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

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

  • "Film incentives: Creatives worry rebates could keep shrinking." By Kimberly Reeves. Austin Business Journal, February 8, 2019, p. 6.
    Reviews the history of the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive program [TMIIIP], noting funds appropriated since 2010. Mentions concerns over HB432, 86th Legislature, which proposes to abolish TMIIIP and the Music, Film, Television, and Multimedia Office in the office of the governor.
  • "Rural hospital closures worry key lawmaker." By Kimberly Reeves. Austin Business Journal, February 1, 2019, p. 6.
    Discusses concerns over access to health care in rural areas. Includes comments by Senator Lois Kolkhorst, chairwoman of the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
  • "Child support cooperation requirements in SNAP are unproven, costly, and put families at risk." By Elizabeth Wolkomir and Stacy Dean. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 7, 2019, pp. 1-15.
    Reviews potential new cooperation requirements between child support and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP, formerly food stamps] included in the new farm bill. Notes Texas research showing that more than four in ten mothers who do not receive formal or informal child support are survivors of emotional or physical abuse.
  • "Once a nation of joiners, Americans are now suspicious of those who join." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, February 4, 2019, pp. 14-15.
    Highlights two recent situations that show misunderstandings and fear of religious associations — objections to Dr. Shahid Shafi serving as vice chair of the Tarrant County Republican Party and questions about whether Brian Buescher, a United States District Court nominee, could separate his views as a member of the Knights of Columbus from his decision-making on the bench.
  • "Texas town pioneers ways to fight decline of rural high schools." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, February 4, 2019, p. 13.
    Highlights the early college and STEM programs that Roscoe Independent School District has incorporated into its educational offerings to keep the small rural school district viable and to give their students opportunities beyond graduation.
  • "Banishing blasphemy." By Rob Boston. Church & State, February 2019, pp. 10-13.
    Examines the history of blasphemy laws in America and Europe, noting many countries have repealed or are trying to repeal these laws. Points out attempts by several American states to revive blasphemy laws.
  • "Global trade: Gaming the rules." Economist, February 2nd-8th, 2019, pp. 60-61.
    Reports on the World Trade Organization's plans to negotiate new rules covering trade-related aspects of electronic commerce. Notes conflicts in how different countries define and govern e-commerce.
  • "Opioid prescribing rates in nonmetropolitan and metropolitan counties among primary care providers using an electronic health record system — United States, 2014–2017." By Macarena C. Garcia, et alInternet Resource, January 18, 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Reports that the percentage of patients prescribed an opioid was higher in rural than in urban areas in a 2014-2017 reporting period. Recommends tailoring community health care practices and intervention programs to community characteristics.
  • "Will state waivers save, reform, or sabotage Obamacare?" By Stuart M. Butler. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), February 5, 2019, pp. 441-442.
    Considers the possible effects of new guidance from the Trump administration to states on how they can use Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act [ACA] to develop waivers. Asserts that Section 1332 allows states to make significant modifications to the ACA without new laws altering the act.
  • "In the eye of the law." By Louis Menand. New Yorker, February 4, 2019, pp. 18-22.
    Explores the history of racial discrimination and interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment through an examination of the United States Supreme Court opinion, Plessy v. Ferguson. Compares Steve Luxenberg's book, Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation with other books highlighting this case.
  • "Reliability means business." By Alex Hofmann. Public Power, January/February 2019, p. 39.
    Lists metrics a public power utility should be able to articulate regarding the reliability of their system. Includes Austin Energy as an example.
  • "TPPA [Texas Public Power Association] members collaborate with PUC [Public Utilities Commission] on summer planning." Texas Public Power, January 2019, pp. 4-5.
    Reports on the current work of the Texas Public Power Association in anticipation of electric energy demand for the upcoming summer.

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.