Legislative Reference Library of Texas
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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.
March 06, 2014 list Print (PDF)
"Less eating out, improved diets, and more family meals in the wake of the Great Recession."
By Jessica E. Todd and Rosanna Mentzer Morrison.
Amber Waves, March 4, 2014, pp. 1-8
Reports meals and snacks away from home declined for families from 2007 to 2009, as did caloric intake. Points out that consumers chose healthier foods during this period as well, including a reduction in saturated fats and an increase in fiber. Predicts eating away from home will increase as employment and incomes improve but that attention to healthier food choices may remain.
See: http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2014-march/les ...
"Heading to Houston? Try the Texas chicken."
By Dan Murtaugh, Jack Kaskey, and Isaac Arnsdorf.
Bloomberg Businessweek, March 3-9, 2014, pp. 43-44, 46
Discusses the crowded Houston Ship Channel. Explains that growth in shale oil and gas output has contributed to a steep increase in shipping traffic and energy companies are planning billions of dollars' worth of new projects along the channel.
"Proponents' case for a federally-imposed business activity tax nexus threshold has little merit."
By Michael Mazerov.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 26, 2014, pp. 1-16
Takes a critical view of the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2013, H.R. 2992, under consideration in the United States House of Representatives, which would strip states of their authority to tax profits of corporations based out of state but doing business within their borders. Argues nexus thresholds are governed by state business tax laws.
Related information at: http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house ...
Related information at: http://www.cbpp.org/files/6-24-08sfp.pdf
"The case against getting ahead: is faster always better?"
By Katherine S. Mangan.
Chronicle of Higher Education, February 21, 2014, pp. A18-A22
Explores the benefits and drawbacks of dual credit programs that allow students to earn college credit while still in high school. Profiles several early college high school programs, including one at LBJ Early College High School in Austin, and examines the difficulties students face in such accelerated courses. Finds that, while many students, especially minorities, do well in these programs, many others struggle with immaturity, burnout, and unpreparedness for real college courses. Discusses the challenges faced by universities in accommodating and supporting these students.
"Just say no, Governor Cuomo."
By D.J. Jaffe.
City Journal (Manhattan Institute), February 13, 2014, pp. 1-2
States New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to close state-run psychiatric hospitals will place seriously mentally ill patients at risk, forcing many into the prison system. Points out that in Texas, imprisoned mentally ill persons outnumber those in psychiatric hospitals by eight to one.
Related information at: http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/storage/doc ...
"The road to self-driving cars."
Consumer Reports, April 2014, pp. 16-20
Highlights crash-avoidance systems that are already showing promise as building blocks for the self-driving cars of the future.
"Hurricane protection: the windmills of your mind."
Economist, March 1st-7th, 2014, p. 81
Highlights a study that examines whether offshore wind farms with massive turbine arrays can diminish hurricanes' maximum wind speeds, decreasing storm surge-related flooding that causes billions of dollars in damage.
Related information at: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/26/333252 ...
"Social mobility: a memo to Obama."
Economist, March 1st-7th, 2014, pp. 25-26
Calls upon President Obama to work with Republicans who have produced "clever proposals" to help the working poor and to make the reforms necessary to counter America's economic stratification. Highlights the best proposals for improving social mobility.
"Texas politics: stupid season."
Economist, March 1st-7th, 2014, pp. 27-28
Comments on the primary election in Texas. Points out that too many Republican candidates stress fringe issues rather than the party's successes under Governor Rick Perry's administration.
"Managing against escalating pension investment fees."
By Girard P. Miller.
Government Finance Review, February 2014, pp. 18-25
Argues public pension plans need comprehensive policies to keep investment management fees from overtaking an increasing share of pension fund returns. Discusses the development of a fee policy by the Orange County Employees Retirement System in California.
"Probability management in financial planning."
By Sam L. Savage and Shayne C. Kavanagh.
Government Finance Review, February 2014, pp. 8-16
Discusses the concept of probability management as a way to incorporate uncertainty into government financial planning. Addresses the problem of forecasting uncertain tax revenues.
"Lessons from tele-emergency: improving care quality and health outcomes by expanding support for rural care systems."
By Keith J. Mueller, et al.
Health Affairs, February 2014, pp. 228-234
Examines tele-emergency services and focuses on one such service in the upper Midwest. Explains that rural hospitals and their patients benefit from tele-emergency services linking them to urban emergency departments.
"Telehealth among US hospitals: several factors, including state reimbursement and licensure policies, influence adoption."
By Julia Adler-Milstein, Joseph Kvedar, and David W. Bates.
Health Affairs, February 2014, pp. 207-215
Examines the adoption of telehealth capabilities in acute care hospitals. Suggests that differences in state adoption rates are a result of differences in state policies related to telehealth practices in hospitals. Concludes that telehealth is a viable strategy for improving patient access to care and lowering care costs for hospitals.
"Latinas in higher education: succeeding against all odds."
By Mary Ann Cooper.
Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, February 24, 2014, pp. 8-9
Points out the top 25 two-year and four-year higher education institutions in enrollment and degrees granted to Latina students. Notes the growing gap in enrollment and degree attainment between Latinas and Latinos.
"10 major technology trends in education."
By Chris Riedel.
Internet Resource, February 3, 2014, pp. 1-3
Summarizes results of a survey conducted by Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit organization, on technology trends in education. Reports more than 400,000 respondents participated, including students, teachers and librarians, parents, district administrators, and community members.
See: http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/02/03/10-major ...
"The housing affordability challenges of America's working households."
By Janet Viveiros and Lisa Sturtevant.
Internet Resource, February 2014, pp. 1-8
Discusses the severe challenge of housing affordability and finds housing costs account for more than half of monthly income in millions of working households. Includes a state-by-state table of statistics on the number of working households and housing cost burdens.
"Is school funding fair? A national report card."
By Bruce D. Baker, David G. Sciarra, and Danielle Farrie.
Internet Resource, January 2014, pp.1-3
Examines fairness of school finance systems at the state level and how the Great Recession and subsequent recovery has affected school funding. Evaluates fairness using four measures: funding level, distribution, state fiscal effort, and coverage. Reports that, after federal stimulus funding was depleted, most states cut education funding, which, in turn, negatively affected fairness. Includes chart comparing states' fairness grades and rank.
See: http://www.schoolfundingfairness.org/ExecutiveSumm ...
Report at: http://www.schoolfundingfairness.org/National_Repo ...
"Public-private partnerships for highway projects."
By Joseph Kile.
Internet Resource, March 5, 2014, pp. 1-10
Presents testimony before the Panel on Public-Private Partnerships, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, United States House of Representatives regarding public-private partnerships in constructing roads as a viable alternative to the traditional way where local and state governments assume responsibility. Addresses the potential role of the private sector in financing the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of highways.
See: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/at ...
"Tough choices: best practices in campaign finance and public access to information."
Internet Resource, February 2014, pp. 1-11
Evaluates Florida's 2013 campaign finance reform law (HB 569) and recommends improvements for transparency and public access. Mentions Texas as one of the states with model disclosure detail requirements, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
See: http://collinsinstitute.fsu.edu/sites/collinsinsti ...
Related information at: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/569
"Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012."
By Cynthia L. Ogden, et al.
JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), February 26, 2014, pp. 806-814
Provides national estimates on the rate of obesity in children and adults. Finds that, over the past decade, obesity prevalence has remained stable at a high rate.
"Power play: an examination of Texas's Anti-SLAPP statute and its protection of free speech through accelerated dismissal."
By Dena M. Richardson.
St. Mary's Law Journal, Vol. 45, No. 2, 2014, pp. 245-281 (Note Length)
Discusses the impetus behind passage of the Texas Citizen Participation Act (TCPA) and details the law's crucial components. Analyzes three early court cases involving TCPA motions to determine how the law functions in application.
Related information at: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CP/pdf/ ...
"Most states have no rules for independent tax preparers."
By Elaine S. Povich.
Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), February 25, 2014, pp. 1-5
Discusses state regulation of income tax preparers, noting that only four states require testing and continuing education. Points out that CPAs who do taxes are regulated, as are lawyers and tax specialists called enrolled agents. Includes state-by-state table listing the number of tax returns prepared by paid tax preparers.
See: http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headli ...
"13th Court: post-sex change, marriage OK."
By John Council.
Texas Lawyer, February 24, 2014, pp. 1, 17
Reports on a recent court opinion that makes individuals who have had a sex change eligible to marry a person of the opposite sex. Explains how a 2009 amendment to a statute in the Texas Family Code affected the court's decision.
Related information at: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/ ...
By Roger White.
Texas Lone Star (Texas Association of School Boards), February/March 2014, pp. 12-15
Reports on the Panhandle Twenty/20 initiative, established in 2002 to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for students in the Texas Panhandle. Highlights the initiative's focus and success in educational attainment and moving families out of poverty. Includes Panhandle Twenty/20 timeline.
Related information at: http://www.panhandle2020.org
See: http://www.texaslonestaronline.org/texaslonestar/f ...
"America leads the way."
By Michael Hood.
TEXPERS Pension Observer, Winter 2014, pp. 1, 13
Foresees slightly higher medium-term 2014 economic growth in the United States when compared with the emerging world, including China.
See: http://www.texpers.org/documents/publications/pens ...