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

  • Find federal legislative and executive documents related to the commemoration of National African American History Month. (The Library of Congress, January 30, 2020)
  • Review the most recent update of Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876. (Texas Legislative Council, February 2020)
  • Explore state law enactments related to criminal records and reentry programs. (National Conference of State Legislatures, January 29, 2020)
  • Track Article III and federal appeals court appointments by presidential administration back to the Reagan era. (The Heritage Foundation, February 12, 2020)

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

  • 20.02.24  /  "Innocence detectives." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, February 17, 2020, pp. 22-28.
    Profiles the House of Renewed Hope, a Dallas nonprofit organization run by Christopher Scott and Steven Phillips, two men exonerated for crimes they did not commit after spending a combined 37 years in prison. Highlights their work to exonerate other prisoners.
  • 20.02.25  /  "At Texas State, the culture war comes to campus." By Michael Vasquez. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 14, 2020, pp. A8-A12, A14.
    Discusses recent disruptive events at Texas State University as a sign of the increasingly sharp racial and political divisions in the country. Highlights controversies between a conservative student and Kelly Stone, a lecturer in a sexuality class, who ultimately lost her teaching position. Mentions Stone is now running for a spot on the Texas Railroad Commission.
  • 20.02.26  /  "This university's board has the power to fire anyone — 'even down to the janitor'." By Lindsay Ellis. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 14, 2020, pp. A18-A19.
    Highlights the Texas Southern University Board of Regents' recent bylaws change, which gives them power to fire any university employee, and the board's action to place President Austin A. Lane on administrative leave while they review potential improprieties in admissions. Comments the bylaws change could run afoul of accreditation standards and is not considered a "best practice" for boards.
  • 20.02.27  /  "The border of business." By Jessica Corso. Dallas Business Journal, February 14, 2020, pp. 24-25.
    Discusses how the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]'s renegotiation as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement [USMCA] could impact Texas businesses.
  • 20.02.28  /  "The economics of migration: Delayed reaction." Economist, February 15th-21st, 2020, pp. 19-20.
    Examines whether a decline in America's immigrant population is connected to the nearly ten percent increase in wages of people without a high school diploma.
  • 20.02.29  /  "Hospital use declines after implementation of Virginia Medicaid's addiction and recovery treatment services." By Andrew J. Barnes, et al. Health Affairs, February 2020, pp. 238-246.
    Considers the effects of Virginia's application of a Section 1115 waiver to reforming its Medicaid substance use disorder [SUD] treatment services. Found that treatment for opioid use disorder [OUD] increased, while emergency department and inpatient hospital use decreased among Medicaid beneficiaries with OUD.
  • 20.02.30  /  "Explaining Texas v. U.S.: A guide to the case challenging the ACA." By MaryBeth Musumeci. Internet Resource, January 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Addresses common questions about Texas v. U.S. and the status of the Affordable Care Act. Includes infographic timelines, a map indicating states' positions on the litigation, and flowchart of potential outcomes.
  • 20.02.31  /  "Revisiting the proposal for a wealth tax." By Jack Salmon and Veronique de Rugy. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), February 7, 2020, pp. 1-13.
    Discusses the political debate about implementing a progressive wealth tax. Evaluates the potential outcomes of such a policy if implemented in the United States.
  • 20.02.32  /  "Affordable utility service: Advice to regulators." By Kenneth Costello. Public Utilities Fortnightly, February 1, 2020, pp. 78-81.
    Discusses different kinds of energy assistance used to address affordability problems and how effective the assistance is.
  • 20.02.33  /  "Navigable Waters Protection Rule to replace WOTUS." By Jessica Domel. Texas Agriculture, February 7, 2020, p. 12.
    Compares the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule [NWPR] with the 2015 Waters of the United States [WOTUS] rule. Proposes the NWPR will reduce regulatory uncertainty and limit federal control under the Clean Water Act.
  • 20.02.34  /  "Clearing the haze." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, February 2020, pp. 16-21.
    Considers the problem of e-cigarettes and EVALI [e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury], particularly as they relate to teenagers' rising use of vaping products. Notes that vaping is subject to SB21, 86th Legislature, which forbids the sale of tobacco or vaping products to anyone under 21.
  • 20.02.35  /  "News from America's best medical society." By Joey Berlin, Steve Levine, and David Doolittle. Texas Medicine, February 2020, pp. 10, 12, 14.
    Highlights current policy issues of interest to Texas physicians, including the Texas Department of Insurance's emergency rule regarding surprise billing and SB1264, 86th Legislature; federal legislation on surprise billing; and extending postpartum Medicaid coverage.

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.