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.