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Current Articles & Research Resources, August 29

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

  • Review the latest urban mobility report. (Texas A&M Transportation Institute, August 2019)
  • See what states are doing to address robocalls. (Attorney General of Texas, August 22, 2019)
  • Read about recent legislation on health care costs by state. (Health Affairs Blog, August 22, 2019)
  • Consider accountability ratings for school districts and charter schools. (Texas Education Agency, August 15, 2019)

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

  • "Scholars seek to revive gun studies after 20-year chill." By Steven Johnson. Chronicle of Higher Education, August 16, 2019, p. A25.
    Highlights the effects of the 1996 Dickey Amendment which prevented Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds from being used to "advocate or promote gun control" and how it led to less research related to guns. States that a 2018 clarification of the amendment and increased awareness of mass shootings is leading to increased research.
  • "Late term abortions: Abortion war." Economist, August 24th-30th, 2019, pp. 20-22.
    Examines both sides of the abortion debate and how controversial third-trimester procedures are becoming fertile ground for political campaigns.
  • "Texas state jails: Time for a reboot?" By Patrick Graves. Fiscal Notes, August 2019, pp. 6-10.
    Discusses the history and evolution of the state jail system and questions its effectiveness in reducing recidivism. Quotes Representative James White.
  • "Accountability measures set to respond to public pressure." By Morgan Craven. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), June-July 2019, p. 4.
    Highlights three bills from the 86th Legislature and describes the changes they make to assessments and measurements of college readiness: HB3SB213, and HB3906.
  • "Jobs or college?" By Robert Cherry. National Review, August 12, 2019, pp. 32-34.
    Argues for an increased emphasis on certificate and apprenticeship programs for students leaving high school with limited academic skills. Explains students are too often directed to degree programs which are not completed and suggests the skill-based approach will be more successful.
  • "Migrating out of the job market." By Steven A. Camarota. National Review, August 12, 2019, pp. 22-23.
    Examines the decline in labor force participation and links it partly to technological change and globalization, and partly to the education level of some workers. Suggests immigration reforms designed to limit the flow of less skilled immigrants could reinvigorate labor force participation.
  • "Reevaluating the effects of federal financing in higher education." By Veronique de Rugy and Jack Salmon. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), August 13, 2019, pp. 1-13.
    Examines whether more federal aid is the correct treatment for the problem of rising tuition prices. Finds that federal student aid does not do much to make college more affordable and may actually be increasing costs.
  • "Eliminating vaping." Texas Lone Star (Texas Association of School Boards), August 2019, pp. 22-23.
    Discusses the epidemic of youth vaping and recently proposed federal legislation that would prohibit e-cigarette use in schools. Related information at: https://www.tomudall.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/One-Pager_Final.pdf.
  • "No defense." By Neena Satija. Texas Monthly, September 2019, pp. 94-99, 129-132, 138-139, 170-175.
    Argues that Texas judges have too much power, and that this imbalance in the criminal justice system, along with overloaded attorneys and inadequate funding, deprives poor and indigent people of justice. Notes Senator Rodney Ellis' work in 2001 to pass the Texas Fair Defense Act, as well as other legislation that has helped provide data on indigent cases.
  • "Parts one and two: The crisis in access to medical care." By R. Brent Cooper, et al. Texas Tech Law Review, Spring 2019, pp. 393-398.
    Outlines briefly the history of tort reform from 1977 up to 2003, when the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act was passed. Provides an introduction to a special issue on tort reform and health care liability, authored by individuals associated with the Texas Alliance for Patient Access [TAPA].
  • "Preface: The crisis that was created." By Glenn W. Cunningham. Texas Tech Law Review, Summer 2019, pp. 619-625.
    Argues that the premise behind the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act was faulty and that the legislation has not improved access to health care, as was intended. Introduces a special issue authored by individuals associated with the Texas Trial Lawyers Association [TTLA].

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.

New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: August 2019

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the six titles from our August 2019 New & Noteworthy list

Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, contact the library at 512-463-1252, or use our PDF request form.

 

1. Superpower: One Man's Quest to Transform American Energy
By Russell Gold
Profiles Houston renewable energy entrepreneur Michael Skelly, who helped create the second largest wind energy company in the United States, and later founded Clean Line Energy Partners. Discusses the evolution of the wind energy industry, farmers embracing the new "cash crop," landowners fighting overhead wires, and utility executives seeking to block renewable energy development.
Simon & Schuster, 2019. 319 pages.
333.79 G563S 2019


 

 

2. Old and Sick in America: The Journey Through the Health Care System
By Muriel Gillick
Illustrates the older patient's experience with the United States' health care system through a series of case studies. Pairs vignettes with data and analysis that reveal influences on health care by pharmaceutical corporations, device manufacturers, health insurance companies, and other outside entities. Reveals the shortcomings of health care for the elderly and suggests patient-centered reform.
University of North Carolina Press, 2017. 300 pages.
362.1084 G414O 2017


 

 

3. Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments, 86th Regular Session, November 5, 2019, Election
By Texas Legislative Council
Reviews each of the 10 joint resolutions proposing amendments to the Texas Constitution that were enacted during the 86th Texas Legislature. Provides background information, detailed analysis, comments from both supporters and opponents, and the text of each joint resolution to assist voters during the November election.
Texas Legislative Council, 2019. 47 pages.
Online at: https://tlc.texas.gov/docs/amendments/analyses19.pdf
L1400.7 C766 2019


 

 

4. Condensed Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments, 86th Regular Session, November 5, 2019, Election
By Texas Legislative Council
Provides a one-page analysis for each proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution that will appear on the upcoming November election ballot. Includes a summary analysis, a summary of comments, and comments made by supporters and opponents during the legislative process.
Texas Legislative Council, 2019. 12 pages.
Online at: https://tlc.texas.gov/docs/amendments/analyses19_condensed.pdf
L1400.7 C766C 2019


 

 

5. Building Bridges to Tomorrow: Summary of Enacted Legislation, 86th Legislature (2019)
By Texas Department of Transportation
Highlights key bills passed during the 86th legislative session that impact the state transportation system as well as daily operations of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Summarizes each bill and explains the impact on TxDOT. Includes a list of memorial highway designations and an index to bills included in compilation.
Texas Department of Transportation, 2019. 152 pages.
Online at: http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/sla/86th-legislative-summary.pdf
T1320.8 SU63B 2019


 

 

6. United States Life Tables, 2017
By Elizabeth Arias and Jiaquan Xu
Analyzes U.S. life expectancy and survivorship statistics by race, Hispanic origin, and sex, based on age-specific death rates in 2017.
National Center for Health Statistics, 2019. 65 pages.
Online at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_07-508.pdf
304.64 UN3D 2019


 

 

Bills Effective, September 1, 2019

On September 1, 2019, 820 bills passed during the 86th Legislature will take effect. In addition, provisions of 25 bills passed during the 86th Legislature will become effective.

 

Sections of bills passed during the 85th Legislature84th Legislature, and 83rd Legislature also will take effect on September 1.

 

To keep up with new laws throughout the year, check the Library's list of bill effective dates.

Current Articles & Research Resources, August 22

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

  • Read about how certain classroom assignment policies can improve student outcomes. (Rockefeller Institute of Government, August 7, 2019)
  • Explore differences in how Republicans and Democrats view higher education. (Pew Research Center, August 19, 2019)
  • Review statistics related to federal hate crimes. (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University, August 12, 2019)
  • Consider questions related to how e-scooters could be regulated. (Texas A&M Transportation Institute, August 19, 2019)

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

  • "Coming soon: Austin's innovation district." By Erin Edgemon. Austin Business Journal, August 9, 2019, pp. 6-9.
    Reports on the growth and redevelopment on and around the defunct Brackenridge Hospital campus, the epicenter for Austin's medical and life sciences innovation district.
  • "A guide to statistics on historical trends in income inequality (2019)." By Chad Stone, et al. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 9, 2019, pp. 1-23.
    Details the history of income inequality in the United States and examines the widening of the gap since the 1970s. Describes commonly used statistical sources on income (including Census and IRS income data) and long-term trends in income inequality, wealth, and poverty.
  • "Are campus free-speech laws needed, or is crisis talk overblown?" By Katherine Mangan. Chronicle of Higher Education, August 2, 2019, p. A17.
    Considers the campus free-speech bills a variety of states recently passed. Mentions recent related legislation in Texas, SB18, 86th Legislature.
  • "The fertility business: Seed capital; Fertility benefits." Economist, August 10th-16th, 2019, pp. 50-51.
    Reports investors are pouring money into businesses that provide fertility treatment and related services. Points out the global fertility industry could bring in $41 billion in sales by 2026, compared to $25 billion today.
  • "Mass shootings: The definition of insanity." Economist, August 10th-16th, 2019, pp. 19-20.
    Raises questions about how police and politicians can curb the rise of domestic terrorism. Notes right-wing extremists were responsible for 70 percent of killings motivated by extremist ideology in America between 2009 and 2018.
  • "Texas Legislature concentrates on school funding." By Morgan Craven. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), June-July 2019, pp. 1-2, 6.
    Highlights HB3, 86th Legislature, aimed at funding public education and granting some property tax relief.
  • "Long-term sustainability of U.S. government debt growth." By Jorge Barro. Issue Brief (Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy), August 19, 2019, pp. 1-8.
    Discusses the risks and limitations associated with accelerating government debt growth.
  • "Trends: The surprising economics of Latino immigration." By Gonzalo Huertas and Jacob Funk Kirkegaard. Milken Institute Review, Third Quarter 2019, pp. 5-13.
    Examines the significant contributions of the Hispanic community to economic growth in the United States, as demonstrated in high school completion, entrepreneurship, and a "demographic dividend" of Hispanic labor force participation. Includes charts of high school completion rates by race/ethnicity, and share of degrees conferred by educational institutions by race/ethnicity/non-resident status.
  • "Enduring challenges: Examining the experiences of states that closed pension plans." By Tyler Bond and Dan Doonan. National Institute on Retirement Security, August 2019, pp. 1-16.
    Presents case studies of four states — Alaska, Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia — that closed their pension plans in favor of alternative plan designs. Discusses the effect of switching from a defined benefit pension plan to defined contribution or cash balance plans.
  • "A significant session." By Dax Gonzalez. Texas Lone Star (Texas Association of School Boards), August 2019, pp. 8-13.
    Highlights education-related legislation from the 86th Legislature. Includes discussion of school finance, property taxes, school safety, and more.
  • "Swinging for fairness." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, August 2019, pp. 30-31.
    Describes how the Texas Medical Association worked to improve SB1264, 86th Legislature. Explains how the surprise-billing legislation initially favored insurers and asserts that the final bill is fairer for physicians, insurers, and patients.
  • "The terror within." By Alana Abramson, Tessa Berenson, and John Walcott. Time, August 19, 2019, pp. 22-27.
    Explores the nature of domestic terrorism in the United States and the efforts to counter it. Includes discussion of the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, and how federal prosecutors are treating this incident as terrorism.

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.

Interim Hearings – Week of August 26

Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.

 

August 26

Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health & Human Services Transition 

Invited testimony

Happy Anniversary, LRL!

Happy anniversary to us! The Legislative Reference Library marks its 50th anniversary as an agency this September. The Legislative Reference Library was created as "an independent agency of the legislature" by Acts 1969, 61st Leg., p. 154, Ch. 55 (Senate Bill 263),

 

As noted last week, we are currently marking our anniversary year with a renovation project—but we will continue to offer reference, research, and other library services while we are relocated. We look forward to many more years of serving the legislative community! 

Current Articles & Research Resources, August 15

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

  • Examine safety concerns related to automated vehicles. (Governors Highway Safety Association, August 6, 2019)
  • Explore resources and statistics related to capital punishment. (National Conference of State Legislatures, July 30, 2019)
  • Consider precautions to prevent wildfires before operating equipment outdoors. (Texas A&M Forest Service, August 12, 2019)
  • Review pedestrian safety tips. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, July 15, 2019)

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

  • "Face off? The promises and perils of losing anonymity." By Eoin O'Carroll. Christian Science Monitor, July 29, 2019, pp. 18-19.
    Discusses the growing use of facial recognition technology and the resulting concerns about its application. Identifies early attempts at legislating its use.
  • "Oncor's powerful response to severe situations." By Catherine Leffert. Dallas Business Journal, August 2, 2019, pp. 12-14.
    Discusses how Oncor Electric Delivery handles mass power outages. Points out the emergency management preparedness strategies that enabled the rapid restoration of power to thousands of Dallas-Fort Worth customers affected by severe storms that struck on June 9.
  • "The economics of Texas BBQ: It's not your grandpa's barbecue anymore." By Patrick Graves. Fiscal Notes, July 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Explores the economic growth and recent diversification of the barbecue industry in Texas. Notes there are now 2,500 Texas barbecue outlets, an increase of 12 percent from four years ago. 
  • "The workforce-training grant: A new bridge from high school to career." By Oren Cass. Issue Brief (Manhattan Institute), July 16, 2019, pp. 1-14.
    Proposes a grant-based program to motivate private-sector employers to provide on-the-job experience with employer-sponsored training to people who do not pursue a college degree as their path to employment.
  • "Can taxes and subsidies improve health?" By Ramanan Laxminarayan and Amit Summan. Milken Institute Review, Third Quarter 2019, pp. 18-27.
    Examines the effectiveness of "sin taxes" on tobacco and alcohol, and other taxes on sodas and junk food, in public health policy. Looks at the option of redirecting agricultural or energy subsidies to healthy foods.
  • "Will America ever have high-speed trains?" By Lawrence M. Fisher. Milken Institute Review, Third Quarter 2019, pp. 70-80.
    Explores the potential for high-speed rail in the United States, amid "buy American" stipulations for governments receiving federal funds. Discusses cost overruns, engineering controversy, and delays in the California High-Speed Rail project. Considers the development and eminent domain concerns of the Texas Central Railway project from Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston.
  • "Myths of student-loan debt." By Robert Verbruggen. National Review, July 29, 2019, pp. 28-30.
    Recommends solving the student-loan debt problem with increased use of the "income-share agreement" [ISA], in which a student agrees to pay a certain percentage of income for a certain number of years in exchange for the lender funding his education.
  • "2018 carbon dioxide emission trends: Explaining the 2018 increase." By Daniel Klein. Public Utilities Fortnightly, July 2019, pp. 122-127.
    Analyzes the United States Energy Information Administration's [EIA] first full year's estimates of energy use and carbon dioxide emissions during 2018. Related information at: https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/.
  • "Toolbox: Redrawing maps the right way." By Jeffrey M. Wice and Frank M. Strigari. State Legislatures, July/August 2019, pp. 38-40.
    Offers suggestions on how to improve the redistricting process and avoid costly litigation. 
  • "The 141st day." By Celeste Embrey. Texas Banking, August 2019, pp. 8-11.
    Presents a session wrap-up of banking issues, including subcontractors, Sunset legislation, the Equifax data breach, and cybersecurity.
  • "Charting medicine's statehouse progress." By Joey Berlin and Sean Price. Texas Medicine, August 2019, pp. 16-24.
    Recaps the 86th Texas Legislature, highlighting enrolled legislation significant to physicians and health care. 
  • "Making telemedicine work." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, August 2019, pp. 26-29.
    Outlines the steps physicians should take when preparing to provide telemedicine services. Highlights HB3345, 86th Legislature, which will help physicians choose the best telemedicine platform for them. 

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.

Library Update

After being in our restored space for more than 20 years, the Texas State Preservation Board has planned a renovation of the Legislative Reference Library. New carpet, paint, public computer stations, added staff work areas, and other updates are on the horizon for the LRL.

 

As with any big renovation project, this means that the LRL's operations will have to temporarily relocate from the Capitol! We will be based on the fourth floor of the John H. Reagan Building; our Capitol space will be closed. The LRL will continue to offer reference and research assistance, check out library materials, send Current Articles and New & Noteworthy emails, produce the Legislative Clipping Service, and provide other library services. The renovation will begin in August and will take approximately five months.

 

Please continue to call us at (512) 463-1252 and/or email us at LRL.Service@lrl.texas.gov with your reference and research needs.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, August 8

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

  • Explore reasons the teen birth rate is dropping. (Pew Research Center, August 2, 2019)
  • Track President Trump's judicial appointments. (Heritage Foundation, updated August 2, 2019)
  • Consider whether college should come with a money-back guarantee. (Manhattan Institute, July 9, 2019)
  • Learn what to expect about invitations to respond to the 2020 Census. (U.S. Census Bureau, May 9, 2019)

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

  • "Behind the 'cannabusiness' boom." By Paul Thompson. Austin Business Journal, August 2, 2019, pp. 12-15.
    Discusses how HB3703 and HB1325, 86th Legislature, are paving the way for hemp and cannabis product entrepreneurs to flourish.
  • "The real cannabis rush." By Craig Giammona, Bruce Einhorn, and Ashley Robinson. Bloomberg Businessweek, July 22, 2019, pp. 16-18.
    Examines the economic effects of the legalization of hemp and hemp products. Questions whether hemp will saturate the global market and affect prices.
  • "Special report: DFW's opportunity knocks." By Craig M. Douglas and Claire Ballor. Dallas Business Journal, July 26, 2019, pp. 14-19.
    Presents a primer on the Opportunity Zone program established under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and raises potential red flags. Identifies designated opportunity zones in core Dallas-Fort Worth counties.
  • "Overcrowded primaries: A Democratic dilemma." Economist, July 27th-August 2nd, 2019, pp. 19-20.
    Traces the roots of the current system of nominating presidential candidates. Considers whether political parties should let anyone run for president.
  • "The changing landscape of homeschooling in the United States." By Aaron Hirsh. Internet Resource, July 2019, pp. 1-8.
    Examines the state of homeschooling in the United States in 2019. Includes discussion of the changing demographics of homeschoolers, the new models of homeschooling, and state policies that govern homeschooling.
  • "Student debt: An overlooked barrier to increasing teacher diversity." By Bayliss Fiddiman, Colleen Campbell, and Lisette Partelow. Internet Resource, July 9, 2019, pp. 1-18.
    Examines the student loan debt of Black and Latinx teachers. Argues the debt burden of teachers of color is a deterrent to diversifying the teaching workforce. Offers policy recommendations for reducing the student debt of minority teachers and increasing the chances they will enter or remain in the teaching profession.
  • "California energy storage initiatives: Surfing the storage wave." By Nathan C. Howe, Stuart Murray, and Sarah Elias. Natural Resources & Environment, Summer 2019, pp. 18-22.
    Discusses California's policy initiatives in energy storage development that have resulted from their increased use of intermittent renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power. Highlights the efforts of other jurisdictions active in storage development, including: minimum storage capacity targets, wholesale market frameworks, and new rate structures to incentivize customer storage.
  • "Permian pipeline projects race to remove export bottlenecks." By Christopher E. Smith. Oil and Gas Journal, July 1, 2019, pp. 59-61.
    Highlights planned pipeline projects that will help transport crude oil from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast.
  • "Wanted: Lawyers for rural America." By April Simpson. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), June 26, 2019, pp. 1-7.
    Reports the decline of rural lawyers has created "legal deserts" in several states, limiting vulnerable populations' access to legal representation. Discusses several states' efforts to curb the decline and to use non-lawyers to narrow the justice gap.
  • "Lingering effects of subprime lending." By Luis B. Torres, Carter Neill, and Clare Losey. Tierra Grande, July 2019, pp. 19-25.
    Examines how mortgage lending has changed in Texas since the fallout from subprime lending and the Great Recession. Details changes by city and race for Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

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.

Resource Highlight: Legislative Committee Minutes Online

The following legislative committee minutes in the LRL collection are scanned and available on our Committee minutes and related documents page:

 

House: 42nd – 77th

Senate: 27th – 77th

Interim: 38th – 77th

 

We most recently added interim minutes from the 62nd Legislature (1971-1972). As always, some committees are unique (see the interim committees on vegetable marketing and imported fire ant infestation), and others address major issues like school finance and coastal resources that the Legislature continues to work on today.

 

Minutes and other committee records from the 77th Legislature (2001) onward are available via Texas Legislature Online.

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