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New & Noteworthy: March 2019

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the seven titles from our March 2019 New & Noteworthy list

Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, contact the library at 512-463-1252, or use our PDF request form.


1. Governor's Budget, 2020-2021
By Office of the Governor
Presents Governor Greg Abbott's budget priorities for the Fiscal 2020-2021 biennium, which are meant to elevate education, expand economic opportunity, ensure public safety, and provide a resilient infrastructure for the future.
Office of the Governor, 2019. 18 pages.
Online at:
L1800 B859 2020-21G



2. The Handy Texas Answer Book
By James L. Haley
Provides a fun introduction to Texas by covering a "kaleidoscope of facts, figures, people, history, economy, quirks, and foibles." Presents information in an easy to browse Q&A format and covers well-known topics as well as the lesser known, making this an interesting title for all readers. Includes a timeline, extensive index, and bibliography for further reading.
Visible Ink, 2019. 360 pages.
976.4 H137H 2019



3. Medicare Explained
By Kelly J. Rooney, ed.
Explains the Medicare program, highlighting services that health care providers and physicians provide. Details the statutory and regulatory changes made to Medicare in 2018, as well as the process for submitting and appealing Medicare claims.
Commerce Clearing House, 2019. 393 pages.
368.382 C736 2019



4. Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation
By Steve Luxenberg
Provides context and insight into the history of discrimination beyond slavery that lay the groundwork for the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision, which cemented the "separate but equal" concept into legal doctrine. Recounts the story of Homer Plessy, a light-skinned black man whose entrance into a "whites only" railroad coach precipitated the case, as well as the lawyers and judges who worked for and against Plessy's case.
W. W. Norton & Company, 2019. 505 pages.
342.7308 L979S 2019



5. Final Report: December 2018 (Penal Laws)
By Commission to Study and Review Certain Penal Laws
Addresses penal laws outside of the Penal Code that may prevent people from easily understanding whether they are in compliance with Texas state laws. Details the findings and recommendations, including recommendations from the 2016 report that were not addressed in the 85th Legislature.
Commission to Study and Review Certain Penal Laws, 2018. 84 pages.
Online at:
C995.8 F49 2018



6. Making the Bible Belt: Texas Prohibitionists and the Politicization of Southern Religion
By Joseph L. Locke
Traces how clerics and Christian activists brought together southern religion and electoral politics and constructed what we now call the Bible Belt. Begins with the end of Reconstruction in the 1870s to the start of Prohibition in 1919, arguing that Texas religious leaders played key roles in the adaptation of the clericalism that has become a central facet of today's political scene.
Oxford University Press, 2017. 207 pages.
277.64082 L793M 2017



7. Water for Texas, 2017 State Water Plan
By Texas Water Development Board
Provides a roadmap for how to address the water needs that accompany Texas' rapid population growth by identifying water management strategies and their associated costs for communities across the state. Note: the electronic copy includes the 2017 State Water Plan Amendments.
Texas Water Development Board, 2017. 150 pages.
Online at:
W605.8 W291P 2017



Current Articles & Research Resources, March 14

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

  • Read about the CDC's new study on e-scooter injuries. (CNBC, March 8, 2019)
  • See which states have laws that address medical balance billing. (National Conference of State Legislatures, March 2019)
  • Track Medicaid eligibility with a federal database for states offered by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. (Council of State Governments, March 12, 2019)
  • Consider differences between Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage. (The Manhattan Institute, February 28, 2019)

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

  • "K-12 school funding up in most 2018 teacher-protest states, but still well below decade ago." By Michael Leachman and Eric Figueroa. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 6, 2019, pp. 1-14.
    Analyzes trends in state K-12 school finance and per pupil spending since the 2008 recession, including the effect of recent teacher protests in Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and West Virginia on school funding levels. Mentions Texas state formula funding per student is now 20 percent under 2008 levels, adjusted for inflation.
  • "State-level data for understanding child welfare in the United States: Child maltreatment, foster care, adoption from foster care, kinship caregiving: Texas state profiles." Child Trends, February 26, 2019, pp. 1-8.
    Presents state and national data, including Texas state profiles, on child maltreatment, foster care, kinship caregiving, and adoption, for fiscal year 2017.
  • "Praying for sanity." By Rob Boston. Church & State, March 2019, pp. 11-12.
    Addresses common myths about the role of prayer, Bible reading, and religion in public schools.
  • "Texas leaves $4B on the table every year because of this policy, study finds." By Evan Hoopfer. Dallas Business Journal, February 22, 2019, p. 23.
    Highlights study produced for the Texas Association of Manufacturers that finds the state's aerospace and defense sectors could benefit economically if the Texas franchise tax is aligned with federal requirements in the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
  • "Medicine: A higher purpose." Economist, March 2nd-8th, 2019, pp. 47-48.
    Examines the rising interest in the re-purposing of off-patent drugs. Considers whether the benefits outweigh high costs and regulatory obstacles.
  • "Social media and law enforcement — watching: The detectives." Economist, February 23rd-March 1st, 2019, pp. 28-29.
    Examines how the police track what people say and do online. Raises privacy concerns.
  • "Rethinking the structure of teacher retirement benefits: Analyzing the preferences of entering teachers." By Josh B McGee and Marcus A. Winters. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, March 2019, pp. 63-78.
    Explores the differences between two types of defined benefit retirement plans for teachers. Presents evidence that teachers in New York City and Philadelphia prefer the cash balance plan [CB], an alternative model to the final average salary [FAS] plan, which most public school teachers participate in today.
  • "Jungle warfare – Amazon HQ2 disclosure fights and battle over tax transparency." Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, March/April 2019, pp. 36-39.
    Discusses the legal battles and transparency concerns about the state and local tax [SALT] incentive packages offered to Amazon for its second headquarters. Notes the Amazon HQ2 lottery has led to increased attention on corporate financial and tax incentives generally. Uses Kentucky as a recent example of tax transparency conflicts.
  • "The jail health-care crisis." By Steve Coll. New Yorker, March 4, 2019, pp. 28-37.
    Considers the state of medical care for jail inmates and the increased use of for-profit companies to provide these services. Highlight's Texas' Sandra Bland Act as an example of reform in the care of the incarcerated.
  • "Side effects in education: Winners and losers in school voucher programs." By Yong Zhao. Phi Delta Kappan, February 2019, pp. 63-66.
    Reviews studies analyzing the benefits of school choice initiatives.
  • "The wall won't end pot smuggling at the border. Legalization will." By David Bier. Reason, April 2019, pp. 22-29.
    Argues smuggling of marijuana across the Mexican border has decreased due to legalization in the United States. Suggests the same principle should be applied to the illegal immigration problem.

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.

Bill Filing Deadline Statistics, 86th Legislature

Friday marked the bill filing deadline for the 86th Regular Session. When the deadline had passed, a total of 7,281 bills and joint resolutions had been filed. How does this compare to previous sessions?


Current Articles & Research Resources, March 7

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

  • Consider the costs states bear in the wake of natural disasters. (National Conference of State Legislatures, February 25, 2019)
  • Explore the demographics of the United States Congress. (Brookings, March 4, 2019)
  • Find out who buys and sells your personal data. (Fast Company, March 2, 2019)
  • Track pedestrian traffic fatalities by state. (Governors Highway Safety Association, February 2019)

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

  • "A new 'caravan' enters Mexico, a different welcome awaits." By Louisa Reynolds. Christian Science Monitor, February 11, 2019, p. 10.
    Profiles Mexico's new immigration policy allowing Central Americans to request a renewable one-year humanitarian visa. Explains the visa allows free movement and formal employment, and estimates 40 percent of those traveling with previous caravans requested asylum in Mexico.
  • "The new 'in loco parentis'." By Vimal Patel. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 22, 2019, pp. B35-B36, B38-B39.
    Considers the changing philosophy of in loco parentis, the idea that colleges should act "in the place of the parent," in their responsibility for students. Provides a sidebar highlighting court cases that have led to changing views.
  • "The rise of the mega-university." By Lee Gardner. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 22, 2019, pp. B28-B30, B32.
    Explores the role of large nonprofit, online institutions, such as Western Governors University, and explains how they are influencing higher education.
  • "Beer-to-go could get go-ahead." By Kimberly Reeves. Dallas Business Journal, February 22, 2019, p. 2.
    Comments on SB312 and HB672, 86th Legislature, legislation that would permit craft breweries to sell beer-to-go at their manufacturing facilities. Includes comments by Senator Dawn Buckingham and Representative Eddie Rodriguez.
  • "State environmental regulator goes to bat for faster emissions permitting." By Kimberly Reeves. Dallas Business Journal, March 1, 2019, p. 2.
    Reports the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality commissioner is seeking to close a funding gap in the state's expedited process for air permits, urging legislators to double the state's funding to $2.14 million.
  • "Opioids: The death curve." Economist, February 23rd-March 1st, 2019, pp. 21-23.
    Reviews the origins of the opioid crisis, charts the overdose rate since 1980, and comments on the slow and inadequate federal response to the crisis. Estimates the epidemic will continue for five to ten years, killing 50,000 people each year.
  • "Resisting the allure of gross receipts taxes: An assessment of their costs and consequences." By Garrett Watson. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), February 2019, pp. 1-18.
    Discusses the history, increasing popularity, and economic impact of gross receipts taxes on businesses. Describes the complexity of Texas' margin tax.
  • "Health care spending slowed after Rhode Island applied affordability standards to commercial insurers." By Aaron Baum, et al. Health Affairs, February 2019, pp. 237-245.
    Offers Rhode Island as a case study of a state that has successfully slowed total commercial health care spending growth, while maintaining quality, through setting price controls on contracts between commercial insurers and hospitals and clinics.
  • "What businesses will lobby for at the Texas Capitol in 2019." Houston Business Journal, January 31, 2019, pp. 18-19.
    Examines key issues that business leaders will seek to address during the legislative session. Highlights Houston area and state-wide legislation that covers property tax reform, business incentive programs, and the minimum wage.
  • "How to survive a death crisis." By Maia Szalavitz. Nation, March 11/18, 2019, pp. 16-21.
    Discusses a "harm reduction" approach to the opioid crisis and notes overdose is now the leading cause of death for adults under 50 in the United States.
  • "Public pension plan investment return assumptions (2019)." National Association of State Retirement Administrators, Updated February 2019, pp. 1-8.
    Describes how investment return assumptions are established and evaluated in public pension funds, compared with public funds' actual investment experience. Includes Texas County & District, Texas ERS, Texas LECOS, Texas Municipal, and Texas Teachers in the appendix. Related information at:
  • "A 2-week weather forecast may be as good as it gets." By Paul Voosen. Science, February 22, 2019, p. 801.
    Explains why there are limits to global weather prediction models that prevent accurate forecasts from looking farther ahead than two weeks.
  • "The weather amplifier." By Michael E. Mann. Scientific American, March 2019, pp. 42-49.
    Considers how unusual patterns in the jet stream affect weather events in the United States.
  • "Farmers hope for hemp riches despite risks." By April Simpson. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), February 27, 2019, pp. 1-9.
    Highlights Kentucky's highly regulated approach in developing the state's industrialized hemp sector. Notes Texas is among states that have not enacted legislation to establish industrial hemp cultivation.
  • "Bills seek more transparency, fairness in eminent domain cases." By Julie Tomascik. Texas Agriculture, February 1, 2019, p. 16.
    Highlights SB421 and HB991, 86th Legislature, bills that could change how private entities with eminent domain authority must negotiate with landowners to acquire property before turning to condemnation.
  • "The future of the death penalty: The seeds of time." By John Charles Boger. Texas Tech Law Review, Fall 2018, pp. 75-94.
    Considers recent treatment of the death penalty by members of the current United States Supreme Court.

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.

New Exhibit: Paths to Inauguration

Learn a little about the backgrounds of Texas governors in our updated exhibit, Paths to Inauguration

  • View a thread map showing the birthplaces of all of the governors born in Texas—interestingly, only two out of twenty-one were born in the same town. (Rusk gave us both Gov. James Stephen Hogg, the first governor to be born in Texas, and Gov. Thomas Mitchell Campbell.)
  • Consider the higher education institutes that helped prepare twenty-eight governors for leadership. (There are a lot more commonalities here than we saw in birthplaces!)
  • Enjoy photos and other memorabilia from inauguration festivities, 1939 to 2019. 

Cover image: The Ross Volunteer Company—a special unit in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets that is the official Honor Guard of the Governor of Texas— escort Gov. Robert Allan Shivers and First Lady Marialice Shivers’ car as they head to the Capitol for the January 20, 1953, inauguration ceremony. Neal Douglass Photography Collection, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.

Current Articles & Research Resources, February 28

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

  • Consider how the state's oil and gas industry affects transportation infrastructure. (Texas A&M Transportation Institute, February 6, 2019)
  • Read about federal mail and wire fraud statutes. (Congressional Research Service, February 11, 2019)
  • Find where to dispose of prescription drugs. (Google, February 21, 2019)
  • See which Texas counties are included in the recent federal disaster declaration related to last year's flooding and storms. (The White House, February 25, 2019)

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

  • "Better state budget, policy decisions can improve health." By Jennifer Sullivan. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 21, 2019, pp. 1-23.
    Discusses how states can invest in programs to affect the "social determinants of health" – health programs, education, the environment, transit, and infrastructure – apart from health care policy. Outlines the role of race/ethnicity and income in health outcomes.
  • "One border crisis averted?" By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, February 11, 2019, pp. 16-17.
    Highlights the proactive approach El Paso Water's Edmund Archuleta has taken to improve water conservation. Discusses the successful program he implemented with his counterpart in Juárez to share data and information to conserve the Hueco Bolson aquifer.
  • "Buoyed by strong economies, most states spend more on higher ed." By Eric Kelderman. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 8, 2019, p. A25.
    Reports state spending on higher education grew almost four percent in fiscal year 2018-19 according to the "Grapevine" survey compiled by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.
  • "What's the future of transportation funding?" By Paul K. Harral. Fort Worth Business Press, February 18-24, 2019, pp. 36-38.
    Summarizes panel discussion on transportation funding from the Northeast Tarrant Transportation Summit from February 8, 2019.
  • "Access to e-prescriptions and related technologies before and after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria." By Jaime Y. Smith and Max M. Sow. Health Affairs, February 2019, pp. 205-211.
    Finds that while e-prescribing and medication history transactions decreased considerably during the major 2017 hurricanes, transaction volumes returned to normal levels in the days immediately following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Notes that e-prescribing in Puerto Rico took much longer to return to baseline levels, demonstrating the importance of infrastructure to maintain accessibility of electronic health records [EHRs] in a disaster.
  • "Hospital prices grew substantially faster than physician prices for hospital-based care in 2007-14." By Zack Cooper, et al. Health Affairs, February 2019, pp. 184-189.
    Reports that for inpatient care, hospital prices grew 42 percent from 2007-2014, while physician prices grew 18 percent; for hospital-based outpatient care, hospital prices grew 25 percent, while physician prices grew 6 percent. Suggests several approaches policymakers could take to address hospital price growth.
  • "Should physicians recommend replacing opioids with cannabis?" By Keith Humphreys and Richard Saltz. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), February 19, 2019, pp. 639-640.
    Considers the efficacy of cannabis for chronic pain and for opioid use disorder and the risks of cannabis use. Argues that if cannabis is to become recommended medicine, it should be held to medical standards.
  • "Opportunity Zone investments: The new emerald city of tax law." By Steven Berman and Louis Weller. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, February 2019, pp. 6-21.
    Describes Opportunity Zones, the federal economic development program included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act, to encourage investment and economic growth in economically distressed or disadvantaged communities.
  • "The connected city: A platform for city planners, citizens, and utilities." By Richelle Elberg and Eric Woods. Public Utilities Fortnightly, February 11, 2019, pp. 31-33.
    Describes different applications in the planning or deployment of 4G/5G networks within communities.
  • "Crank up the A/C, crank up the cost: States consider 'surge pricing' for power." By Rebecca Beitsch. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), February 19, 2019, pp. 1-5.
    Reports several states are experimenting with time-of-use pricing, increasing electricity rates during peak hours. Notes critics' concerns about how surge pricing will impact senior citizens and low-income people enrolled in electric bill assistance programs.
  • "Changing tunes?" By Dax Gonzalez. Texas Lone Star (Texas Association of School Boards), January/February 2019, pp. 8-11.
    Examines why the 86th legislative session is expected to be different from the 85th session and how education legislation could be affected. Addresses property taxes, vouchers, special education services, school security, and Hurricane Harvey.
  • "Bypassing the middle man." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, February 2019, pp. 28-31.
    Considers the arguments for and against allowing physicians to dispense medication in their offices. Points out that Texas is one of four states that, for the most part, bans physicians from dispensing medications. Cites SB546, 82nd Legislature, R.S., as past effort to allow physicians to dispense medication.

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.

Bills in the News: Teacher Retirement & Teacher Pay

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 86th legislative session, and related resources.


Proposed legislation that would make changes to the Teacher Retirement System can be found under "Retirement Systems--Teachers (I0726)."


The Texas Classroom Teachers Association and the Texas Retired Teachers Association have resources available online about how pending legislation would affect the Teacher Retirement System. Both organizations have toll-free numbers:

Texas Classroom Teachers Association: 888-879-8282

Texas Retired Teachers Association: 800-880-1650


The Legislative Reference Library is unable to interpret, give legal advice, or calculate how legislation may affect individual retirement accounts.


Legislation related to teacher salaries can be found using a search of a combination of subjects:




To search these two subjects together, use the Texas Legislature Online Bill Search and click on "Select subject criteria."


When you type in the "Search" box, the alphabetical list will automatically scroll. Select the two subjects from the list and click on the right arrow button to move them into the "Selected:" pane.

After clicking "OK," you will return to the search screen. Make sure the "And" radio button is selected. Click the "Search" box located at the far top right of the screen to generate a list of bills related to teacher pay.

The list generated will have links to the bills and an option to export the results to PDF format.


Bill Statistics at the 45th Day of Session, 86th Legislature

Thursday, February 21 marked the 45th day of the 86th Regular Session. That means we're 3/4 of the way to the 60-day bill filing deadline, which is Friday, March 8, 2019. For those who are curious, here is a look at bill statistics in comparison to a similar period last session.


Bills and Joint Resolutions
85th Regular Session


(Nov. 14, 2016-Feb. 23, 2017)
86th Regular Session


(Nov. 12, 2018-Feb. 21, 2019)
House filed 2,396 2,277
Senate filed 1,094 973
Total filed 3,490 3,250
House referred to committee 1,024 818
Senate referred to committee 814 612
Total referred to committee 1,838 1,430
House scheduled for hearing 3 15
Senate scheduled for hearing 32 5
Total scheduled for hearing 35 20
House reported out of committee 2 0
Senate reported out of committee 23 4
Total reported out of committee 25 4


Current Articles & Research Resources, February 21

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

  • Track how canceled hearings during the partial federal government shutdown affected the workload of immigration courts. (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University, February 19, 2019)
  • Consider ways to address internet privacy and consumer protection related to internet privacy concerns. (U.S. Government Accountability Office, January 2019)
  • See state-by-state legislation intended to streamline the deploy of 5G mobile technology. (National Conference of State Legislatures, February 15, 2019)
  • Read about programs in some states that incorporate professional foster parents into their foster care systems to provide care to special needs children. (Stateline, February 20, 2019)

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

  • "Texas Enterprise Fund under the microscope." By Daniel Salazar. Austin Business Journal, February 8, 2019, p. 12.
    Highlights recent study that raises transparency concerns regarding the Texas Enterprise Fund, the state's economic development incentive program.
  • "How states use funds under the TANF block grant." By Liz Schott, Ife Floyd, and Ashley Burnside. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Updated February 19, 2019, pp. 1-20.
    Finds states spent only about half of their Temporary Assistance to Needy Families [TANF] funds in fiscal year 2017 on the core welfare reform areas of basic assistance, child care for low-income families, and work supports. Includes several state tables on TANF spending and includes Texas in a discussion of black families' experience with basic assistance.
  • "The labour market: True colours." Economist, February 16th-22nd, 2019, pp. 62-63.
    Explains how occupational segregation affects earnings and the gender pay gap.
  • "The safety-net: The Arkansas experiment." Economist, February 16th-22nd, 2019, pp. 23-24.
    Examines the preliminary results of Arkansas' experiment imposing extensive work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Notes 18,000 people lost their health insurance, due in part to widespread confusion over program requirements and lack of Internet access to submit reports that could only be filed online.
  • "Are states poised to tackle outdated K-12 funding formulas?" By Daarel Burnette II. Education Week, February 13, 2019, pp. 22-23.
    Argues the political climate is right for states to revamp their outdated and inefficient school funding formulas. Highlights the plans of eight states, including Texas, for improving their school funding systems.
  • "Teachers missing out on flood of K-12 cash." By Daarel Burnette II. Education Week, January 23, 2019, pp. 1, 17.
    Addresses states' efforts to fund teacher pay increases and the challenges encountered. Reports funding is often siphoned away to competing priorities at the district level. Highlights recent teacher salary legislation in Texas.
  • "The best cyber offense is a good cyber defense." By Jackie Benton. Fiscal Notes, February 2019, p. 1.
    Examines training of cybersecurity specialists. Notes eighteen colleges and universities in Texas, including The University of Texas at El Paso, The University of Texas at Dallas, and Texas A&M University - San Antonio, have partnered with the National Security Agency to be national centers for cyber defense education.
  • "Texas' public pensions: Growing liabilities could affect state finances." By Spencer Grubbs and Amanda Williams. Fiscal Notes, February 2019, pp. 1, 3-7.
    Examines how government pension plans work in general and compares defined benefit [DB], defined contribution [DC], and hybrid plans, with survey of hybrid retirement plans in other states. Discusses the financial health and funded ratios of the seven statewide public pension systems in Texas, specifically the Teacher Retirement System and Employees Retirement System.
  • "Opportunity Zones: A different zone opportunity." By Diane Lupke. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, February 2019, pp. 22-23, 44.
    Compares the new federal Opportunity Zones program, established in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act, with previous zone-style programs and investment vehicles. Looks at early investor activity in Opportunity Zones in Louisville, Kentucky, and the state of Indiana.
  • "Pay attention to this little-noticed opioid lawsuit in Oklahoma." By Christine Vestal. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), February 14, 2019, pp. 1-9.
    Highlights Oklahoma lawsuit alleging drug companies misrepresented the benefits and addictive qualities of opioid drugs. Suggests the Oklahoma case, scheduled for trial in May 2019, could precipitate a settlement in the consolidated national lawsuit set for trial in October.
  • "Not all that is lawful is beneficial: The unintended consequences of ignoring legislative intent." By Jack Walker and Reid Martin. Texas Lawyer, March 2019, pp. 20, 22, 24.
    Points out the lack of clarity in the statutory construction of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 74.153, standards of proof in cases involving emergency medical care, part of the Texas Medical Liability Act. Related information at:
  • "All together now." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, February 2019, pp. 22-27.
    Considers how major healthcare mergers, like that proposed by Baylor Scott & White Health and Memorial Hermann, reshape how Texas physicians practice. Asserts that Texas has some of the nation's strictest laws against the corporate practice of medicine, but that the enforcement of these laws has been eroding.
  • "Physician-lawmakers outline priorities for 2019 legislature." By David Doolittle. Texas Medicine, February 2019, pp. 12-13.
    Summarizes topics addressed by Reps. John Zerwas and Tom Oliverson at the Texas Medical Association's Advocacy Retreat, such as better access to mental health care in schools, reducing maternal deaths, and 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.

New & Noteworthy: February 2019

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. In honor of Black History Month, we are highlighting books by or about African Americans from our collection. Below are the eight titles from our February 2019 New & Noteworthy list

Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, contact the library at 512-463-1252, or use our PDF request form.


1. What Do You Do With a Voice Like That? : The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
By Chris Barton
Introduces Congresswoman and former Texas Senator Barbara Jordan to young audiences in a beautifully illustrated picture book. Chronicles Congresswoman Jordan's life, from childhood to her roles as a people's advocate, politician, and teacher. Celebrates the life of a remarkable African American woman who fought for justice and equality with a bold, confident, and extraordinary voice.
Beach Lane Books, 2018. 44 pages.



2. Minority Civil Rights and the Texas Legislature
By Secretary of Senate and Senate Engrossing & Enrolling
Surveys the history of racial intolerance toward minorities and the evolution of civil rights in Texas. Details how African American and Hispanic representation in the Texas Legislature has changed through the years. Profiles Texas lawmakers and leaders and their contributions to racial equality. Includes a selection of contemporary and historic photographs and artwork.
Senate Publications and Printing, 2018. 22 pages.
Online at:
L1803.8 M667 2018



3. Takeover: Race, Education, and American Democracy
By Domingo Morel
Considers state takeovers of local school districts, arguing that state legislatures that have done so are concerned not just with underperforming schools but also with the race, politics, and economics behind resource allocation to local entities. Uses Newark, New Jersey, and Central Falls, Rhode Island, as case studies and asserts that district takeovers often are a systematic political disempowerment of black and Latino communities.
Oxford University Press, 2018. 181 pages.
379.73 M814T 2018



4. African Americans in Texas: A Lasting Legacy
By Texas Historical Commission
Highlights African American culture, heritage, and contributions in Texas. Profiles historical locations, events, and important African American figures that have helped to define Texas' legacy.
Texas Historical Commission, 2016. 71 pages.
Online at:
H2000.5 AF83L 2016





5. Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: Black Leadership in Texas, 1868-1898
By Merline Pitre
Presents a third edition of Merline Pitre's in-depth examination of African American legislators in Texas after the Civil War, with an updated preface and extended appendices. Highlights Texas Senators Matthew Gaines and George T. Ruby, Texas Representatives Richard Allen and Robert Lloyd Smith, and Republican party leader Norris Wright Cuney. Includes rosters of black legislators of Texas, black legislators' committee assignments, black legislators who were delegates at Republican national conventions, a summary of the background of Texas black politicians (1868-1900), a roster of 20th century black legislators, and a 30-year comparison of 19th and 20th century legislators.
Texas A&M University Press, 2016. 296 pages.
976.4 P931T 2016



6. African Americans in South Texas History
By Bruce A. Glasrud, ed.
Examines the black experience in the racially and ethnically complex region of South Texas in thirteen essays. Covers more than 100 years, from slavery in the 1850s, through the Jim Crow era, to desegregation in the 1960s. Includes essays highlighting particular communities and individuals, and weaves in labor, political, educational, and cultural issues.
Texas A & M University Press, 2011. 353 pages.
305.896 G463A 2011



7. Politics in the New South: Representation of African Americans in Southern State Legislatures
By Charles E. Menifield and Stephen D. Shaffer, ed.
Provides an in-depth study of African Americans in contemporary state legislatures in the South, including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas. Discusses the growing number of African American legislators, the evolution of the Black Caucus, and the elevation of African American legislators to leadership positions. Analyzes roll call data on key votes across legislative sessions from each of the states. Includes a chapter specifically on Texas, "Cohesiveness and Diversity among Black Members of the Texas State Legislature."
State University of New York Press, 2005. 229 pages.
328.75 M524P 2005



8. A Magnified Princes Shall Come Out of Egypt, Texas, and Fort Worth
By Reby Cary
Presents former Representative Reby Cary's work on the contributions of African Americans on U.S. history, culture, and politics from slavery to the beginning of the 21st century. Provides meticulously researched accounts of slaves, civil rights leaders, and black politicians to demonstrate the resilience of African Americans to rise above the racism and injustice that so often plague their communities. Highlights black leaders in Texas and Fort Worth.
Dorrance Publishing Co., 2002. 257 pages.
976.4531 C333M 2002

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