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

  • See how paid sick leave by industry has changed over time in the last decade. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 30, 2019)
  • Track which states have smart meter opt-out policies. (National Conference of State Legislatures, August 20, 2019)
  • Review statistics related to domestic terrorism. (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University, August 29, 2019)
  • Read about Texas' 10-year transportation plan. (Texas Department of Transportation, August 29, 2019)

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

  • "Inclusive approach to immigrants who are undocumented can help families and states prosper." By Erica Williams, Eric Figueroa, and Wesley Tharpe. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 21, 2019, pp. 1-22. Discusses the contributions of undocumented immigrants to state economies and finances. Includes 50-state chart of state and local taxes paid by unauthorized immigrants. Mentions the Texas law banning sanctuary cities.
  • "As white supremacists twist history, scholars seek to right the record." By Emma Pettit. Chronicle of Higher Education, August 16, 2019, p. A23.
    Explains academics are becoming more active in refuting what they consider a distortion of history being promulgated by white supremacists. Quotes one scholar as stating "our complacency becomes complicity" when academics do not speak out against the mistaken vision of medieval Europe as an all-white space.
  • "Texas and the 1115 Medicaid waiver: Action needed to ensure federal aid." By David Green, Spencer Grubbs, and Joyce Jauer. Fiscal Notes, August 2019, pp. 1, 3-5.
    Highlights the importance of renewing Texas' section 1115 Medicaid waiver, set to provide the state with up to $25 billion from 2018 to 2022, for the medically uninsured and "safety net" hospitals. Details the amounts of federal funding available under the waiver for uncompensated care and the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program [DSRIP].
  • "New discipline and safety policies for Texas." By Morgan Craven. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), June-July 2019, p. 3.
    Details bills passed by the 86th Legislature that focus on school safety in response to school shootings.
  • "Success of opt-in organ donation policy in the United States." By Alexandra Glazier and Thomas Mone. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 27, 2019, pp. 719-720.
    Argues that the United States should build on its current opt-in organ donation policy to increase the number of registered donors. Cites data demonstrating that opt-in policies in the United States are associated with higher organ donation rates than almost every country with an opt-out policy as the legal default.
  • "Changes in opioid-involved overdose deaths by opioid type and presence of benzodiazepines, cocaine, and methamphetamine — 25 states, July–December 2017 to January–June 2018." By R. Matt Gladden, et al. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), August 30, 2019, pp. 1-8.
    Observes that opioid deaths decreased in the study time period by five percent overall and decreased for prescription opioids and illicit synthetic opioids, excluding illicitly manufactured fentanyl [IMF]. Highlights that IMF deaths increased eleven percent, noting the need for broadened outreach efforts to persons at high risk for IMF overdoses.
  • "Criminal immigrants in Texas in 2017." By Alex Nowrasteh. Policy Brief (CATO Institute), August 27, 2019,
    pp. 1-7.
    Finds that conviction and arrest rates for illegal immigrants were lower than those of native-born Americans in just about every case, including homicide, sex crimes, larceny, and most other crimes.
  • "Success of red flag laws might depend on mental health teams." By Christine Vestal. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), August 26, 2019, pp. 1-7.
    Highlights the behavioral services and threat assessment unit within the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office in Florida, which works to identify people who may pose a threat of violence and intervenes if warranted. Suggests having this type of unit in place may be necessary to make red flag laws work.
  • "Power shift." By Michael E. Webber. Texas Monthly, September 2019, pp. 100-105, 122, 127-128.
    Outlines how Texas could be a leader in the energy industry, both economically and environmentally, by supporting natural gas, wind, and solar infrastructure and markets.

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.