Legislative Reference Library of Texas About the library Site Index

Legislative Reference Library of Texas
your partner in legislative research

Legislative clips Legislative clips archive Texas media links Current articles Texshare databases New books New & Noteworthy
Legislative Archive System Index to Sections Affected Conference committee reports Constitutional amendments Vetoes State budget Redistricting information Signed copies of bills Statutory revision Texas law timeline Water law timeline Statute publication dates Legislative intent guide
Texas Legislators: Past & Present Governors of Texas Lt. Governors and Speakers Senate Presidents Pro Tempore Senate & House seniority Member statistics Chief Elected Officials Texas legislators on Twitter
Sessions and years Bill statistics Member statistics Bill effective dates Legislative deadlines Session summaries Special sessions Legislative staff lists
Today's meetings Meetings by date Standing committees Committees by session Committee search Legislative reports Committee minutes
Library catalog House & Senate Journals House & Senate Rules Parliamentary resources General and Special Laws of Texas Codes of 1856 Paschal's Digest Penal Code revision research guide Code of Criminal Procedure guide Deceptive Trade Practices Act Impeachment of O.P. Carrillo Gubernatorial inauguration materials Water resources research guide School finance litigation archive
Frequently Asked Questions Contacting your legislator Texas bill status State agency hotlines & citizen   assistance Texas legislative agencies &   process Other libraries Public policy resources

LRL Home - Current Issues - Current Articlesprinter friendly versionreturn to screen view

Current Articles

The Legislative Reference Library produces a weekly list of current journal articles for members of the legislative community. Each week, librarians select and abstract articles of interest to the legislature from the latest issues of over 300 journals, newsletters, state documents, and trade publications. Electronic copies of the Current Articles list are distributed to legislative offices each Friday.

The Legislative Reference Library is located on the second floor of the State Capitol building in Room 2N.3. For more information, please call the Library at 512 463-1252.

January 12, 2017 list Print (PDF)

"The Gideon revolution." By Lorelei Laird. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, January 2017, pp.44-46, 48-51
Reports on the increase in lawsuits brought by public defender office staff seeking redress for extreme funding shortfalls, excessive caseloads, and insufficient pay. Points out five lawsuits over the past five years reached successful decisions or settlements, while at least six states were sued in 2016 regarding funding of indigent defense.
"Defining rural at the U.S. Census Bureau." By Michael Ratcliffe. American Community Survey and Geography Brief, December 2016, pp. 1-8
Tracks a history of how the United States Census Bureau has designated and defined rural areas.
See: http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/p ...
"Bulletproofing." By William Brennan. Atlantic Monthly, January/February 2017, pp. 26-27
Examines technological advances that can be applied to preventing mass shootings. Highlights smart guns that can be fired only by authorized users or disabled remotely, schools and teachers outfitted with technology to thwart shooters, and the use of law enforcement robots.
"Dan Patrick." By Greg Barr. Austin Business Journal, January 6, 2017, pp. 4, 6-7
Features interview with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick about his expectations for the 2017 legislative session.
"Future of Texas Enterprise Fund cloudy even as session begins." By Kimberly Reeves. Austin Business Journal, January 6, 2017, p. 11
Reports business leaders are concerned lawmakers in the 85th Legislature will impose further limits on incentive funds and tax abatements that draw major employers to the state. Includes comment by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and mentions Senator Paul Bettencourt.
"SB 2 may give Texans major property tax relief, standardized appraisal process." By Jan Buchholz. Austin Business Journal, January 6, 2017, p. 10
Provides an overview of key elements of SB2, 85th Legislature, the "Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017." Includes comments by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and mentions Senator Paul Bettencourt.
"Where seniors count." By Sara Miller Llana. Christian Science Monitor, January 2 & 9, 2017, pp. 26-32
Explores the unprecedented worldwide demographic shift wherein people 60 years or older will outnumber children under age five by 2020. Suggests that global aging may rank with climate change as the great challenge of this century. Surveys the situation for the elderly in several countries and identifies solutions that can turn a problem into an intergenerational opportunity by keeping older people a more integral part of the community.
"Inequality: fat tails." Economist, January 7th-13th, 2017, pp. 21-22
Refutes the argument that government has exploited the middle class. Explains many federal policies benefit middle earners more than the poor. Considers how the Trump administration will affect the rising inequality in wealth.
"Recruiting police officers: the force is weak." Economist, January 7th-13th, 2017, p. 23
Reports police departments are struggling to remain fully-staffed. Notes national trends that are making it harder to attract applicants.
"Issues to watch." Governing, January 2017, pp. 30-39
Previews state legislative issues in 2017, including immigration, Zika virus, infrastructure spending, opioids, and foster care. Mentions Texas.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-2013- ...
"Out of the shadows." By Liz Farmer. Governing, January 2017, pp. 41-45
Describes the difficulty in implementing and enforcing state legislation that addresses child sex trafficking and attempts to change perceptions of sex trade victims. Discusses social factors that drive many young girls into prostitution and men into trafficking.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-saf ...
"A party in power." By Alan Greenblatt. Governing, January 2017, pp. 26-29
Explores a rare, historic opportunity for Republicans, who currently control the Presidency, Congress, and big majorities in state legislatures and governorships. Discusses the GOP establishment in Texas and mentions Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker Joe Straus.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-trump ...
"How high-need patients experience health care in the United States." By Jamie Ryan, et al. Internet Resource, December 2016, pp. 1-20
Summarizes findings from a Summer 2016 survey of high-need patients — those with multiple chronic conditions, behavioral health problems, and/or with physical limitations or disabilities — indicating that these patients' needs are not being met. Offers potential opportunities for improvement within the health care system.
See: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/files/publ ...
"Integrating Medicaid supplemental payments into value-based purchasing." By Cindy Mann, et al. Internet Resource, November 2016, pp. 1-24
Examines the increasing importance of Medicaid supplemental payments as a method for states to support safety-net hospitals and compensate providers for low payment rates, and the conflict of supplemental payments with value-based purchasing. Offers options to redeploy Medicaid supplemental payments to promote high-quality, efficient, and fair health care.
See: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/files/publ ...
"Increase in US suicide rates and the critical decline in psychiatric beds." By Tarun Bastiampillai, Steven S. Sharfstein, and Stephen Allison. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 27, 2016, pp. 2591-2592
Argues that the reduction in US psychiatric beds has contributed to the increase in suicide rates. Recommends a national suicide prevention strategy including a minimum number of psychiatric beds for at-risk patients, more access to psychiatric hospitals and follow-up care, and more long-term psychiatric beds. Advises increasing the number of beds during economic downturns.
"Partnering with nurses to transform primary care." By Diana J. Mason. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 20, 2016, pp. 2471-2472
Recommends enhancing roles for registered nurses in primary care as a means to transform health care for the benefit of patients and practitioners. Notes this enhancement may require changes in education, laws, and regulations for nursing practice.
"Physical activity or rest after concussion in youth." By Sara P.D. Chrisman and Frederick P. Rivara. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 20, 2016, pp. 2491-2492
Examines a study on the relationship between early physical activity and persistent symptoms after concussion that found better outcomes for youth who exercised more. Encourages clinicians and parents to use common sense in balancing physical activity and prolonged rest.
"RIN costs force US refiners to assess responses." By Ara Barsamian and Lee Curcio. Oil and Gas Journal, Dec. 5, 2016, 35-37
Reports that, as part of the federal government's program to force the use of renewable fuels, renewable identification numbers [RINs] have become a multibillion-dollar burden on refiners and tax on domestic consumers. Illustrates this problem by providing an example that focuses on the RIN cash flow for a typical refiner. Suggests several options for how refiners can respond to this issue.
"The impact of Texas travel and tourism." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 33, No. 10, pp. 1-3, 6-7
Estimates the annual impact of travel and tourism on business activity in Texas and on tax revenues throughout the state. Notes the economic and property tax benefits of travel and tourism for metropolitan areas.
"Summer learning that sticks." By Daniel Browne. Phi Delta Kappan, December 2016/January 2017, pp. 15-20
Highlights a RAND Corporation study of the Wallace Foundation's National Summer Learning Project that tracked the large-scale, voluntary summer learning programs of five public school districts, including Dallas. Explains that significant improvement has been shown for students who have high attendance rates in programs with high amounts of academic instruction.
"When choice fosters inequality, can research help?" By Jennifer B. Ayscue, et al. Phi Delta Kappan, December 2016 / January 2017, pp. 49-54
Presents the findings of The Civil Rights Project, a group hired by Buffalo, NY public schools to identify barriers and offer recommendations to equitable access to the district's criteria (magnet) schools. Identifies four barriers to equitable access to criteria schools: lack of clear and accessible information about school choice, students without proper academic preparation, school admission criteria, and insufficient number high-quality schools to handle demand.
"How public pension plan investment risk affects funding and contribution risk." By Donald J. Boyd and Yimeng Yin. Policy Brief (Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government), January 2017, pp. 1-8
Weighs the risks related to public pension plans and the costs and benefits incurred by governments and tax payers to support pension systems.
See: http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/government_finance/201 ...
Report at: http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/government_finance/201 ...
"No way out." By Thaddeus Russell. Reason, February 2017, pp. 58-62
Argues that progressives' policies and programs, at the turn of the century and later, created the basis for our current carceral state. Criticizes some of the interpretations of race and crime in Elizabeth Hinton's book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime. Suggests we would still have mass incarceration in the United States even if we could achieve "perfect racial justice".
"Remaking vacant lots to cut crime." By Martha T. Moore. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), January 6, 2017, pp. 1-6
Reports many cities, including Houston, are clearing vacant lots to fight crime and urban blight. Acknowledges Philadelphia's LandCare program as a model for other cities.
See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/ ...
"Building on success." By Amy Lynn Sorrel. Texas Medicine, January 2017, pp. 22-31
Describes the Texas Medical Association's legislative priorities and concerns, including appropriations for health care, Medicaid reform, insurer tactics, Sunset review of health professions licensing boards, and more.
See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=43929