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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.

June 23, 2016 list Print (PDF)

"Medicaid expansion producing state savings and connecting vulnerable groups to care." By Jesse Cross-Call. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, June 15, 2016, pp. 1-5
Discusses net budget savings for many states that have adopted Medicaid expansion, such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and New Jersey. Explains that Medicaid expansion also connects vulnerable populations with needed health care, including people with behavioral health conditions, the homeless, and the incarcerated.
See: http://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/file ...
"States are using flexibility to create successful, innovative Medicaid programs." By Hannah Katch. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, June 13, 2016, pp. 1-8
Describes four examples of state Medicaid innovation in Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Oregon.
See: http://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/file ...
"Why free lawyers shouldn't come cheap." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, June 26, 2016, pp. 21-23
Discusses the inadequate funding of public defenders as prosecuting attorneys receive better funding. Spotlights efforts of several states to address disparity issues. Notes focus on reform of the criminal justice system may include better funding for public defender offices.
"A history of violence." Economist, June 18th-24th, 2016, p. 78
Points out several studies that examine the relationship between gun ownership and gun violence. Notes evidence is growing that gun violence in America is the product of weak gun laws.
"Oil supply: rigonomics." Economist, June 18th-24th, 2016, pp. 73-75
Considers whether oil price recovery to around $50 a barrel is enough to revive global oil production and the hydraulic-fracturing industry.
"E-stats 2014: measuring the electronic economy." Internet Resource, June 7, 2016, pp. 1-5
Provides data and information on e-commerce in the United States for 2014. Revises 2013 numbers and gives historical information related to domestic e-commerce activity.
See: http://www.census.gov/library/publications/2016/ec ...
"Kentucky: special report." By Julia Costich and Glen Mays. Internet Resource, June 2016, pp. i-iv, 1-8
Provides an update on Kentucky's implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Explains how a new governor in Kentucky plans to replace Medicaid expansion with a Medicaid waiver program.
See: http://www.rockinst.org/ACA/states/Kentucky/2016-0 ...
"Making sense of the opt-out movement." By Scott Levy and Jonah Edelman. Internet Resource, Fall 2016, pp. 1-10
Presents commentary by Scott Levy, a New York State public-school parent and local school board member, and Jonah Edelman, cofounder and CEO of Stand for Children, a national organization advocating for college and career readiness for all, on the "opt-out" movement in which students refuse to take their state's standardized tests. Focuses on New York public schools, who is choosing to opt out, and the pros and cons of the movement.
See: http://educationnext.org/making-sense-of-opt-out-m ...
"Is there a student debt crisis?" By Max Eden. Issue Brief (Manhattan Institute), June 9, 2016, 1-5
Claims the "true" student debt crisis encompasses the unmanageable debt borne by students who drop out and do not graduate from low-quality for-profit and two-year public postsecondary institutions. Explains that proposed reforms to reduce student debt would do little to help these students.
See: https://www.manhattan-institute.org/sites/default/ ...
"Transforming the health care response to intimate partner violence: addressing 'wicked problems'." By Kelly C. Young-Wolff, Krista Kotz, and Brigid McCaw. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), June 21, 2016, pp. 2517-2518
Looks at how a large health care organization took steps to improve screening and intervention for intimate partner violence.
"Disparities in adolescents’ residence in neighborhoods supportive of physical activity — United States, 2011–2012." By Kathleen B. Watson, et al. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), June 17, 2016, pp. 598-601
Examines adolescents' residence in neighborhoods supportive of physical activity which provide access to sidewalks, parks, and recreation centers in neighborhoods. Finds disparities among adolescents' access to such amenities, noting that adolescents in lower-income households, rural areas, those who are obese or overweight, or Hispanic or black are less likely to live in neighborhoods that are supportive of physical activity.
See: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6523a2.htm ...
"Seat belt use among adult workers — 21 states, 2013." By Winifred L. Boal, Jia Li, and Rosa L. Rodriguez-Acosta. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), June 17, 2016, pp. 593-597
Looks at seat belt use among occupational groups. Points out that work-related roadway incidents are a significant cause of occupational injuries and fatalities, and that seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injuries to front seat occupants of cars and light trucks.
See: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6523a1.htm ...
"New re-entry program supports high-risk offenders." By Zoe Tillman. National Law Journal & Legal Times, June 13, 2016, p. 15
Reports on the launch of a reentry court program in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia that aims to help high-risk offenders get a job, find a home, and deal with other challenges that could lead them back to prison. Points out that re-entry court programs are active in 50 of 94 federal districts nationwide, noting the programs vary in scope, eligibility, and length.
Related information at: https://www.fd.org/docs/select-topics/sentencing-r ...
"Doug Ducey's blooming, booming desert." By John J. Miller. National Review, June 27, 2016, pp. 32-34
Discusses the early record of Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona. Provides insights on the governor's fiscal and policy goals for Arizona.
"The end of work." By Oren Cass. National Review, June 27, 2016, pp. 35-37
Examines proposals for a universal basic income [UBI] and whether such a policy would end the need for safety net programs. Argues that a UBI would stymie social and economic mobility and jeopardize incentives to work.
"A sidekick for rural safety." By Janet Leli. Public Roads, May/June 2016, pp. 1-7
Explains how the National Center for Rural Road Safety, opened in December 2014, can help local agencies deploy the most effective current and emerging road safety improvements on their rural roads. Notes the agency covers both rural and surface transportation, fulfilling the role of a one-stop shop for research, technical assistance and transfer, and training.
See: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/1 ...
"Has retail choice delivered on its promises?" Public Utilities Fortnightly, June 2016, pp. 25-29
Considers whether retail choice in electricity has lived up to its claims that retail costs would be lower and innovative products and services would be offered. Finds that only a part of the anticipated benefits were offered and that most of the benefits were due to a restructuring of wholesale competition, not retail competition.
"Does federal aid drive college tuition?" By Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman. Regulation (CATO Institute), Summer 2016, pp. 12-18
Presents an enrollment management model of how nonprofit colleges and universities decide how to fill their classes and set tuition.
See: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serial ...
"Reducing wasteful incarcerations." By Christopher T. Robertson and Jamie Cox Robertson. Regulation (CATO Institute), Summer 2016, pp. 20-25
Offers suggestions to solve the problem of wrongful mass incarcerations, including reforms to make the ultimate decisions by prosecutors' offices and judges more accurate and less biased toward incarceration.
See: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serial ...
"New solution to carbon pollution?" By Eli Kintisch. Science, June 10, 2016, pp. 1262-1263
Discusses a new technique discovered in Iceland that traps greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in volcanic rock. Explains that injecting carbon dioxide into volcanic rock triggers the formation of carbonate minerals, although the process is not yet commercially viable.
"Drilling for earthquakes." By Anna Kuchment. Scientific American, July 2016, pp. 46-53
Discusses the increase in earthquake activity in Oklahoma and Texas since 2008. Looks at wastewater injection wells, their link to seismic activity, and how they might be regulated to mitigate the risk of earthquakes.
"Amid opioid epidemic, more schools offer 'sober dorms'." By Teresa Wiltz. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), June 15, 2016, pp. 1-7
Addresses substance-free housing on university campuses, a new development in the recovery movement for alcohol and drug addiction. Highlights states that are embracing sober housing, noting New Jersey has made it a law for all state colleges and universities to offer such housing. Reports Texas Tech has offered substance-free housing since 2011, while the University of Texas, which does not have sober dorms, was recently allocated $2.4 million to fund recovery programs on their campuses.
See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/ ...
"As Cubans rush through Texas, immigration policy questioned." By Jen Fifield. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), June 17, 2016, pp. 1-7
Discusses the emerging debate over Cubans' special immigration status, in effect since passage of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. Explains Cubans who reach United States soil are permitted to stay in the country regardless of circumstances and to gain legal residency automatically after a year, while people fleeing persecution in other countries may spend years trying to gain refugee status or citizenship. Notes that about 25,000 Cubans have traveled through Laredo so far this year on their way to Houston, straining the city's local resources.
See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/ ...
"As suburbs shift, funding fights loom." By Jenni Bergal. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), June 22, 2016, pp. 1-8
Explains local governments will face enormous challenges as families with children compete with aging and retired "boomers" for limited tax dollars. Notes that between now and 2035, the number of people 65 and over will grow from 48 million to 78 million, with the majority of boomers living in the suburbs.
See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/ ...
"Hail to the CCC boys: the Civilian Conservation Corps left an enduring legacy on the Texas landscape." Texas Highways, July 2016, pp. 54-67
Profiles the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Texas, and how the program impacted both the men who participated and the state landscape through their work. Details a number of project outcomes, including the planting of 3 million trees, mapping of caves, construction of dams, and of state parks, and the roughly two billion dollars the men were able to send home to support their families.