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

  • Review how to read bills and statutes. (Texas Legislative Council, accessed January 9, 2019)
  • Explore trends in crime in the U.S. (Pew Research Center, January 3, 2019)
  • Read about the status of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 elections. (Congressional Research Service, January 2, 2019)
  • View recent state legislation related to financial crimes against the elderly. (National Conference of State Legislatures, January 3, 2019)

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

  • "Breakdown." By Julianne Hill. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, January-February 2019, pp. 37-43. Reports on how states are using prisons and jails to house mentally ill persons who have not been convicted of crimes, due to the lack of psychiatric hospital beds and community-based mental health services.
  • "Student crossing." By Story Hinckley. Christian Science Monitor, November 26, 2018, pp. 24-30.
    Profiles the Luna County, New Mexico, school system's inclusion of students who live in a nearby Mexican town. Quotes the Deming, New Mexico, mayor on the value of the cross-border education program in educating future citizens and leaders. Explains the value of building the potential local tax base in a small rural town and reducing future welfare expenditures.
  • "'I'm solution-agnostic'." Chronicle of Higher Education, December 14, 2018, p. A6-A7.
    Interviews Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist from Texas Tech University and one of the authors of the recent National Climate Assessment, on climate change and her role in the discussions surrounding this topic. Report at:
  • "The people have spoken: Private school vouchers have a long track record of failure at the ballot box." By Rob Boston. Church & State, January 2019, pp. 9-11.
    Provides an overview of high-profile state legislative proposals since 1967 that sought to establish voucher plans or other types of public aid to private and religious schools but were defeated at the ballot box.
  • "1,800 companies left California in a year — with a lot bound for Texas." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, December 21, 2018, pp. 14-15.
    Points out the top reasons California companies are relocating to states with a better business climate. Notes the top ten states and cities that gained the most from California business relocations and migrations.
  • "Municipal limits: Less than the sum of their parts." Economist, December 22nd, 2018-January 4th, 2019, pp. 41-42.
    Considers the negative effects of municipal fragmentation, using the current structure in Birmingham, Alabama, as an example. Offers examples of approaches cities and metro areas can take to build and maintain regional cooperation, promote unity, and deliver better services to all residents. Related information at:
  • "How is telemedicine being used in opioid and other substance use disorder treatment?" By Haiden A. Huskamp, et al. Health Affairs, December 2018, pp. 1940-1947.
    Argues that tele-SUD [telemedicine for substance use disorder] is being under-utilized and could increase access to SUD treatment, particularly in rural areas. Notes regulatory and reimbursement barriers and that Congress and the states are passing legislation to address them.
  • "Telehealth in health centers: Key adoption factors, barriers, and opportunities." By Ching-Ching Claire Lin, et al. Health Affairs, December 2018, pp. 1967-1974.
    Examines factors associated with adoption of telehealth services by health centers and barriers to use, such as cost, reimbursement, and technical issues. Notes that Medicaid reimbursement policies promoting live video and store-and-forward services were associated with a greater likelihood of telehealth adoption and potentially improved access to care.
  • "States move to substitute opioids with medical marijuana to quell epidemic." By Rebecca Voelker. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 18, 2018, pp. 2408-2410.
    Considers the pros and cons of states adopting laws and regulations allowing certain patients with opioid prescriptions instead to buy cannabis at a registered dispensary with a physician's written certification.
  • "EPA finalizes amendments to refinery emissions control requirements." Oil and Gas Journal, December 3, 2018, pp. 37-38.
    Clarifies the Environmental Protection Agency's final rule, amending the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants and New Source Performance Standards for refineries, which recently went into effect. Related information at:
  • "FCC's decision accelerating broadband deployment: They struck a decent balance." By Steve Goodman. Public Utilities Fortnightly, December 2018, pp. 52-53.
    Examines the role of local and state governments in light of the Federal Communications Commission's recent decision regarding broadband deployment. Related information at:
  • "Austin Energy launches school EV program." Texas Public Power, November-December 2018, p. 9.
    Provides information about EVs for Schools, an Austin Energy program that focuses on installing electric vehicle charging stations at Austin Independent School District campuses. Related information at:
  • "Georgetown wins $1 million prize for local solar panels." Texas Public Power, November-December 2018, p. 8.
    Highlights a prize Georgetown won that will be used to generate renewable energy locally. Related information at:
  • "The forgotten lessons of LBJ's domestic legacy." By Rebecca Shimoni Stoil. Washington Monthly, January/February/March 2019, pp. 33- 37.
    Explores the coalition building behind the success of some aspects of The Great Society, such as Medicare and federal student loans.

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.