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Current Articles & Research Resources, January 23

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

  • Explore trends in criminal justice reforms by state. (The Sentencing Project, January 2020)
  • See maps of where Americans are least active. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January 16, 2020)
  • Find out if you are registered to vote before the deadline for registering to vote in the March primary election. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed January 22, 2020)
  • Review the Administrative Law Handbook 2020. (Texas Attorney General, 2020)

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

  • 20.01.33  /  "Preventing tragedy: Learning from one another, states take steps to make schools safer." By Joel Sams. Capitol Ideas, Issue 5 2019, pp. 22-25.
    Discusses school safety provisions of Florida Senate Bill 7026 (2018), and school safety policies adopted in several states relating to building security, extreme risk protection orders, and threat assessment programs.
  • 20.01.34  /  "Attrition rate down to 21%, but Texas high schools lost over 88,000 students last year." By Roy L. Johnson. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), November-December 2019, pp. 5-6.
    Presents the results of the 34th annual report on trends in dropout and attrition rates in Texas public schools. Explains latest data shows continued, gradual improvement, but Latino and Black students were two times more likely to leave school without graduating than White students.
  • 20.01.35  /  "Large-capacity magazine bans linked with fewer mass shootings, deaths." By Jennifer Abbasi. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), January 14, 2020, pp. 108-109.
    Considers a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health that found a correlation between large-capacity magazine bans and lower rates of high-fatality mass shooting deaths.
  • 20.01.36  /  "Rurality and risk of perinatal depression among women in the United States." By Nichole Nidey, et al. Journal of Rural Health, Winter 2020, pp. 9-16.
    Reports that the odds of perinatal depression risk were higher by 21 percent among rural versus urban women, adjusted for race, ethnicity, and maternal age. Notes that the risk difference is not significant when adding maternal education, health insurance coverage, and WIC participation.
  • 20.01.37  /  "Observations from the trenches — Wayfair, a year and a half later." Journal of State Taxation, Winter 2019, pp. 29-34.
    Describes the effects of economic nexus changes in South Dakota v. Wayfair from a business compliance perspective. Addresses sales and use tax compliance software and the role of state governments in regulating sales tax sourcing and e-filing and online registration.
  • 20.01.38  /  "The border of business." By Jessica Corso. San Antonio Business Journal, January 10, 2020, pp. 11-14.
    Examines how the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement [USMCA] may impact the Texas economy. Highlights the value of exports from Texas to Mexico, estimated at $260 billion per year, and how the USMCA might affect this value.
  • 20.01.39  /  "Gentrification transforming neighborhoods in big Texas cities." By Yichen Su. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Fourth Quarter 2019, pp. 3-7.
    Analyzes gentrification and neighborhood transition trends in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin. Includes statistics on college graduates, income, racial and ethnic groups, housing construction, and home values in these cities, and discusses the implication of displacing at-risk, vulnerable populations to suburban areas.
  • 20.01.40  /  "Body cameras may not be the easy answer everyone was looking for." By Lindsey Van Ness. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), January 14, 2020, pp. 1-7.
    Highlights studies showing mixed results on body cameras leading to reductions in use of force by police or how people view the police.
  • 20.01.41  /  "Texas Legislature to study, focus on interim charges in 2020." By Julie Tomascik. Texas Agriculture, January 3, 2020, p. 9.
    Reports on some of the issues the Texas Legislature will examine in interim studies. Lists topics important to rural Texans and farmers, including eminent domain, rural broadband, personal property tax, groundwater regulation, hemp, food labels, and pesticide application.
  • 20.01.42  /  "Breaking down barriers." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, January 2020, pp. 42-44.
    Describes the benefits of long-acting reversible contraceptives [LARCs] and the regulatory barriers to prescribing them for women and their physicians. Notes the Texas Health and Human Services Commission's plans to study ways to improve access to LARCs by decreasing financial and administrative burdens.
  • 20.01.43  /  "Something in the air." By Christopher Collins. Texas Observer, January/February 2020, pp. 24-29.
    Investigates the effect of fecal dust pollution generated by cattle feedlots on Texans living in the Panhandle. Reports communities in feedlot hot spots have some of the highest levels of asthma in Texas and have little recourse but to move due to the lack of state regulation.

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, January 16

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

  • Read about how to file your taxes for free. (ProPublica, January 10, 2020)
  • Consider how the political climate in Texas may change as more people move here from out of state. (Stateline, January 13, 2020)
  • Consider a recent Fifth Circuit ruling related to the Affordable Care Act. (Health Affairs, January 13, 2020)
  • Review toll increases. (Texas Department of Transportation, December 23, 2019)

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

  • 20.01.17  /  "To be better citizens, students sue for the right to learn civics." By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo. Christian Science Monitor, December 30, 2019, pp. 6-7.
    Discusses a class-action lawsuit currently before a United States District Court in Rhode Island in which students argue they have a constitutional right to an adequate civics education to prepare them for successful participation in a democracy.
  • 20.01.18  /  "Project Blitz 2.0." By Rob Boston. Church & State, January 2020, pp. 4-5.
    Provides an example of state legislation promoted by the Project Blitz campaign to weaken church-state separation, the Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act of 2019.
  • 20.01.19  /  "New law news: House Bill 2820 eliminates TRS's 403(b) registry." Classroom Teacher (Texas Classroom Teachers Association), Fall 2019, p. 5.
    Discusses why HB2820, 86th Legislature, which removed the Teacher Retirement System's regulatory authority over 403(b) investment products, was enacted. Addresses potential problems with the new law.
  • 20.01.20  /  "Sex education in Texas schools: TexEd." Economist, January 4th-10th, 2020, pp. 18-19.
    Discusses the Austin Independent School District's [AISD] revised Human Sexuality & Responsibility Curriculum. Notes the controversy surrounding AISD's decision may foreshadow a larger battle when the State Board of Education considers revising state health and sex education standards in 2020.
  • 20.01.21  /  "Sexual assault: Her word against his." Economist, January 4th-10th, 2020, pp. 42-44.
    Explains why few rapists are convicted. Uses a fictional case study to illustrate the difficulty of weighing "he-said-she-said" evidence.
  • 20.01.22  /  "Tax trends at the dawn of 2020." By Jared Walczak. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), January 6, 2020, pp. 1-21.
    Looks at trends in state tax policy in 2020, including sales taxes on e-commerce after Wayfair v. South Dakota, legalization and taxation of marijuana, and taxation of sports betting.
  • 20.01.23  /  "California sets off privacy scramble." By Jeff John Roberts. Fortune, January 2020, pp. 18-19.
    Discusses national implications of the new California Consumer Privacy Act on businesses and consumers. Notes over twenty other states are copying the California law.
  • 20.01.24  /  "Out-of-network billing and negotiated payments for hospital-based physicians." By Zack Cooper, et al. Health Affairs, January 2020, pp. 24-32.
    Estimates that specialists' ability to bill out of network raises total health care costs for people with employee-sponsored insurance by approximately 3.4 percent ($40 billion). Proposes that hospitals be required to sell a package of facility and physician services to protect patients and provide a competitively determined price.
  • 20.01.25  /  "Structural urbanism contributes to poorer health outcomes for rural America." By Janice C. Probst, Jan Marie Eberth, and Elizabeth Crouch. Health Affairs, December 2019, pp. 1976-1984.
    Argues that biases in current models of health care funding treat health care as a service for an individual, rather than as infrastructure for a population. Suggests conceptualizing rural health care as infrastructure — similar to roads, telecommunications, and electricity — and adopting funding models accordingly.
  • 20.01.26  /  "Texas higher education law aims to improve outcomes for students in developmental education." By Bricio Vasquez. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), November-December 2019, pp. 1-2, 6.
    Explains that too many community college students are placed in non-credit remedial classes due to reliance on a single measure of college readiness with the unintended consequence of hindering progress and raising student attrition. Cites HB2223, 85th Legislature, R.S.; presents alternative approaches to college placement.
  • 20.01.27  /  "Marijuana update for practitioners: There is a bright line, a grey one." By Janel Greiman. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, January 2020, pp. 10-34.
    Analyzes the changing landscape of state laws legalizing recreational and medical marijuana and the tax implications. Includes a state-by-state list of marijuana or cannabis statutes, regulations, and voter-approved ballot initiatives, as well as a table of marijuana cultivation application and license fees across the states.
  • 20.01.28  /  "State and local government spending on public employee retirement systems." National Association of State Retirement Administrators, Updated December 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Describes nationwide spending on public pensions and trends in pension costs and financing. Notes Texas' pension contribution was 3.07 percent of all state and local government direct general spending in fiscal year 2017, compared to the United States average of 4.71 percent.
  • 20.01.29  /  "Scoot over: How electric scooters violate the ADA and what cities can do to maintain Title II compliance." By Jo Ann Mazoch. SMU Law Review, Fall 2019, pp. 871-893.
    Highlights the ways in which electric scooters violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the problems that electric scooters create for cities. Introduces solutions that allow cities to keep sidewalks accessible for people with disabilities.
  • 20.01.30  /  "Neighborhood Centers, Inc. v. Walker: The curious outcomes of new charter school legislation in Texas." By Brittny Mandarino. South Texas Law Review, Summer 2019, pp. 639-645.
    Discusses Texas legislation related to open enrollment charter schools and efforts to provide increasing protection for students and employees. Examines Neighborhood Centers, Inc. v. Walker and how a recent change in the applicability of laws to charter schools, HB1170, 84th Legislature, has affected the protection of employees under the Texas Whistleblower Act.
  • 20.01.31  /  "Electric cars will challenge state power grids." By Alex Brown. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), January 9, 2020, pp. 1-6.
    Examines whether states will be able to sufficiently boost power production to meet the increase in consumption from electric vehicles.
  • 20.01.32  /  "Taking privacy to a new level." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, January 2020, pp. 28-29.
    Outlines the new privacy protections set out by HB4390, 86th Legislature, which dropped the threshold for breach reporting from 500 patients to 250, requires medical entities to report breaches to the Texas attorney general's office within 60 days, and established the Texas Privacy Protection Advisory Council.

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, January 9

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

  • Explore state legislation related to maternal and child health. (National Conference of State Legislatures, December 20, 2019)
  • Consider the legal status of smokable hemp. (Stateline, January 6, 2020)
  • Examine campaign and election security policy. (Congressional Research Service, January 2, 2020)
  • Read about which diet tops the list of best diets overall. (U.S. News and World Report, accessed January 8, 2020)

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

  • 20.01.01  /  "A full count." By Michelle Healy. American School Board Journal, December 2019, pp. 26-29.
    Discusses the efforts of school districts across the United States to help ensure students are accurately counted in the 2020 Census. Reports 36 states lost $550 million in federal funding each year due to an undercount of children in the 2010 Census.
  • 20.01.02  /  "Cannabis: Green rolls in — slowly — under bigger state program." By Paul Thompson. Austin Business Journal, December 13, 2019, p. A4.
    Considers how legalization of hemp production and expansion of the state's Compassionate Use Program will affect the cannabis industry and the medical cannabis market. Mentions HB3703 and HB1325, 86th Legislature.
  • 20.01.03  /  "HB 3 and assessment: Comprehensive bill bringing changes to classrooms across Texas." Classroom Teacher (Texas Classroom Teachers Association), Fall 2019, pp. 9-11.
    Addresses the programmatic changes of HB3, 86th Legislature, relating to teacher incentive allotment/local teacher designation systems, additional school year days, literacy achievement academies, and assessment. Includes discussion of HB3906, 86th Legislature, another key bill on assessment.
  • 20.01.04  /  "Thanks for the support." Classroom Teacher (Texas Classroom Teachers Association), Fall 2019, pp. 14-15.
    Highlights members of the 86th Legislature who stood out for supporting teachers. Presents education-related issues and legislation backed by these lawmakers.
  • 20.01.05  /  "The shocking rise of Rx drug prices." By Lisa L. Gill. Consumer Reports, January 2020, pp. 38-48.
    Examines the factors that contribute to ballooning drug costs and how people can pay less for their medications.
  • 20.01.06  /  "At the heart of the crisis." By Sandhya Raman. CQ Weekly, December 9, 2019, pp. 14-19, 21.
    Examines how officials in Dayton, Ohio, have been able to significantly reduce opioid overdose deaths in their community. Attributes their progress to a variety of factors, including increased access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone, interagency teams sharing resources and data, and the involvement of community outreach groups.
  • 20.01.07  /  "Adoption: Fostering enmity." Economist, December 7th-13th, 2019, pp. 28-29.
    Discusses a proposed rule by the United States Department of Health and Human Services that would allow recipients of federal grants from the agency, including faith-based adoption agencies and foster care providers, to exclude same-sex couples on religious grounds.
  • 20.01.08  /  "Rural-urban differences in severe maternal morbidity and mortality in the US, 2007-15." By Katy Backes Kozhimannil, et al. Health Affairs, December 2019, pp. 2077-2085.
    Finds that while severe maternal morbidity and mortality increased among both rural and urban residents from 2007-2015, rural residents had a nine percent greater probability of severe maternal morbidity and mortality. Considers clinical factors, such as the opioid epidemic and workforce shortages, as well as social factors, such as housing, racism, food security, and more.
  • 20.01.09  /  "Using incentives within the market for prosperity: What every community needs to know to optimize economic development [Part Two]." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 36, No. 10, pp. 1-7.
    Focuses on the use of incentives, pointing out some of the key components of the appropriate use of this type of economic development tool.
  • 20.01.10  /  "Net neutrality is back once again: Questions remain." By Steve Goodman. Public Utilities Fortnightly, December 2019, p. 64.
    Provides an update on the state of net neutrality. Refers to a recent decision in a case challenging the Federal Communication Commission's most recent rulemaking order on net neutrality.
  • 20.01.11  /  "Expert views on gun laws." By Arthur Z. Berg, John R. Lott, Jr., and Gary A. Mauser. Regulation (CATO Institute), Winter 2019-2020, pp. 40-47.
    Compares the views of public health researchers with those of criminologists and economists on a wide range of gun control policies. Finds that academics from different fields vary widely in their views on the effectiveness of gun control.
  • 20.01.12  /  "Is the sky really falling? A closer look at the current pension "crisis" and the constitutionality of retroactive pension reform." By Aaron Wallace. South Texas Law Review, Summer 2019, pp. 597-638 (Note Length).
    Argues that there is not a pension crisis, and if there is credible risk, retroactive pension reform is not the only viable solution. Describes the Contracts Clause, the history of its application by the United States Supreme Court, and how it could be used to challenge pension reform. Highlights changes to the Houston Firefighters Relief and Retirement Fund, SB2190, 85th Legislature, R.S., and Texas' failure to recognize pensions as contractual obligations.
  • 20.01.13  /  "The persecution of Alfred Brown." By Angela Morris. Texas Lawyer, January/February 2020, p. 14-15.
    Examines the role of the Texas Attorney General and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in proceedings required under the Tim Cole Act to determine whether victims of wrongful incarceration are entitled to state compensation.
  • 20.01.14  /  "Far-reaching implications." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, December 2019, pp. 26-28.
    Points out that Texas' high uninsured rate impacts not only uninsured people but also shapes the healthcare industry, influences public health conditions, affects school and work attendance, and produces other ripple effects.
  • 20.01.15  /  "Shot in the dark." By Laura Beil. Texas Monthly, January 2020, pp. 76-87.
    Profiles Dorothy O'Connell (a Brazoria County resident), her use of stem cell therapy to cure arthritis, and the resulting medical complications that almost killed her. Discusses the stem cell industry and its lack of regulation, including the Food and Drug Administration's role, the history of the clinic and companies that supplied her treatment, and related legislation, HB810, 85th Legislature, R.S. Mentions Representatives Tan Parker and Drew Springer.
  • 20.01.16  /  "The prison inside prison." By Michael Barajas. Texas Observer, January/February 2020, pp. 12-22.
    Details the harmful psychological effects of long-term solitary confinement on inmates in prisons operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Provides a history of the use and abuse of the controversial punishment in the United States and efforts to reform the practice. Mentions legislation filed in 2019 that, had it passed, would have provided oversight of offenders' conditions of confinement. Quotes Representative Carl Sherman.

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, December 19

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

  • Consider how many homeowners are interested in having solar panels installed on their homes. (Pew Research Center, December 17, 2019)
  • Review a map of recent flu activity. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 2019)
  • Read the Natural Resources newsletter, new from the Texas Comptroller's office. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, December 12, 2019)
  • Explore current and archived economic indicators. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019)

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

  • "Why it feels like everything is going haywire." By Jonathan Haidt and Tobias Rose-Stockwell. Atlantic Monthly, December 2019, pp. 57-60.
    Explores the evolution of social media to explain how it has changed political discourse. Suggests reforms that would make social media more constructive and less destructive.
  • "Warning: Our schools contain vaping." By Sarah Gray. ATPE News (Association of Texas Professional Educators), Winter 2019, pp. 22-25.
    Discusses the problem of vaping in Texas schools. Provides statistics on e-cigarette usage in schools and mentions SB21, 86th Legislature, which raised the age for using tobacco products to 21.
  • "Threat to booze startups' profits emerges in D.C." By Paul Thompson. Austin Business Journal, December 6, 2019, p. 16.
    Reports on a federal excise tax break for craft distilleries that is set to expire on December 31, 2019. Notes that without this tax break, a significant number of "mom and pop" distilleries will go out of business. Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr1175/BILLS-116hr1175ih.pdf.
  • "What happens after misconduct on campus?" By Emma Pettit. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 29, 2019, pp. A22, A24.
    Considers what actions should be taken by the professor, department, and institution after sexual misconduct has occurred. Highlights the case of University of Texas at Austin professor Coleman Hutchison and the steps the university is taking in response to student protests.
  • "Abuzz over new crop." By Ellyn Ferguson. CQ Weekly, December 2, 2019, pp. 32-34.
    Discusses intent of recent federal hemp regulation. Addresses the challenges of encouraging the fledgling hemp industry and deterring marijuana growers. Mentions hemp production legislation in Texas and Ohio.
  • "Energy storage: To have and to hold." Economist, November 30th-December 6th, 2019, pp. 60-61.
    Reports the battery industry faces several barriers to broader energy storage deployment, as well as a patchwork of rules and regulations.
  • "For many young people, H.S. diploma enough for success." By Catherine Gewertz. Education Week, November 27, 2019, p. 5.
    Summarizes results of two surveys conducted on the value of a college degree. Discusses why a number of Americans believe a high school diploma is sufficient for achieving success.
  • "Declines in pediatric mortality fall short for rural US children." By Janice C. Probst, Whitney Zahnd, and Charity Breneman. Health Affairs, December 2019, pp. 2069-2076.
    Reports that rural children experienced higher mortality rates than urban children, with non-Hispanic black infants and American Indian/Alaska Native children being particularly at risk. Recommends ongoing surveillance of rural children's health, and policies targeting the leading causes of death in rural populations, unintentional injury and suicide.
  • "Rural hospitals: Here today, gone tomorrow." By Nick Bowman. Internet Resource, November 2019, pp.1-24.
    Discusses the recent struggles of rural hospitals and federal efforts to support them through loans, grants, and Medicare reimbursement. Reviews legislation by the fifteen Southern Legislative Conference member states that addresses rural health and rural hospitals.
  • "Surprise bills vary by diagnosis and type of admission." By Karen Pollitz, et al. Internet Resource, December 9, 2019, pp. 1-5.
    Analyzes surprise medical bills and finds that certain groups of patients — patients with surgical and mental health admissions, heart attack patients, and women undergoing mastectomies — may have a higher risk of surprise bills.
  • "What can the United States learn from pharmaceutical spending controls in France?" By Marc A. Rodwin. Internet Resource, November 2019, pp. 1-11.
    Examines France's system of pharmaceutical price and spending controls as a case study. Identifies potential approaches that private and public payers in the United States could use to reduce drug spending without restricting access to new drugs.
  • "Risk sharing: How to hold colleges accountable for the education they provide." By Beth Akers. Issue Brief (Manhattan Institute), December 10, 2019, pp. 1-7.
    Analyzes how the federal government can better measure college quality in order to police access to its student aid.
  • "Cannabidiol products are everywhere, but should people be using them?" By Rita Rubin. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 10, 2019, pp. 2156-2158.
    Observes the recent explosion of the CBD [cannabidiol] market, with products ranging from seizure medication and dietary supplements to bath salts and dog biscuits. Considers the problem of determining which CBD products are legal and calls for more research studies to ensure CBD's safe usage.
  • "The opioid crisis, corporate responsibility, and lessons from the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement." By Cheryl Healton, Robert Pack, and Sandro Galea. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 3, 2019, pp. 2071-2072.
    Considers how to frame a potential opioid Master Settlement Agreement [MSA], using lessons learned from the tobacco MSA. Proposes that the opioid settlement should create funds dedicated exclusively to proven public health approaches to directly address the opioid epidemic.
  • "Medicaid use among older low-income Medicare enrollees in California and Texas: A tale of two states." By Jacqueline L. Angel, Ronald J. Angel, and Phillip Cantu. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, December 2019, pp. 885-909.
    Examines Medicaid participation data among Medicare recipients 65 and older in California and Texas, with a particular focus on the older Mexican-origin population. Reports that Texans were more likely than Californians to report coverage at some point in the 17-year follow-up.
  • "The public pension slow burn: When is the flash point?" By Thomas J. Healey. Milken Institute Review, Fourth Quarter 2019, pp. 63-66, 68-70.
    Explores the public pension funding gap in five states — New Jersey, Kentucky, Illinois, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania — that comprises more than a third of the total unfunded pension liabilities in all 50 states combined.
  • "Renewable natural gas: What can we do to move ahead?" By Andreas Thanos, et al. Public Utilities Fortnightly, December 2019, pp. 28-31, 63.
    Discusses recent efforts by states to address renewable natural gas [RNG].
  • "Tiny homes for Austin's homeless." By Chris Moody. Reason, January 2020, pp. 35-40.
    Profiles Austin's Mobile Loaves and Fishes and its Community First! Village providing housing and community for some of Austin's homeless population.
  • "The Texas attorney discipline system." By Seana Willing. Texas Bar Journal, December 2019, pp. 844-845.
    Examines the initial impact of the Sunset Advisory Commission's recommendations to improve the efficiency of the attorney disciplinary system, following the State Bar's sunset review process and legislative changes enacted by SB302, 85th Legislature, R.S.
  • "Q&A: Food allergies in children." By David Doolittle. Texas Medicine, December 2019, pp. 6-7.
    Interviews Austin allergist Allen Lieberman, who asserts that there is a food-allergy epidemic right now. Notes SB66, 84th Legislature, which allowed schools to have undesignated epinephrine that can be used for any child experiencing an allergic reaction.

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, December 12

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

  • Read about recent examples of after school programs funded by state and federal dollars. (National Conference of State Legislatures, December 6, 2019)
  • Consider ways to prevent high-risk impaired drivers from repeatedly driving impaired. (Governors Highway Safety Association, December 2019)
  • Explore interactive data related to Texas' most congested roadways. (Texas A&M Transportation Institute, December 10, 2019)
  • Review the most recent report from the Ombudsman for Children and Youth in Foster Care. (Texas Health and Human Services, December 2019)

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

  • "Mind the gap: Antitrust, health disparities and telemedicine." By Theodosia Stavroulaki. American Journal of Law & Medicine, 2019, pp. 171-187.
    Questions whether telemedicine is as effective as purported in improving health outcomes, increasing access, and reducing costs. Considers the Teladoc, Inc. v. Texas Medical Board antitrust case and emphasizes the imperative to balance the benefits of technology-driven tools with the need to protect public safety and health.
  • "The secessionist." By Graeme Wood. Atlantic Monthly, December 2019, pp. 18-20.
    Profiles Daniel Miller, leader of the Texas Nationalist Movement, a group seeking Texas' secession from the United States. Highlights the history of Texas secession movements and independence movements involving other countries.
  • "Changes in purchasing-related statutes of special interest to counties." By Narita Holmes. County Progress, December 2019, pp. 12-13.
    Reviews bills passed during the 86th Legislature that require counties to comply with new changes to purchasing-related statutes.
  • "Drug-trafficking: Changing gear." Economist, November 23rd-29th, 2019, pp. 55-56.
    Discusses how drug-trafficking is evolving and diversifying, keeping police one step behind the traffickers.
  • "Public pensions: State of denial." Economist, November 16th-22nd, 2019, pp. 63-64.
    Reports several states with severely underfunded pensions are spiraling towards disaster, as future returns on investments are expected to be lower than normal.
  • "Screen time up as reading scores drop. Is there a link?" By Sarah D. Sparks. Education Week, November 13, 2019, pp. 1, 12.
    Discusses results of the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP], which indicate reading scores for students in the United States have declined significantly. Investigates how digital reading platforms affect students' reading skills.
  • "The decline in rural medical students: A growing gap in geographic diversity threatens the rural physician workforce." By Scott A. Shipman, et al. Health Affairs, December 2019, pp. 2011-2018.
    Points out that rural background is strongly associated with service to rural and underserved populations, as well as entry into primary care. Urges policy makers and other stakeholders to include rural background in consideration of medical student diversity.
  • "Higher US rural mortality rates linked to socioeconomic status, physician shortages, and lack of health insurance." By Gordon Gong, et al. Health Affairs, December 2019, pp. 2003-2010.
    Considers all-cause mortality rates in rural versus urban areas, noting that the rural rates have been higher in the United States since 1980 and that the gap has been widening. Argues that state efforts to address disparities in health care access could alleviate the higher rates faced by rural residents.
  • "Association of receipt of a housing voucher with subsequent hospital utilization and spending." By Craig Evan Pollack, et al. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 3, 2019, pp. 2115-2124.
    Finds that receipt of a housing voucher during childhood was significantly associated with lower rates of hospitalization and less inpatient spending during follow-up. Notes that adults who received vouchers did not experience significant differences in hospital use or spending.
  • "The tragedy of the 'trans' child." By Madeleine Kearns. National Review, December 9, 2019, pp. 29-32, 34-36.
    Examines gender dysphoria in young children and criticizes the work of some medical practitioners working with transgender issues. Focuses on a Texas custody case between the parents of James Younger, in which the mother claims the child is transgender and the father claims the child is not.
  • "The market for prosperity: What every community needs to know to optimize economic development [Part One]." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 36, No. 9, pp. 1-7.
    Presents the first installment of a two-part series on a framework for local community leaders to embrace the process of economic development.
  • "Militias, patriots, and border vigilantes in the age of Trump." By Jesse Walker. Reason, December 2019, pp. 20-21.
    Compares and contrasts the various "patriot" movement or militia groups that have organized from the Clinton presidency to the current day. Explains the groups represent a wide spectrum of ideas and priorities, not all of which are compatible.
  • "How to win Texas in 2020." By R.G. Ratcliffe. Texas Monthly, December 2019, pp. 64-70.
    Discusses briefly the effect Texas, as a battleground state, could have on federal and state elections. Compares opinions on whether Democrats can become the majority party in Texas and Democratic and Republican strategies for 2020.
  • "The impact of Winkler County." By Cindy Zolnierek. Texas Nursing, Fall 2019, p. 10.
    Describes the legislative impact of the 2009 Winkler County whistleblowing case. Highlights SB192, 82nd Legislature, R.S., which strengthened legal protections for nurses speaking out for patient safety, and HB581, 83rd Legislature, R.S., which allowed publicly employed nurses to participate in civil lawsuits for patient advocacy.
  • "Legal Q&A." By Scott Houston. Texas Town & City, December 2019, pp. 20-24.
    Reviews requirements imposed by the Texas Legislature on municipalities' building codes. Analyzes several pieces of legislation that affect licensing, permits, construction materials, and limitations of city building ordinances.
  • "Fear of mass shootings fuels a thriving bulletproof business." By Melissa Chan. Time, December 16, 2019, pp. 24-25.
    Discusses the recent sales boom of bulletproof backpacks and clothing geared toward students as a measure of protection against school shootings. Questions the effectiveness of such products and whether they are a distraction from focusing on long-term solutions to gun violence.

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, December 5

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

  • Explore the effects of privatizing state parks. (Stateline, December 3, 2019)
  • Consider how census counts affect transportation infrastructure funding. (U.S. Census Bureau, December 4, 2019)
  • Read the recent Alternatives to Abortion report. (Texas Health and Human Services, December 2019)
  • See which sidewalks are pedestrian-safe in the Capitol Complex Project area. (Texas Facilities Commission, November 8, 2019)

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

  • "State lawmakers plan to push bills letting athletes profit from fame." By Wesley Jenkins. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 15, 2019, p. A23.
    Considers the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] policy change that allows student athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. Highlights legislative proposals at the federal level and in various states, including a law passed by California ensuring athletes' rights to compensation.
  • "Sealing criminal records: Clean slates, rich states." Economist, November 16th-22nd, 2019, pp. 26-27.
    Discusses the bipartisan movement underway in several states to expunge tens of millions of old criminal records, partly to boost the supply of local labor but also to remove other barriers placed on people with records.
  • "Most school shooters gave many warning signs, report says." By Stephen Sawchuck. Education Week, November 13, 2019, pp. 1, 13.
    Summarizes a study conducted by the United States Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center [NATC] on incidents of school violence that occurred from 2008–2017. Highlights key findings and suggests many of the school shootings could have been prevented.
  • "Occupational licensing in Texas: How much is too much?" By Shannon Halbrook and Bruce Wright. Fiscal Notes, November 2019, pp. 1, 3-6.
    Provides an overview of occupational licensing in the United States and discusses increasing concerns over the restrictions of extensive occupational licensing in Texas, including economic costs and labor market consequences. Summarizes recent legislation to deregulate and simplify occupational licensing: SB2065, 85th Legislature, R.S., and SB37 and HB1342, 86th Legislature.
  • "Open government data: The economic benefits of transparency." By Jackie Benton. Fiscal Notes, November 2019, pp. 7-10.
    Looks at the history of the concept of government transparency and the importance of publicly available government data.
  • "Frequent emergency department users: Focusing solely on medical utilization misses the whole person." By Hemal K. Kanzaria, et al. Health Affairs, November 2019, pp. 1866-1875.
    Integrates medical, behavioral health, and social services data to study the wide-ranging needs of frequent emergency department [ED] users. Argues that policy makers should prioritize improvements in data sharing across sectors to avoid duplicative efforts and provide coordinated, more efficient care.
  • "Access to care: Addressing Texas’ physician-to-population ratio." By Rachel Cross. Internet Resource, September/October 2019, pp. 1-2.
    Probes the problem of the Texas physician shortage from the viewpoint of hospital administrators. Notes recent legislation supporting physician education and training.
  • "Energy security and the energy transition: A classic framework for a new challenge." By Mark Finley. Issue Brief (Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy), November 25, 2019, pp. 1-10.
    Suggests the framework used to assess energy security and mitigate risks to oil supplies can be relevant for assessing the vulnerabilities and risks of alternative energy forms in an evolving energy system.
  • "Colorado End-of-Life Options Act: A clash of organizational and individual conscience." By Matthew Wynia. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), November 26, 2019, pp. 1953-1954.
    Presents the 2016 Colorado End-of-Life Options Act as a case study on aid-in-dying legislation at the state level.
  • "The American K-12 decline." By Chester E. Finn, Jr. National Review, November 25, 2019, pp. 44-46.
    Considers current problems with the United States K-12 education system and argues that school choice and tinkering with standards and testing are not enough. Recommends giving students clear incentives and expectations for achievement.
  • "GAO: Government could get higher returns from offshore oil, gas leasing." By Nick Snow. Oil and Gas Journal, November 4, 2019, pp. 26-27.
    Summarizes a report from the Government Accountability Office [GAO] that addresses offshore oil and gas leasing.
  • "What is a 'well regulated militia,' anyway?" By Brian Doherty. Reason, December 2019, pp. 39-41.
    Discusses the two clauses comprising the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and explains them in a historical context and as interpreted by various United States Supreme Court cases.
  • "GPS down." By Paul Tullis. Scientific American, December 2019, pp. 38-45.
    Discusses the vulnerability of systems that rely on GPS [Global Positioning System] to hacking and spoofing attacks. Explains the United States has no backups in place if GPS is compromised.
  • "On shaky ground." By Douglas Shinkle, et al. State Legislatures, November/December 2019, pp. 10-19.
    Presents a series of articles on state policies to improve infrastructure in transportation, energy transmission facilities, water and wastewater plants, and disaster-related mitigation.
  • "More kids on Medicaid to get health care in school." By Michael Ollove. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), November 27, 2019, pp. 1-5.
    Reports more than a dozen states are taking advantage of a five-year-old federal policy change that allows public schools to bill Medicaid for health services provided to children enrolled in Medicaid.
  • "Regulatory impediments disproportionately affect voting rights in communities of color in Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana." By Reginal D. Harris and Brian M. King. Thurgood Marshall Law Review, Spring 2019, pp. 611-646 (Note Length).
    Examines the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and how subsequent amendments and court precedents have affected the original legislation, including Shelby County v. Holder, which effectively ended preclearance. Surveys the impact of laws within Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, on minority voters. Includes discussion of online voter registration, voter ID laws (SB14, 82nd Legislature, R.S. and SB5, 85th Legislature, R.S.), the disenfranchisement of felons, and the availability of polling locations.

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, November 21

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

  • Explore how local governments are addressing flood risk. (Pew Charitable Trusts, November 19, 2019)
  • Read about the women who have served in Congress throughout history to today. (Congressional Research Service, November 13, 2019)
  • Find trustworthy sources of election information. (Texas Secretary of State, November 12, 2019)
  • Review the text of the General Appropriations Act for the 2020-21 biennium. (Legislative Budget Board, released November 20, 2019)

 

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

  • "Uncaring: Will you be denied medical assistance because of someone else's religion?" By Liz Hayes. Church & State, November 2019, pp. 9-11.
    Discusses the possible effects of the Trump administration's proposed Denial of Care rule on patients and health care providers.
  • "California utilities: Sparks fly." Economist, November 9th-15th, 2019, p. 58.
    Reports on the three-way battle for control of California's Pacific Gas & Electric, which declared bankruptcy due to potential liabilities from huge fire-related expenses. Notes the utility risks a state takeover if it is not restructured by a June 30 deadline.
  • "The splinternet: Net loss." Economist, November 9th-15th, 2019, pp. 53-54.
    Reports big tech firms are facing an increase in new international laws controlling what they can host on their online platforms.
  • "The effects of full-day prekindergarten: Experimental evidence of impacts on children's school readiness." By Allison Atteberry. Educational Evaulation and Policy Analysis, December 2019, pp. 537-563. (Note length)
    Presents results from a randomized controlled trial [RCT] study conducted on the effects of full- versus half-day prekindergarten in Colorado. Claims this is the first rigorous evidence of the positive impact of full-day prekindergarten on the school readiness skills of children.
  • "Texas driver's licenses: A customer service challenge." By Lisa Minton. Fiscal Notes, October 2019, pp. 7-10.
    Discusses the lengthy wait times in the state driver's license offices administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Driver License Improvement Plan established by the Legislature in 2011, and the methods employed in other states to reduce driver's license wait times.
  • "Measles, mumps, and communion: A vision for vaccine policy." By Joshua T.B. Williams. Health Affairs, November 2019, pp. 1944-1947.
    Proposes using the Beloved Community concept of love and justice to craft inclusive policies that protect public health and respect religious belief.
  • "Medicaid expansion associated with reductions in preventable hospitalizations." By Hefei Wen, et al. Health Affairs, November 2019, pp. 1845-1849.
    Analyzes hospital inpatient discharge data and finds that Medicaid expansions were associated with meaningful downstream reductions in hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions, such as COPD, diabetes-related complications, and bacterial pneumonia.
  • "The number of uninsured children is on the rise." By Joan Alker and Lauren Roygardner. Internet Resource, October 2019, pp. 1-19.
    Reports that the number of uninsured children in the United States increased by more than 400,000. Includes Texas on lists on 15 states showing statistically significant increases in the number and rate of uninsured children. Notes demographic characteristics of uninsured children.
  • "The long-term economic forecast for Texas metropolitan areas." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 36, No, 8, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Highlights results from the most recent long-term forecast for Texas' metropolitan statistical areas [MSAs], the major drivers of economic activity across the state. Notes the largest MSAs account for 75.7 percent of wages and salary employment in the state and 77.6 percent of output.
  • "5G is the future." By Eric Boehm. Reason, November 2019, pp. 21-27.
    Explains the significance of the developing 5G cellular network technology infrastructure. Identifies federal and local proposals and philosophies for regulating its formation and growth.
  • "The politics of Medicaid expansion have changed." By Michael Ollove. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), November 13, 2019, pp. 1-7.
    Examines factors making Medicaid expansion more favorable for Republican lawmakers.
  • "Texas outlaws 'deepfakes' — but can they be stopped?" By Kenneth Artz. Texas Lawyer, December 2019, pp. 16-17.
    Discusses SB751, 86th Legislature, which amended the state's Election Code to criminalize deceptive videos created with the intent to influence the outcome of an election. Questions the new law's constitutionality, noting political speech is one of the highest forms of protected speech.
  • "Big noises, big issues." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, November 2019, pp. 18-23.
    Identifies and discusses some of the major health care issues in the 2020 election cycle, including health coverage, Medicaid, suprise medical bills, prescription drugs, and opioids.
  • "Special report — Texas pension funds achieve milestone in 2018-19." TEXPERS News Update, November 13, 2019, pp. 1-4.
    Reports on amortization period trends, a measure of Texas public retirement systems' health. (Related charts at: https://www.texpers.org/2019_am_period_charts)

 

 

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.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, November 14

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

  • Consider how hospital closures and doctor shortages affect maternity care in rural areas. (National Conference of State Legislatures, November 1, 2019)
  • Read about how election officials can prepare for high voter turnout. (Brennan Center for Justice, November 12, 2019)
  • Try silencing electronic devices to avoid sleep interruptions. (Wired, November 11, 2019)
  • Explore dam safety concerns across the country. (AP News, November 11, 2019)

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

  • "Latino power." By Francine Kiefer. Christian Science Monitor, November 4, 2019, pp. 22-28.
    Discusses the rise of Latino activists in the wake of California's 1994 Proposition 187, which sought to deny state services to unauthorized immigrants. Highlights the influence of Latinos as voters and as members of the California state legislature. Considers whether this impact could be replicated in Texas and other states.
  • "Texas' digital divide: The state of broadband in Texas' rural communities." By Lauren Mulverhill. Fiscal Notes, October 2019, pp. 1, 3-6.
    Examines the state of the digital divide in Texas, the lack of broadband and high-speed Internet in rural Texas, and the economic implications for telemedicine, agriculture, education, business, and tourism. Notes Laredo and Brownsville hold the top two spots on the 2017 list of the worst-connected cities in the United States.
  • "Up in smoke?" By Sy Mukherjee. Fortune, November 2019, pp. 120-125.
    Discusses health controversies surrounding vaping and the effect these controversies are having on the vaping industry and Big Tobacco. Explores the recent debut of heat-not-burn devices as an alternative nicotine product that could fill the void if vaping becomes untenable.
  • "Spotlight Brief: Houston Harris County Youth LEAD." By Khanya Collier. Internet Resource, October 2019, pp. 1-15.
    Describes the development of the Houston Harris County Youth Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion [LEAD] Program to mitigate the number of youth entering the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • "Charter school constitutional funding challenges: North Carolina and Texas may serve as a harbingers for the future." By R. Craig Wood. Journal of Education Finance, Spring 2019, pp. 341-360.
    Analyzes state court cases that challenged the constitutionality of how charter schools are funded. Focuses on recent cases from North Carolina and Texas.
  • "Opportunity Zone investments: More adventures in the Land of OZ." By Steven Berman and Louis Weller. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, November/December 2019, pp. 14-24.
    Provides a federal regulatory update on the Opportunity Zones program, established in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act to promote new economic development. Addresses selected aspects of Qualified Opportunity Zone investments and business operations.
  • "Why don't environmentalists just buy the land they want to protect? Because it's against the rules." By Shawn Regan. Reason, December 2019, pp. 46-51.
    Reviews the history of laws and regulations governing the use of federal-and state-managed lands. Explains rules usually bar conservation-minded bidders because there is frequently a requirement for leaseholders to develop resources. Highlights examples of recent attempts by environmentalists to bid on resources as an alternative to litigation.
  • "Latino education in Texas: A history of systematic recycling discrimination." By Albert H. Kauffman. St. Mary's Law Journal, Vol. 50, No. 3, pp. 861-916 (Note Length).
    Focuses on discrimination in public education, with greater emphasis on the last fifty years. Discusses major litigation, developments in the Texas Legislature, and developments in Texas and federal administrative agencies that have affected Latino education.
  • "Some wonder if electric microgrids could light the way in California." By Sophie Quinton. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), November 6, 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Reports the threat of future blackouts could put California at the forefront of a national push toward localizing the energy grid. Considers whether distributed energy systems can eliminate the need for risky, long-distance transmission lines.
  • "Texas takes big steps to address card skimming." By Celeste Embrey. Texas Banking, November 2019, pp. 27, 30.
    Discusses HB2945, 86th Legislature, by Representative Mary Ann Perez, which addressed credit card skimming at gas pumps and created a Payment Card Fusion Center in Tyler as a single contact point for all credit card payment fraud, including ATMs.
  • "The unrelenting cycle of ATM skimming." By Randy Phillips. Texas Banking, November 2019, pp. 12-15.
    Offers insight from a financial security consultant concerning automated teller machine [ATM] skimmers. Discusses physical attacks on ATMs, including "eavesdropping" or "wiretapping," and security measures for banks to mitigate attacks.
  • "Weather whiplash." By Megan Kimble. Texas Observer, Nov/Dec 2019, pp. 10-11.
    Interviews Katherine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech University professor and atmospheric scientist, on how climate change is affecting Texas.

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, November 7

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

  • Review the results of the recent election in Texas. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed November 6, 2019)
  • Track e-cigarette regulation by state. (Public Health Law Center, ©2019)
  • Read the most recent State of Texas Annual Cash Report. (November 4, 2019)
  • Consider how rural hospitals are in danger of closing. (Southern Office of the Council of State Governments, November 2019)

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

  • "Applying the research and evaluation provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act." By Amy McKlindon. Child Trends, October 24, 2019, pp. 1-11.
    Highlights the child welfare provisions in the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892, 115th Congress, Title VII). Discusses next steps for state agencies and legislators in implementation, including funding for evidence-based prevention services to prevent foster care entry, support for kinship caregivers, and criteria for appropriate use of residential treatment.
  • "How states' rights became a liberal environmentalist cause." By Amanda Paulson and Martin Kuz. Christian Science Monitor, October 28, 2019, pp. 18-19.
    Highlights the federal revocation of California's waiver to set state emissions standards. Explains it in terms of the ongoing tension among federalism, states' rights, and specific conservative or liberal policy viewpoints.
  • "An overlooked crisis." By Charles F. McElwee. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), October 23, 2019, pp. 1-3.
    Discusses the effects of declining volunteerism, particularly the shortages in volunteer fire departments and rural EMS agencies. Points out Pennsylvania's legislative initiatives to boost volunteer numbers could serve as a model for other states.
  • "Sandra Bland Act: Prisoner safety measures address at-risk inmates." County Progress, November 2019, p. 18.
    Examines Texas Commission on Jail Standards [TCJS] and county compliance with the Sandra Bland Act. Outlines the new rules and procedures the TCJS adopted that counties must implement by September 1, 2020.
  • "Field of dreams." CQ Weekly, October 15, 2019, pp. 12-19.
    Focuses on the excitement being generated by the fledgling hemp industry, along with growing pains and regulatory uncertainties. Profiles hemp farmers and hemp production in Kentucky, a leading state in the industry.
  • "Impeachment: Trying times." Economist, October 26th-November 1st, 2019, pp. 21-22.
    Discusses impeachment procedures and what a United States Senate trial of President Donald Trump might look like.
  • "Evolving public views on the likelihood of violence from people with mental illness: Stigma and consequences." By Bernice A. Pescosolido, Bianca Manago, and John Monahan. Health Affairs, October 2019, pp. 1735-1743.
    Inspects trends in public perceptions regarding mental illness, potential violence, and coerced treatment. Reports that despite scientific evidence to the contrary, public and political rhetoric persist in convincing people of significant links between mental illness and crime.
  • "The kids are online — and alright." By Camille Crittenden. Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2019, pp. 43-47.
    Outlines unexpected benefits of access to broadband internet for teens, including a correlation with reduced rates of teen pregnancy and STDs; improved mental health; aiding those at economic risk with job skills and employment opportunities; and civic engagement. Discusses efforts to expand access to broadband, continued disparities in service, and partnerships that should be explored to make access and service equitable.
  • "Credits & incentives update: Texas renews and refines various incentive programs." By Tam Vo and David Bell. Journal of State Taxation, Fall 2019, pp. 19-21.
    Highlights appropriations in the 86th Legislature for economic development incentives, including the Texas Enterprise Fund, Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, Governor's University Research Initiative, tourism promotion, and the Defense Economic Assistance Grant Program. Discusses new transparency requirements of HB3143, 86th Legislature, relating to the Property Redevelopment and Tax Abatement Act.
  • "A shale-gas revolution, if we can keep it." By Mario Loyola. National Review, October 28, 2019, pp. 34-35.
    Argues that fracking has reduced carbon emissions more than climate policies have by producing more plentiful natural gas, which has displaced coal in electric generation. Discusses the political and regulatory obstacles encountered in building pipelines and liquefied natural gas export facilities needed to transport natural gas to markets.
  • "More frac jobs, less crime." By Steven Poruban. Oil and Gas Journal, October 7, 2019, p. 14.
    Summarizes The Impact of Economic Opportunity on Criminal Behavior: Evidence from the Fracking Boom, a recent study from the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.
  • "Promoting maternal health in rural and underserved areas." By Darcy Nikol Bryan. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), October 23, 2019, pp. 1-8.
    Recommends reconsideration of state-level public policies that have exacerbated or initiated barriers to quality and access in rural healthcare, such as scope of practice restrictions, state medical licensing requirements, and limits to telemedicine implementation.
  • "Balancing act: Natural gas and electrification." By Alice Clamp. Public Power, September/October 2019, pp. 26-31.
    Highlights how two utilities, including Texas-based CPS Energy, are addressing ways to adapt to changes, such as increasing electrification. Refers to a report, New Sources of Utility Growth: Electrification Opportunities and Challenges.
  • "The Texas Forensic Science Commission: Oversight and the road map to admissibility of forensic evidence in Texas." By Lynn Garcia and Leigh Savage. Texas Bar Journal, November 2019, pp. 794-796.
    Describes how the Texas Forensic Science Commission's activities affect the admissibility of certain forensic evidence and the efforts underway to continue the integrity and reliability of forensic science in Texas courts.
  • "The Texas Junk Science Writ: A look six years in." By Kirk Cooper. Texas Bar Journal, November 2019, pp. 798-799.
    Discusses the history and applicability of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 11.073, known as the Junk Science Writ, which allows prisoners to challenge potential wrongful convictions on the basis of new or changed scientific evidence.
  • "Inside the 86th legislative session." By Susan Wright. Texas Builder, September/October 2019, pp. 28-35.
    Summarizes the 86th Legislature from the perspective of the Texas residential construction and development industry, including the Texas Association of Builders' "major legislative accomplishments" on building permits, land development, and the agriculture roll-back tax, as well as broader issues of school finance, property taxes, flood planning, and disaster management.
  • "Critical condition." By Christopher Collins and Sophie Novack. Texas Observer, Nov/Dec 2019, pp. 12-30.
    Presents a series of articles about the lack of health care in rural communities in Texas and the negative impact on Texans. Addresses hospital closures in East Texas and doctor shortages in the Panhandle.

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, October 31

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

  • Explore statistics related to private correctional facilities. (The Sentencing Project, October 24, 2019)
  • Consider that the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is finalizing a rule that will allow for hemp production. (AP News, October 29, 2019)
  • See how many people struggle with feeling well rested. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 25, 2019)
  • Read about the immigration detention framework established by the Immigration and Nationality Act. (Congressional Research Service, October 24, 2019)

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

  • "State higher education funding cuts have pushed costs to students, worsened inequality." By Michael Mitchell, Michael Leachman, and Matt Saenz. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, October 24, 2019, pp. 1-22.
    Finds that state spending on public colleges and universities is still more than $6 billion below what it was just before the Great Recession in 2008, resulting in tuition increases, faculty reductions, and limited course offerings. Includes state data on higher education funding and tuition increases from 2008-2018, and a Texas fact sheet.
  • "Trends in public opinion on US gun laws: Majorities of gun owners and non-gun owners support a range of measures." By Colleen L. Barry, et al. Health Affairs, October 2019, pp. 1727-1734.
    Examines data from the National Survey of Gun Policy from 2013-2019, and finds that large majorities of both gun owners and non-gun owners strongly support a range of measures to strengthen gun laws in the United States.
  • "Biggert-Waters and rising tides: Searching for enduring reform to the National Flood Insurance Program in today's politics." By Austin Johnson. Houston Law Review, Fall 2019, pp. 227-259 (Note Length).
    Examines the need to reform the current flood insurance system due to repetitive loss properties, continued development in flood plains, and debt. Analyzes how the political process and the political climate affected the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Considers policy issues related to stabilizing and reforming the National Flood Insurance Program through buy outs with subsidies and eminent domain.
  • "The electric grid in the digital age." By Mark P. Mills. National Review, October 28, 2019, pp. 40-42.
    Identifies the major reason for increased electricity usage since 2000 as the growing need for real-time availability for digital applications and processes. Argues the "variable" power of wind and solar sources and costs of battery storage facilities cannot handle the uninterrupted energy needs of the exploding digital economy.
  • "The trouble with 'renewables.'" By Benjamin Zycher. National Review, October 28, 2019, pp. 36-37.
    Considers the Green New Deal's support of wind and solar power. Suggests there are problems with these two power sources in terms of economy, capacity, and environmental hazards.
  • "The liquid left behind: Uncertainty about the cleanup costs and liability for water used in fracking." By James T. O'Reilly. Natural Resources & Environment, Fall 2019, pp. 42-44.
    Provides a brief description of hydraulic fracturing and its by-products. Considers issues related to liability in the disposal of wastewater and solid waste from fracking, including orphaned and abandoned wells, property ownership and leases, and seismic activity. Mentions the upcoming United States Supreme Court decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, regarding water pollution conveyed from a point source to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater.
  • "You're fired." By Jill Lepore. New Yorker, October 28, 2019, pp. 26-31.
    Explores the origins of impeachment in British history, the inclusion in the United States Constitution, and its application in the eighteen impeachment trials held by the United States Senate. Suggests impeachment is a "political experiment" and each "reinvents what impeachment is for, and what it means."
  • "Driving electric: Utilities break into the transportation industry." By Susan Partain. Public Power, September/October 2019, pp. 14-23.
    Considers how public utilities are adapting to the transportation industry's potential increase in the use of electricity for fuel.
  • "Enhancing regulatory commissions' ability to fight climate change: Potential legislative enablements." By David Boonin. Public Utilities Fortnightly, October 2019, pp. 66-68.
    Discusses possible legislative measures that could make regulators and utilities more effective in combatting climate change.
  • "Texas cancer agency seeks new vote of approval." By Jocelyn Kaiser. Science, October 18, 2019, p. 294.
    Discusses the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas [CPRIT] if voters approve Proposition 6 in the upcoming constitutional amendments election.
  • "Potential E-Verify deal would give legal status to farmworkers." By Tim Henderson. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), October 24, 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Considers whether congressional Democrats can broker a deal with Republicans to grant legal status to farmworkers currently in the country illegally in exchange for mandatory checks for legal status of all future hires. Points out the variation in job screening for illegal immigration with E-Verify — 94 percent in Georgia compared to 32 percent in Texas during the period ending June 2017.
  • "Texas agriculture needs China trade war resolved." By Russell Boening. Texas Agriculture, October 4, 2019,
    p. 2.
    Addresses the harmful effects the trade war with China is having on Texas farmers and agriculture. States that without a robust trade environment, net farm income in Texas will continue to decline.
  • "Street fight." By Christopher Hooks. Texas Monthly, November 2019, pp. 54-62.
    Discusses the recent Austin City Council decision to decriminalize homelessness, including changes to ordinances related to sleeping, camping, and panhandling in public spaces. Provides background on the origin of the 1996 anti-camping ordinance, reactions to its recent reversal, and complications to decreasing homelessness including rising housing costs and local government revenue caps instituted by SB2, 86th Legislature.
  • "Prop. 5 would provide needed park funding." Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, November 2019, pp. 10-11.
    Summarizes Proposition 5 in the upcoming constitutional amendments election. Explains its passage would dedicate sales tax revenue from the sale of sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission.

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.

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