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

  • Explore the effects of privatizing state parks. (Stateline, December 3, 2019)
  • Consider how census counts affect transportation infrastructure funding. (U.S. Census Bureau, December 4, 2019)
  • Read the recent Alternatives to Abortion report. (Texas Health and Human Services, December 2019)
  • See which sidewalks are pedestrian-safe in the Capitol Complex Project area. (Texas Facilities Commission, November 8, 2019)

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

  • "State lawmakers plan to push bills letting athletes profit from fame." By Wesley Jenkins. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 15, 2019, p. A23.
    Considers the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] policy change that allows student athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. Highlights legislative proposals at the federal level and in various states, including a law passed by California ensuring athletes' rights to compensation.
  • "Sealing criminal records: Clean slates, rich states." Economist, November 16th-22nd, 2019, pp. 26-27.
    Discusses the bipartisan movement underway in several states to expunge tens of millions of old criminal records, partly to boost the supply of local labor but also to remove other barriers placed on people with records.
  • "Most school shooters gave many warning signs, report says." By Stephen Sawchuck. Education Week, November 13, 2019, pp. 1, 13.
    Summarizes a study conducted by the United States Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center [NATC] on incidents of school violence that occurred from 2008–2017. Highlights key findings and suggests many of the school shootings could have been prevented.
  • "Occupational licensing in Texas: How much is too much?" By Shannon Halbrook and Bruce Wright. Fiscal Notes, November 2019, pp. 1, 3-6.
    Provides an overview of occupational licensing in the United States and discusses increasing concerns over the restrictions of extensive occupational licensing in Texas, including economic costs and labor market consequences. Summarizes recent legislation to deregulate and simplify occupational licensing: SB2065, 85th Legislature, R.S., and SB37 and HB1342, 86th Legislature.
  • "Open government data: The economic benefits of transparency." By Jackie Benton. Fiscal Notes, November 2019, pp. 7-10.
    Looks at the history of the concept of government transparency and the importance of publicly available government data.
  • "Frequent emergency department users: Focusing solely on medical utilization misses the whole person." By Hemal K. Kanzaria, et al. Health Affairs, November 2019, pp. 1866-1875.
    Integrates medical, behavioral health, and social services data to study the wide-ranging needs of frequent emergency department [ED] users. Argues that policy makers should prioritize improvements in data sharing across sectors to avoid duplicative efforts and provide coordinated, more efficient care.
  • "Access to care: Addressing Texas’ physician-to-population ratio." By Rachel Cross. Internet Resource, September/October 2019, pp. 1-2.
    Probes the problem of the Texas physician shortage from the viewpoint of hospital administrators. Notes recent legislation supporting physician education and training.
  • "Energy security and the energy transition: A classic framework for a new challenge." By Mark Finley. Issue Brief (Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy), November 25, 2019, pp. 1-10.
    Suggests the framework used to assess energy security and mitigate risks to oil supplies can be relevant for assessing the vulnerabilities and risks of alternative energy forms in an evolving energy system.
  • "Colorado End-of-Life Options Act: A clash of organizational and individual conscience." By Matthew Wynia. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), November 26, 2019, pp. 1953-1954.
    Presents the 2016 Colorado End-of-Life Options Act as a case study on aid-in-dying legislation at the state level.
  • "The American K-12 decline." By Chester E. Finn, Jr. National Review, November 25, 2019, pp. 44-46.
    Considers current problems with the United States K-12 education system and argues that school choice and tinkering with standards and testing are not enough. Recommends giving students clear incentives and expectations for achievement.
  • "GAO: Government could get higher returns from offshore oil, gas leasing." By Nick Snow. Oil and Gas Journal, November 4, 2019, pp. 26-27.
    Summarizes a report from the Government Accountability Office [GAO] that addresses offshore oil and gas leasing.
  • "What is a 'well regulated militia,' anyway?" By Brian Doherty. Reason, December 2019, pp. 39-41.
    Discusses the two clauses comprising the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and explains them in a historical context and as interpreted by various United States Supreme Court cases.
  • "GPS down." By Paul Tullis. Scientific American, December 2019, pp. 38-45.
    Discusses the vulnerability of systems that rely on GPS [Global Positioning System] to hacking and spoofing attacks. Explains the United States has no backups in place if GPS is compromised.
  • "On shaky ground." By Douglas Shinkle, et al. State Legislatures, November/December 2019, pp. 10-19.
    Presents a series of articles on state policies to improve infrastructure in transportation, energy transmission facilities, water and wastewater plants, and disaster-related mitigation.
  • "More kids on Medicaid to get health care in school." By Michael Ollove. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), November 27, 2019, pp. 1-5.
    Reports more than a dozen states are taking advantage of a five-year-old federal policy change that allows public schools to bill Medicaid for health services provided to children enrolled in Medicaid.
  • "Regulatory impediments disproportionately affect voting rights in communities of color in Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana." By Reginal D. Harris and Brian M. King. Thurgood Marshall Law Review, Spring 2019, pp. 611-646 (Note Length).
    Examines the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and how subsequent amendments and court precedents have affected the original legislation, including Shelby County v. Holder, which effectively ended preclearance. Surveys the impact of laws within Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, on minority voters. Includes discussion of online voter registration, voter ID laws (SB14, 82nd Legislature, R.S. and SB5, 85th Legislature, R.S.), the disenfranchisement of felons, and the availability of polling locations.

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.