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:
  • "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.