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

  • Consider how hospital closures and doctor shortages affect maternity care in rural areas. (National Conference of State Legislatures, November 1, 2019)
  • Read about how election officials can prepare for high voter turnout. (Brennan Center for Justice, November 12, 2019)
  • Try silencing electronic devices to avoid sleep interruptions. (Wired, November 11, 2019)
  • Explore dam safety concerns across the country. (AP News, November 11, 2019)

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

  • "Latino power." By Francine Kiefer. Christian Science Monitor, November 4, 2019, pp. 22-28.
    Discusses the rise of Latino activists in the wake of California's 1994 Proposition 187, which sought to deny state services to unauthorized immigrants. Highlights the influence of Latinos as voters and as members of the California state legislature. Considers whether this impact could be replicated in Texas and other states.
  • "Texas' digital divide: The state of broadband in Texas' rural communities." By Lauren Mulverhill. Fiscal Notes, October 2019, pp. 1, 3-6.
    Examines the state of the digital divide in Texas, the lack of broadband and high-speed Internet in rural Texas, and the economic implications for telemedicine, agriculture, education, business, and tourism. Notes Laredo and Brownsville hold the top two spots on the 2017 list of the worst-connected cities in the United States.
  • "Up in smoke?" By Sy Mukherjee. Fortune, November 2019, pp. 120-125.
    Discusses health controversies surrounding vaping and the effect these controversies are having on the vaping industry and Big Tobacco. Explores the recent debut of heat-not-burn devices as an alternative nicotine product that could fill the void if vaping becomes untenable.
  • "Spotlight Brief: Houston Harris County Youth LEAD." By Khanya Collier. Internet Resource, October 2019, pp. 1-15.
    Describes the development of the Houston Harris County Youth Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion [LEAD] Program to mitigate the number of youth entering the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • "Charter school constitutional funding challenges: North Carolina and Texas may serve as a harbingers for the future." By R. Craig Wood. Journal of Education Finance, Spring 2019, pp. 341-360.
    Analyzes state court cases that challenged the constitutionality of how charter schools are funded. Focuses on recent cases from North Carolina and Texas.
  • "Opportunity Zone investments: More adventures in the Land of OZ." By Steven Berman and Louis Weller. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, November/December 2019, pp. 14-24.
    Provides a federal regulatory update on the Opportunity Zones program, established in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act to promote new economic development. Addresses selected aspects of Qualified Opportunity Zone investments and business operations.
  • "Why don't environmentalists just buy the land they want to protect? Because it's against the rules." By Shawn Regan. Reason, December 2019, pp. 46-51.
    Reviews the history of laws and regulations governing the use of federal-and state-managed lands. Explains rules usually bar conservation-minded bidders because there is frequently a requirement for leaseholders to develop resources. Highlights examples of recent attempts by environmentalists to bid on resources as an alternative to litigation.
  • "Latino education in Texas: A history of systematic recycling discrimination." By Albert H. Kauffman. St. Mary's Law Journal, Vol. 50, No. 3, pp. 861-916 (Note Length).
    Focuses on discrimination in public education, with greater emphasis on the last fifty years. Discusses major litigation, developments in the Texas Legislature, and developments in Texas and federal administrative agencies that have affected Latino education.
  • "Some wonder if electric microgrids could light the way in California." By Sophie Quinton. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), November 6, 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Reports the threat of future blackouts could put California at the forefront of a national push toward localizing the energy grid. Considers whether distributed energy systems can eliminate the need for risky, long-distance transmission lines.
  • "Texas takes big steps to address card skimming." By Celeste Embrey. Texas Banking, November 2019, pp. 27, 30.
    Discusses HB2945, 86th Legislature, by Representative Mary Ann Perez, which addressed credit card skimming at gas pumps and created a Payment Card Fusion Center in Tyler as a single contact point for all credit card payment fraud, including ATMs.
  • "The unrelenting cycle of ATM skimming." By Randy Phillips. Texas Banking, November 2019, pp. 12-15.
    Offers insight from a financial security consultant concerning automated teller machine [ATM] skimmers. Discusses physical attacks on ATMs, including "eavesdropping" or "wiretapping," and security measures for banks to mitigate attacks.
  • "Weather whiplash." By Megan Kimble. Texas Observer, Nov/Dec 2019, pp. 10-11.
    Interviews Katherine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech University professor and atmospheric scientist, on how climate change is affecting Texas.

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.