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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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, October 24

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

  • Read about Amazon's role in state and local elections. (Reuters, October 15, 2019)
  • Review data related to vaping-associated lung injury cases in Utah. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 22, 2019)
  • Consider what some states are doing to address noise pollution's effect on wildlife. (Stateline, October 22, 2019)
  • Find out where to dispose of unused prescription medications properly. (Drug Enforcement Administration, accessed October 23, 2019)

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

  • "Pocket prairies: Natural solutions to unnatural flooding." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, October 21, 2019, pp. 18-19.
    Highlights the numerous "pocket prairies" established in Houston, and nearby native prairies, the Deer Park Prairie and the Katy Prairie Conservancy. Explains their role in handling storm water and providing wildlife habitat and park space.
  • "Total state and local business taxes: State-by-state estimates for FY18." Council on State Taxation, October 17, 2019, pp. 1-25.
    Compares state and local business taxes paid in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, including business property taxes, sales and excise taxes, gross receipts taxes, corporate income and franchise taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, and pass-through business taxes. Finds Texas' business share of total state and local taxes was 62.3 percent in fiscal year 2018. Notes a majority of the increase in severance taxes occurred in Texas due to higher oil prices, and Texas had the largest dollar increase ($2.4 billion) in business property tax revenue.
  • "Eyes on the border wall." By Camila DeChalus. CQ Weekly, October 7, 2019, pp. 22-25.
    Details the technologies being used to supplement security at the Texas border with Mexico and the federal government's efforts to fund and deploy newer high-tech equipment. Addresses how eminent domain issues and Texas landowners' privacy rights are affected by the technological approaches to border security.
  • "Suffering in many languages." By Tanvi Misra and Camila DeChalus. CQ Weekly, September 30, 2019, pp. 20-25.
    Addresses the significant increase in people from India and other South Asian countries seeking asylum in the United States. Discusses the unique challenges encountered by non-Spanish-speaking migrants and the desperate measures they take for assistance.
  • "Self-driving cars: Autonomous ways." Economist, October 12th-18th, 2019, pp. 65-66.
    Points out China's approach to self-driving cars — heavy on infrastructure and government oversight — may surpass that of western car makers, placing the country at the forefront of an estimated $2 trillion market by 2040.
  • "Sports events pose risks for violence." By Arianna Prothero and Denisa R. Superville. Education Week, September 25, 2019, pp. 1, 14-15.
    Discusses challenges of protecting students and the public from acts of violence at school-sponsored athletic events. Focuses on school districts in Texas.
  • "The K-12 takeover: Big philanthropy's bid to privatize education." By Andrea Gabor. Harper's Magazine, November 2019, pp. 55-63,
    Looks at the influence of philanthropists on charter schools, including the Knowledge Is Power Program [KIPP], away from a "vision of teacher- and community-led schools" to centers of educational and social reform.
  • "Background checks for firearm purchases: Problem areas and recommendations to improve effectiveness." Health Affairs, October 2019, pp. 1702-1710.
    Explains why the benefits of background checks in reducing the risk of firearm violence have been seen only among those directly affected, and not at the population level. Recommends actions to remedy the design and implementation of background checks so they can better prevent violence.
  • "Linking public safety and public health data for firearm suicide prevention in Utah." By Catherine Barber, et al. Health Affairs, October 2019, pp. 1695-1701.
    Presents a case study of how firearm stakeholders, state agency representatives, legislators, and suicide researchers came together in Utah to study firearm suicide prevention and deliver actionable findings for all parties.
  • "High unintended pregnancy rate spurs efforts to ease contraceptive access." By Rita Rubin. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), October 15, 2019, pp. 1434-1436.
    Outlines approaches to improve contraceptive access that could be undertaken at the federal, state, and private industry levels, including producing an over-the-counter oral contraceptive product, permitting pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives, online resources, and addressing insurance issues.
  • "The long-term outlook for the Texas economy." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 36, No. 7, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Summarizes the latest long-term projections for the Texas economy. Considers the impact of the oil and gas sector on the state.
  • "Buying solar energy by the minute: Aligning benefits with costs." By Robert L. Borlick. Public Utilities Fortnightly, October 2019, pp. 38-40, 65.
    Focuses on the solar energy incentive programs known as Net Energy Metering. Reviews various incentives provided for residential rooftop solar photovoltaic systems in some states, including Texas.
  • "Tech giants fight digital right-to-repair bills." By Elaine S. Povich. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), October 16, 2019, pp. 1-5.
    Examines states' lack of success in passing legislation that will allow independent repair shops and consumers to gain access to manufacturers' parts, manuals, and schematics for cellphones.
  • "Legislative summary: 86th Texas legislative session." Texas Board of Nursing Bulletin, October 2019, pp. 6-8.
    Provides summaries of bills affecting the nursing profession.
  • "Vote for CPRIT." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, October 2019, pp. 18-23.
    Highlights the achievements and contributions of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas [CPRIT]. Urges support of the constitutional amendment to extend CPRIT's funding.

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 17

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

  • Read about rural population growth in recent years. (National Conference of State Legislatures, September 2019)
  • Consider the impact of electric scooters. (Council of State Governments, September 2019)
  • Explore how Texas' economy compares with other states. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed October 16, 2019)
  • Get current information about the upcoming elections. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed October 16, 2019)

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

  • "Fort Worth asks: Can a Klan hall become a place of healing?" By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, September 30, 2019, pp. 8-9.
    Highlights the move to transform a former Fort Worth Ku Klux Klan hall into a shared community space focusing on dialogue and equity, while also promoting a better understanding of racist events in the city's history.
  • "Laboring against discrimination." By Samantha Sokol. Church & State, October 2019, pp. 4-5.
    Highlights the United States Department of Labor's proposed rule that would expand a religious exemption available to taxpayer-funded federal contractors. Surmises the rule would allow religiously-affiliated contractors to claim a religious right when they refuse to hire or fire certain people.
  • "Borderline despair: How the U.S. is warehousing asylum-seekers." By Camila DeChalus. CQ Weekly, September 30, 2019, pp. 14-19.
    Examines the impact the Migration Protection Protocols [MPP] policy, also known as the Remain in Mexico program, is having on those who are seeking asylum in the United States. Argues these new restrictions on asylum are discouraging migrants from entering the United States legally.
  • "Texas: The magenta mammoth." Economist, October 5th-11th, 2019, pp. 21-22.
    Considers the prospects of Democrats winning Texas in the 2020 elections.
  • "High court case tests faith-based use of tax credits." By Mark Walsh. Education Week, October 2, 2019, pp. 1, 10-11.
    Provides background information on the upcoming United States Supreme Court case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which addresses whether groups can receive state tax credits for private school scholarship donations. Suggests the high court's ruling could be significant for K-12 education and potentially affect state constitutional provisions in 37 states.
  • "The law and ethics of fetal burial requirements for reproductive health care." By Dov Fox, I. Glenn Cohen, and Eli Y. Adashi. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), October 8, 2019, pp. 1347-1348.
    Considers the legal and ethical ramifications of recent and historical fetal burial requirement cases that have been heard by the United States Supreme Court, with Box v. Planned Parenthood being the most recent.
  • "Patterns of telehealth use among rural Medicaid beneficiaries." By Jean A. Talbot, et al. Journal of Rural Health, Summer 2019, pp. 298-307.
    Provides information about telehealth use in 2011, including the prevalence of telehealth use among rural and urban Medicaid beneficiaries, characteristics of telehealth users, reimbursement policies, and unique rural service needs.
  • "The danger of being 'endangered.'" By Shawn Regan. National Review, September 30, 2019, pp. 21-23.
    Considers new revisions to the Endangered Species Act regulations, including the restoration of a regulatory distinction between threatened and endangered species. Suggests the new rules will encourage states, landowners, and conservationists to collaborate better on recovery efforts for threatened species.
  • "The right to make arms." By Kevin D. Williamson. National Review, September 30, 2019, pp. 41-43.
    Discusses the Remington Arms Co. v. Soto case, currently before the United States Supreme Court, and the question of whether the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act [PLCAA] exception would stop Connecticut families in their attempt to sue Remington for its Bushmaster rifle advertising.
  • "The challenges of economic growth." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 36, No. 6, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Quantifies the importance of proactive actions to address challenges associated with the demands of rapid expansion in an area's population and economy. Uses the unprecedented growth in Midland, Texas as a case study.
  • "How one school is tackling the youth vaping epidemic." By Christine Vestal. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), September 23, 2019, pp. 1-9.
    Reports school administrators are using a combination of strategies to reduce student vaping at South Portland High School in Maine: limiting suspensions, giving students behavioral health assessments, providing alternative ways to socialize, and offering mental health and addiction counseling.
  • "An abridged guide to the 86th Texas Legislature for county clerks." By Teresa Keil. Texas County Progress, October 2019, pp. 34, 38, 55.
    Lists a dozen bills passed during the 86th Texas Legislature that affect county clerks and how they perform their duties.
  • "Moving on." By Amy Lynn Sorrel. Texas Medicine, October 2019, p. 48.
    Profiles Representative John Zerwas, MD, highlighting his significant legislation relating to medicine and noting his new role as the University of Texas System's executive vice chancellor for health affairs.

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 10

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

  • Review the legal authority  behind appropriating money for border wall construction. (Congressional Research Service, October 2, 2019)
  • Consider strategies to stop or slow the spread of the flu. (National Conference of State Legislatures, October 2019)
  • Read about whether sin taxes  are a reliable source of state revenue. (Tax Policy Center, October 2019)
  • Explore how cable companies use hidden fees  to increase consumers' cable bills. (Consumer Reports, October 2019)

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

  • "Alarms sound on air rescues." By Mary Ellen McIntire. CQ Weekly, September 23, 2019, pp. 24-26.
    Details challenges faced by Congress and the states in their efforts to protect consumers from balance billing, a practice that can result in unexpected and exorbitant bills for air ambulance services.
  • "Electronic monitoring: Pricey tags." Economist, September 28th-October 4th, 2019, pp. 24, 26.
    Suggests the high fees and burdensome conditions associated with electronic monitoring are comparable to the type of injustices imposed by cash bail. Notes monitoring stigmatizes people who have not been convicted of a crime and drives them into debt.
  • "Taxing out-of-state sellers: New state tax laws may bring in $500 million annually." By Shannon Halbrook. Fiscal Notes, September 2019, pp. 6-9.
    Discusses state tax policy on Internet sales tax revenue after South Dakota v. Wayfair and changes in Texas law and regulations, including an amended Comptroller's rule, and HB1525 and HB2153, 86th Legislature.
  • "You down with CBD? Yea you know me  states look to incentivize and tax growing hemp industry." By Daniel G. Mudd. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, October 2019, pp. 32-34.
    Chronicles the development of the hemp industry and growth of hemp-based products such as the popular cannabidiol [CBD]. Highlights state incentive programs for hemp cultivation in Kentucky and Colorado, and state taxation of hemp in Vermont, Louisiana, and Montanna.
  • "States are depriving innocent people of their Second Amendment rights."  By Jacob Sullum, Reason, November 2019, pp. 46-51.
    Considers red flag laws used to obtain extreme risk orders to seize firearms. Reviews the history of enactment of these laws and explains problems with their application. Offers suggestions for improving the laws and due process protections.
  • "Texas' energy base drives climate concerns as renewables expand." By Jesse Thompson and Emma Marshall. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Third Quarter 2019, pp. 9-13.
    Reports the state's high industrial share of carbon emissions and its leadership role in renewable energy will place Texas in the center of the debate about climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gases.
  • "Education: Learning from the best."  By Michelle Exstrom. State Legislatures, September/October 2019, pp. 12-16.
    Discusses four common elements of world-class educational systems. Considers how states can apply lessons learned from studying high-performing education systems to improve student achievement and prepare higher-skilled workers. (Report at http://www.ncsl.org/documents/educ/Edu_International_FinaI_V2.pdf)
  • "Climate change could make borrowing costlier for states and cities." By Alex Brown.  Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), October 1, 2019, pp. 1-7.
    Considers how the bond sectors' increasing attention to climate risk issues will affect the municipal bond market. Mentions Port Arthur, Texas, experienced credit downgrades after major hurricanes.
  • "Q&A with Ernesto Ballesteros: Person taked with overseeing cybersecurity matters for Texas provides a glimpse of goals, initiatives and priorities." Texas Banking, October 2019, pp. 14-16.
    Interviews Ernesto Ballesteros, state cybersecurity coordinator and chairman of the Texas Cybersecurity Council, about cybersecurity matters generally, recent ransomware attacks in rural Texas communities, and cybersecurity awareness for the Texas banking industry. Discusses the composition and charge of the Texas Cybersecurity Council, established in 2013 (SB1102, 83rd Legislature, R.S.) and expanded in 2017 (HB8, 85th Legislature, R.S.).
  • "Battling over the past." By Christopher Hooks. Texas Monthly, October 2019, pp. 82-85, 154-158.
    Contrasts recent trends in Texas history to correct the historical record and be more inclusive with efforts to maintain traditional accounts. Discusses legislation to replace Confederate Heroes Day with Civil War Remembrance Day (HB1242, 84th Legislature) and to restrict the removal or alteration of certain monuments from public property (SB1663, 86th Legislature). Mentions Senator Brandon Creighton..

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 3

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

  • Track traffic safety laws state by state. (National Conference of State Legislatures, September 18, 2019)
  • Compare prescription drug prices in the U.S. to prescription drug prices in other countries. (U.S. House Ways & Means Committee, September 2019)
  • Read about federal funding designated for reimbursing Texas health care providers for charity care. (Texas Health and Human Services Commission, October 1, 2019)
  • Explore free access to case law. (Harvard Law School, ©2019)

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

  • "New federal loan-forgiveness program still rejects 99% of applicants." By Michael Vasquez. Chronicle of Higher Education, September 20, 2019, p. A21.
    Highlights problems with the United States Department of Education's college loan forgiveness program for individuals going into public service.
  • "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Home truths." Economist, September 14th-20th, 2019, pp. 67-68.
    Discusses United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's plan to reform the federal housing finance system.
  • "Fiscal highlights from the 86th Legislature: Legislative session tackled public education, property taxes." By Ramona Reeves. Fiscal Notes, September 2019, pp. 1, 3-5.
    Provides an overview of the 2020-2021 state budget and details legislation passed by the 86th Legislature on school finance (HB3), local property taxes (SB2), teacher retirement (SB500 and SB12), online sales taxes (HB1525 and HB2153), and investment of the Rainy Day Fund into the Legacy Fund (SB69).
  • "The 'green rush,' CBD businesses flourishing under new law." By Neetish Basnet. Fort Worth Business Press, September 16-22, 2019, pp. 26-27.
    Discusses the new industrial hemp law and its impact on businesses in Texas. Quotes Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.
  • "Serving rural America: Health insurance providers at work." Internet Resource, September 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Presents five case studies featuring health insurance providers' various approaches to delivering quality health care in rural America, while addressing the problem of rural hospital closings and mergers.
  • "Toolkit: State strategies to support older adults aging in place in rural areas." By Neva Kaye and Kristina Long. Internet Resource, September 2019, pp. 1-23.
    Provides examples of strategies states are using to support aging in place for older adults in rural areas. Highlights SB670, 86th Legislature, and SB1107, 85th Legislature, R.S., as examples of legislation removing the barriers to the use of telehealth and telemedicine.
  • "Federalism as an antidote to polarization over health care policy." By Stuart M. Butler. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), September 24, 2019, pp. 1131-1132.
    Recounts how federalism historically has helped to resolve policy impasses by allowing states to opt in — or out — with regard to disputed programs such as welfare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.
  • "Understanding Wayfair: A user-friendly guide to the biggest state tax case in 30 years." By Rick Najjar and Ted Kontopoulos. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, October 2019, pp. 6-17.
    Discusses the fundamental concepts and state tax ramifications of South Dakota v. Wayfair, in which the United States Supreme Court held that physical presence is no longer required for sales tax collection on remote or online sellers. Addresses textualism versus intentionalism in enactment of state tax statutes, substantial nexus, and the greater importance of due process.
  • "The new trustbusters are coming for big tech." By Thomas Hazlett. Reason, October 2019, pp. 20-27.
    Considers the economic school of thought known as "new structuralism," or "hipster antitrust," which advocates for regulation and antitrust action. Argues "nondiscrimination" regulations aimed at providing equal access favor legacy technologies at the expense of startups and innovation and do not protect consumers as intended.
  • "The potential pitfalls of combating surprise billing; Comment." By Ike Brannon, David A. Hyman, Benedic Ippolito, and David Kemp. Regulation (CATO Institute), Fall 2019, pp. 40-47.
    Discusses three plans Congress is considering to address surprise medical billing: benchmarking payments, mandated in-network guarantee, and independent dispute resolution [IDR]. Suggests IDR is the best mechanism to limit surprise bills, while commentators believe a contract-based approach would outperform IDR.
  • "Texas K-12 education spending set to rise, but who will pay?" By Jason Saving. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Third Quarter 2019, pp. 17-21.
    Comments on the education reform package passed by the 86th Legislature (HB3SB2). Examines why the latest school finance fix may not fully provide a long-term solution to meeting local school districts' needs.
  • "School finance: Moving mountains." By Daniel Thatcher. State Legislatures, September/October 2019, pp. 17-19.
    Draws lessons from the experiences of states that successfully updated or replaced their school funding formulas.
  • "Bridge to nowhere." By Gus Bova. Texas Observer, September-October 2019, pp. 26-31.
    Investigates three companies' plans to build liquefied natural gas [LNG] facilities in South Texas and the local communities' opposition to them. Argues the proposed construction site for the Rio Grande Valley LNG plants will result in the destruction of fragile ecosystems and will pose health and safety risks for nearby residents. Mentions Senator Eddie Lucio and Representative Alex Dominguez.
  • "Inside the dangerous rise of JUUL." By Jamie Ducharme. Time, September 30, 2019, pp. 40-47.
    Profiles e-cigarette maker Juul, a mostly unregulated company that has been linked to the sharp rise in teenage and young adult vaping and nicotine addiction.

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, September 26

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

  • Explore statistics and data about the U.S. Hispanic population. (Pew Research Center, September 16, 2019)
  • See which states incorporate citizen input into the redistricting process. (National Conference of State Legislatures, September 2019)
  • Consider the FDA's role in regulating e-cigarettes. (Health Affairs Blog, September 17, 2019)
  • Check to see whether a motor carrier business is properly licensed in Texas. (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, ©2019)

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

  • "When Medicaid takes everything you own." By Rachel Corbett. Atlantic Monthly, October 2019, pp. 72-79.
    Examines the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program, which allows states to seek repayment for Medicaid debt by seizing assets, including houses from the estates of Medicaid recipients. Argues this program strips property from people who can least afford the loss, thereby pushing displaced families back into the welfare system.
  • "Why insurtech startups are flourishing." By Will Anderson. Austin Business Journal, September 13, 2019, p. 22.
    Profiles insurtech companies relocating to Austin, companies that construct technology platforms aiming to lower health insurance costs while decreasing risks for self-employed freelance workers and small businesses.
  • "Drug shortages." Economist, September 14th-20th, 2019, pp. 57-58.
    Examines the causes and consequences of an increasing worldwide shortage of medicines and medical supplies.
  • "Are schools required to be trauma-sensitive?" By Sarah D. Sparks. Education Week, September 4, 2019, pp. 1, 18-19.
    Discusses three active lawsuits that challenge how public schools are addressing student disabilities resulting from trauma.
  • "Quality counts 2019: Educational opportunities and performance in Texas." Education Week, September 4, 2019, pp. 1-7.
    Assesses the educational opportunities and performance of Texas and compares them with the national average. Grades and ranks Texas in three categories: chance for success, school finance, and K-12 achievement.
  • "Post-Harvey auto sales back on track: Texans are on the road again." By Jackie Benton. Fiscal Notes, September 2019, pp. 1-2.
    Discusses the effect of Hurricane Harvey on automobile sales. Charts Texas motor vehicle sales tax collections from fiscal years 2015-2018.
  • "The dynamics of Medicaid enrollment, employment, and beneficiary health status." By Jessica P. Vistnes and Steven C. Hill. Health Affairs, September 2019, pp. 1491-1495.
    Notes that 13.9 percent of new, nonelderly adult Medicaid beneficiaries in 2015-2016 had experienced a decline in health before enrollment, and 14.1 percent had jobs that ended before they enrolled. Advises careful design of Medicaid work requirement policies that consider exemptions, reasonable accommodations, and gaps in employment.
  • "How states can improve America’s immigration system." By John Hudak and Christine Stenglein. Internet Resource, September 10, 2019, pp. 1-14.
    Outlines the role states can play in reforming immigration policy. Includes discussion of immigration detention facilities in Texas.
  • "Should failing schools be closed? What the research says." By Marcus A. Winters. Issue Brief (Manhattan Institute), September 17, 2019, pp. 1-10.
    Relies on available research to argue that it is better for school systems to close persistently ineffective schools that do not show improvement after receiving additional resources and interventions.
  • "Prescriptions on demand: The growth of direct-to-consumer telemedicine companies." By Tara Jain, Richard J. Lu, and Ateev Mehrotra. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), September 10, 2019, pp. 925-926.
    Addresses the increasing popularity of direct-to-consumer [DTC] drug telemedicine and considers potential strengths and weaknesses of this health care model.
  • "Using telemedicine to treat opioid use disorder in rural areas." By Rita Rubin. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), September 17, 2019, pp. 1029-1031.
    Describes how telemedicine has been employed to treat opioid use disorder [OUD] patients in rural areas. Notes the regulatory and reimbursement issues that have slowed progress in implementing telemedicine for treating OUD.
  • "EIA [Energy Information Administration]: Global oil market expected to remain in balance in second half." Oil and Gas Journal, September 2, 2019, pp. 45-46.
    Summarizes the U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.
  • "Municipal annexation reform in Texas: how a victory for property rights jeopardizes the state's financial health." By Julie Polansky Bell. St. Mary's Law Journal, Vol. 50, No. 2, 2019, pp. 711-738 (Note Length).
    Provides an overview of municipal annexation. Examines the legislative history of recent reforms enacted by SB6, 85th Legislature, 1st C.S. - the Municipal Annexation Right to Vote Act. Considers the future impact of these reforms on cities and the state.
  • "To rein in cities, Texas tries to ban their lobbying." By David Montgomery. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), September 17, 2019, pp. 1-7.
    Discusses proposed legislation from the 86th Legislature (SB29 and HB281) that would have affected lobbying activities by cities, counties, and other local governments. Explains that the legislation did not pass, but may come up in a future legislative session.
  • "State, fed authorities work on hemp regulations, information." By Jessica Domel. Texas Agriculture, September 6, 2019, p. 10.
    Outlines the responsibilities that the Texas Department of Agriculture must contend with now that the 2018 Farm Bill and HB1325, 86th Legislature, have legalized hemp cultivation. Summarizes various aspects hemp farmers must address, such as crop insurance, pesticides, and hemp in food products and supplements.
  • "Rounds: News from America's best medical society." By Amy Lynn Sorrel and Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, September 2019, pp. 14-16.
    Notes Representative John Zerwas' retirement from the legislature and new role as executive vice chancellor for health affairs with The University of Texas System. Discusses rulemaking phase of implementing SB1264, 86th Legislature, relating to surprise billing.

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, September 19

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

  • Track obesity prevalence state by state. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 12, 2019)
  • Explore the new version of the Constitution Annotated. (Library of Congress, September 16, 2019)
  • View county health data in Texas. (Episcopal Health Foundation, 2019)
  • Read about the American veteran experience. (Pew Research Center, September 10, 2019)

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

  • "The state of the future." By Erin Edgemon. Austin Business Journal, September 13, 2019, pp. 17-20.
    Highlights the Texas Facilities Commission [TFC], the agency that serves as the real estate management and construction group for the state. Points out TFC's role in the Capitol Complex expansion and features an interview with Mike Novak, TFC's executive director.
  • "Builders, developers, weigh benefits of balancing, cutting DFW housing rules." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, September 6, 2019, pp. 12-15.
    Examines the debate between companies seeking to standardize building and land-use regulations across the DFW area and local governments that want the right to control the aesthetics of new development to preserve cities' unique characteristics. Provides overview of HB2439, 86th Legislature.
  • "Shootings and gun laws." Economist, September 7th-13th, 2019, pp. 27-28.
    Highlights research indicating Republican states tend to loosen their gun laws following mass shootings.
  • "Quality counts 2019: Grading the states." Education Week, September 4, 2019, pp. 1, 8-15.
    Provides a comprehensive report card on the United States' K-12 system. Ranks each state based on a range of academic, school finance, and socioeconomic factors.
  • "Schools tackle vaping amid new health problems." By Denise R. Superville and Arianna Prothero. Education Week, August 23, 2019, pp. 1, 17.
    Discusses the health effects of vaping and the different approaches being used by school administrators to stem student vaping.
  • "Prescription drug monitoring program mandates: Impact on opioid prescribing and related hospital use." By Hefei Wen, et al. Health Affairs, September 2019, pp. 1550-1556.
    Reports that state implementation of prescription drug monitoring programs [PDMPs] was associated with reductions in the opioid prescription rate, the opioid-related inpatient stay rate, and the opioid-related emergency department visit rate. Notes significant Medicaid savings represented in these reductions and advocates for continued attention to PDMPs as a tool in tackling the opioid crisis.
  • "Education policy responses to the opioid crisis." By Alyssa Rafa. Internet Resource, September 9, 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Examines the connection between education policy and the opioid crisis. Provides examples of recent state policies and initiatives, including Texas legislation on opioid misuse education in public schools.
  • "Medical use of cannabis in 2019." By Kevin P. Hill. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), September 10, 2019, pp. 974-975.
    Asserts that evidence is lacking that indicates the efficacy of medical cannabis for most conditions for which its use is advocated. Recommends physicians exercise caution when considering cannabis for their patients.
  • "Employee contributions to public pension plans (2019)." National Association of State Retirement Administrators, September 2019, pp. 1-12.
    Examines employee contribution plan designs across states, policies, and recent trends. Includes a table of employee contribution rates by state, including the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
  • "Don't legalize prostitution." By Madeleine Kearns. National Review, August 26, 2019, pp. 22, 24, 26-28.
    Examines the experiences of different countries with legalized prostitution and profiles some young women working as prostitutes. Suggests legalizing prostitution would not make it safer for those involved and would not have the desired effect of decreasing sex trafficking.
  • "The message of measles." By Nick Paumgarten. New Yorker, September 2, 2019, pp. 38-47.
    Explores recent measles outbreaks in the United States, focusing on New York, the first state to pass a vaccination law with a religious exemption. Explains the state removed religious exemptions from the law this summer amid a growing number measles cases and a growing movement of vaccine hesitancy and refusal.
  • "The long-term forecast for the United States economy." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 36, No. 5, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Highlights recent trends in global trade controversies as well as expectations for long-term domestic economic performance during the 2018 to 2045 period.
  • "PDK poll of the public's attitudes toward the public schools." Phi Delta Kappan, September 2019, pp. K1-K23.
    Presents the results of the 51st annual PDK [Phi Delta Kappan] poll of the public's attitudes toward public schools. Reports Americans named the lack of financial support for public schools as the biggest problem facing their local schools.
  • "Designing better sugary drink taxes." By Anna H. Grummon, et al. Science, September 6, 2019, pp. 989-990.
    Proposes taxing the amount of sugar in a drink per gram instead of taxing by drink volume. Suggests taxing the sugar rather than the drink will encourage consumers to consume drinks with less sugar.
  • "Doctors drive new opioid laws." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, September 2019, pp. 26-28.
    Summarizes new laws relating to opioids that will affect physicians' use of prescription monitoring programs [PMPs] and how physicians prescribe controlled substances.
  • "Clearing the air on cannabis." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, September 2019, pp. 42-44.
    Highlights HB1325 and HB3703, 86th Legislature, which loosen rules on the use of cannabis oil. Considers the possible effects on physicians and health care practice.
  • "Passing oral safe harbor: How one nurse's experience changed the law." By Tonya R. Poore. Texas Nursing, Summer 2019, pp. 12-13.
    Narrates the personal experience of a nurse whose difficulty invoking "safe harbor" — a nursing peer review committee determination — inspired HB2410, 86th Legislature, which expedites the process.
  • "The battle to draw the battle lines." By Philip Elliott. Time, September 16, 2019 , pp. 44-47.
    Examines efforts by Democrats to regain control of state legislative chambers in order to shape Congress for the next decade. Considers what Republicans are doing to retain their advantage over congressional redistricting.

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, September 12

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

  • Explore the monthly state Revenue Watch. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, updated September 2019)
  • Read about the end of the Driver Responsibility Program. (Texas Department of Public Safety, August 27, 2019)
  • Get a list of party leaders in the Congress going back to 1789. (Congressional Research Service, September 4, 2019)
  • Review power-saving tips for homes. (Public Utility Commission of Texas, accessed September 12, 2019)

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

  • "Supreme Court report: Contentious cases." By Mark Walsh. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, September-October 2019, pp. 18-19.
    Highlights high-profile issues the United States Supreme Court will consider during the term that begins on October 7, including LGBT rights, the future of DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], and gun rights.
  • "Homeschooling and educational freedom: Why school choice is good for homeschoolers." By Kerry McDonald. CATO Briefing Papers, September 4, 2019, pp. 1-8.
    Presents an overview of homeschooling trends. Argues educational freedom creates momentum for families to seek alternatives to conventional mass schooling.
  • "Manufacturing in Texas: Factory of the future; How is DFW positioned for the industry's future; Incentives." By Evan Hoopfer. Dallas Business Journal, August 30, 2019, pp. 5-10, 12, 14-21.
    Questions whether Texas should be doing more to attract advanced manufacturing jobs. Mentions the state scored a "C" in manufacturing industry health.
  • "The American economy: Areas of concern." Economist, August 31st-September 6th, 2019, pp. 19-20.
    Points out weaknesses in several economic sectors, including manufacturing, construction, and energy industry employment. Mentions the present slowdown may prove politically consequential.
  • "Schools face Latino kids' fears after shootings." By Stephen Sawchuck, Denisa R. Superville, and Hector Alejandro Arzate. Education Week, August 21, 2018, pp. 5-6.
    Examines how school districts in Texas are responding to the mass shooting in El Paso, in which Hispanics were targeted. Discusses steps being taken by schools to alleviate the fears of Hispanic students and their families.
  • "Can Medicaid expansion prevent housing evictions?" By Heidi L. Allen, et al. Health Affairs, September 2019, pp. 1451-1457.
    Evaluates the possible correlation between expansion of Medicaid and lower rates of evictions. Concludes that health insurance coverage is associated with improved housing stability.
  • "Emergency department closures and openings: Spillover effects on patient outcomes in bystander hospitals." By Renee Y. Hsia and Yu-Chu Shen. Health Affairs, September 2019, pp. 1496-1504.
    Suggests high-occupancy hospitals are the most sensitive to nearby emergency department [ED] closures, while other hospitals absorb increased demand in emergency care without significant negative impact on patient outcomes. Observes that significant effects appear only when driving time to an ED changes by 30 minutes or more. Notes utilization as well as distance from neighboring EDs should be taken into account when deciding to open or close an ED.
  • "Campus sexual assault policies." By Molly Sarubbi. Internet Resource, August 26, 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Reviews 2019 state legislative activity relating to postsecondary campus sexual assault. Highlights legislation, including Texas bills, that address awareness and prevention, reporting guidelines and procedures, and assessment and accountability.
  • "Lessons learned from the opioid epidemic." By Joshua M. Sharfstein and Yngvild Olsen. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), September 3, 2019, pp. 809-810.
    Summarizes missteps made by physicians, regulators, hospitals, and other entities, that made possible the significant scale of the opioid epidemic. Calls for reflection and accountability moving forward.
  • "The rush to restrict gun rights." By Charles C.W. Cooke. National Review, August 26, 2019, pp. 14-15.
    Argues that evidence does not support the effectiveness of proposed gun-control policies and that the First and Second Amendments should be defended. Advocates for surveillance of hate groups and prosecution when warranted and for technology companies to decline to provide technical assistance and support to them.
  • "Protecting elections from social media manipulation." By Sinan Aral and Dean Eckles. Science, August 30, 2019, pp. 858-861.
    Calls for more research into how social media can affect and influence elections. Explores some of the challenges of measuring the manipulation of social media, including consumer privacy concerns.
  • "It's a wrap! How nurses advocated for their profession in the 86th legislative session." By Cindy Zolnierek. Texas Nursing, Summer 2019, pp. 8-9.
    Summarizes passed and failed legislation of interest to nursing professionals.

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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