office of the Texas Governor, accessed September 13, 2018)
  • Explore state regulation of short-term rentals. (National Conference of State Legislatures, September 2018)
  • Read about the benefits of walking. (Outside Online, September 10, 2018)
  • Review the process for appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Congressional Research Service, September 7, 2018)

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

  • "Center court." By Mark Walsh. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, September 2018, pp. 20-21.
    Discusses how United States Supreme Court justices rate on an ideological scale that does not rely exclusively on past votes.
  • "A new way to Uber." By Joshua Brustein. Bloomberg Businessweek, September 2, 2018, pp. 23-24.
    Profiles Uber's investment in the electric scooter market. Mentions how electric scooter businesses are navigating city ordinances and permitting restrictions.
  • "Contraception challenge." By Rokia Hassanein. Church & State, September 2018, pp. 4-5.
    Reports on a lawsuit challenging a settlement between the Trump administration and Notre Dame that allows the university to use religion to deny students and staff access to birth control. Related information at:
  • "Silicon Valley: A victim of its own success." Economist, September 1st-7th, 2018, pp. 19-22.
    Explains why Silicon Valley's preeminence as the epicenter of technology is on the wane, due in part to the technology industry's geographical diversification.
  • "Post-Wayfair options for states." By Joseph Bishop-Henchman, Hannah Walker, and Denise Grabe. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), August 29, 2018, pp. 1-21.
    Reviews the United States Supreme Court's recent decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair and discusses a "Wayfair checklist" of how state laws on sales tax collection would be considered constitutional under the Court's standard. Categorizes Texas as a "steady yellow light," meaning the state should proceed only after making legislative changes, including membership in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. Related information at:
  • "Current eminent domain laws are fair for landowners." By Thure Cannon. Houston Business Journal, August 30, 2018, p. 42.
    Argues that the Texas pipeline industry has treated landowners fairly in cases of eminent domain. Suggests both sides need to work together to avoid costly litigation.
  • "Community health workers: Key partners in improving children’s health and eliminating inequities." By Sinsi Hernandez-Cancio, Shadi Houshyar, and Maria Walawender. Internet Resource, September 2018, pp. 1-16.
    Proposes the deployment and sustainable financing of community health workers [CHWs] into maternal and child health care delivery. Provides examples of ways CHWs have driven health equity for children and improve health outcomes for children of color.
  • "Hospitals and the unexpected impacts of Hurricane Harvey." By Wendy Lyons Sunshine. Internet Resource, July/August 2018, pp. 1-2.
    Recaps lessons learned by hospital administrators about where their medical facilities and staff were well-prepared for a disaster like Harvey and where they need to improve.
  • "Can't hardly wait – Cryptocurrency and state tax legislation." By Charlie Kearns and Dennis Jansen. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, September 2018, pp. 6-11, 48.
    Explains the basics of bitcoin and blockchain technology and explores recent trends in state cryptocurrency legislation, focusing on Vermont's "Blockchain-Based LLC" regime. Related information at:
  • "Credits and incentives update: How does the economic policy of tax reform impact economic development in the United States?" By Michael Eickhoff. Journal of State Taxation, Fall 2018, pp. 19-20, 44.
    Discusses the effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on economic development initiatives, including creation of the Opportunity Zone program to incentivize capital investment in low-income areas.
  • "Nexus news: Quill's physical presence nexus requirement is gone: What now?" By Jane Summers Haas and Daniel L. Stanley. Journal of State Taxation, Fall 2018, pp. 5-10.
    Describes the effect of the United States Supreme Court's June 21 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair overturning the physical presence standard for sales and use tax collection on remote and out-of-state sellers. Highlights reactions to the decision in the states, and various state initiatives to establish economic thresholds, rather than physical presence, for sales and use tax collection. Related information at:
  • "The future of hours of work?" By John Pencavel. Policy Brief (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research), September 2018, pp. 1-4.
    Considers whether American employers are likely to follow other countries' experiments with shorter, more accommodating work hours and whether shorter hours would affect the structure of earnings.
  • "Keeping pace with emerging technologies." By R. K. Pendergrass. Public Power, July/August 2018, pp. 16-23.
    Provides three examples of utilities, including Bryan Texas Utilities, that have turned to new technologies to keep up with the changes the industry faces.
  • "The impact of tax and expenditure limitations on municipal revenue volatility." By Tucker C. Staley. State and Local Government Review, June 2018, pp. 71-84.
    Finds that more stringent tax and expenditure limitations [TEL] at the state level result in greater volatility of municipal revenues, using data from the Fiscal Policy Space project that includes data from Texas cities. Discusses the history and general impact of TELs in the states.
  • "States see energy booms along with economic expansion." By Tim Henderson. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), September 11, 2018, pp. 1-5.
    Reports rising oil and gas prices over the past two years are boosting many states' economies. Notes Texas and New Mexico had the largest recent increases in oil production.
  • "Active shooters: FBI reviews behaviors that may signal impending violence." By Barry Thompson. Texas Banking, September 2018, pp. 13-15.
    Discusses demographic characteristics, firearms acquisition, and planning behaviors of active shooters, as identified in a June 2018 FBI report, A Study of Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters in the United States Between 2000 and 2013. Report at:
  • "Speaking out: State Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst." Texas Builder, July/August 2018, pp. 28-29.
    Interviews Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst about tree mitigation, regulatory restrictions, transportation and water infrastructure funding, and the response to Hurricane Harvey.
  • "Safety, security strategies." By Dax Gonzalez. Texas Lone Star (Texas Association of School Boards), August 2018, pp. 28-29.
    Summarizes discussion on school emergency plans addressed in the House Committee on Public Education, which met on June 27, 2018.

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.