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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.

April 24, 2014 list Print (PDF)

"Public assistance, drug testing, and the law: the limits of population-based legal analysis." By Candice T. Player. American Journal of Law & Medicine, Vol. 40, No. 1, 2014, pp. 26-84 (Note Length)
Evaluates the effectiveness of drug testing welfare recipients. Discusses concerns, such as benefits not reaching children of drug users, Fourth Amendment rights, as well as other problems welfare recipients may face, such as transportation issues, childcare needs, and language barriers.
"Where are all the tech workers? Austin must fix this glitch." By Christopher Calnan and Robert Grattan. Austin Business Journal, April 18, 2014, pp. 4-6
Reports on the shortage of skilled workers in the Central Texas technology industry. Notes the slow progress in narrowing the gap between the needs of employers and worker skills.
"Kansas tries to shrink its way to prosperity." By Peter Coy. Bloomberg Businessweek, April 21-27, 2014, pp. 25-27
Examines the tax policies of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
"States target corporate cash stashed overseas." By Mark Niquette and Richard Rubin. Bloomberg Businessweek, April 21-27, 2014, pp. 27-28
Discusses how states are seeking tax dollars from corporations who have shifted money overseas. Explains the costs of offshore corporate tax shelters. Includes a map that illustrates which states lose the most to these tax havens.
"When and how states should strengthen their rainy day funds." By Elizabeth C. McNichol. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, April 16, 2014, pp. 1-8
Examines several factors that affect state government decisions on replenishing rainy day funds, including fund sizes, revenue trends, and the state's economic recovery. Argues states should not focus on replenishing rainy day funds until revenues are well above pre-recession levels, unemployment has declined, and program cuts are restored, but should improve structural design of the funds. Includes 50-state chart of state rainy day fund balances in FY 2006 vs. FY 2013.
See: http://www.cbpp.org/files/4-16-14sfp.pdf
"Blended learning." By Amanda Paulson. Christian Science Monitor, April 21 & 28, 2014, pp. 26, 28-32
Discusses blended learning, which combines online learning with traditional teaching. Explains facts are learned from online sources with teachers helping students apply what they have learned. Highlights the successes of several schools. Notes critics are concerned that online learning, combined with students' personal online activities, will result in too much time in front of computers.
"Coal: the fuel of the future, unfortunately." Economist, April 19th-25th, 2014, pp. 55-56
Reports that, while coal is a cheap, ubiquitous, flexible fuel, its mining, transportation, storage, and burning is "fraught with mess, as well as danger." Describes environmental problems associated with coal.
Report at: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/
"Post-office banking: put your money where your mail is." Economist, April 19th-25th, 2014, pp. 69-70
Considers proposal suggesting that the United States Postal Service offer financial services to households outside the financial mainstream that often rely on costly alternatives such as payday loans. Notes critics' concerns.
Related information at: http://www.uspsoig.gov/sites/default/files/documen ...
"Women, work, and children: the return of the stay-at-home mother." Economist, April 19th-25th, 2014, pp. 23-24
Reports the proportion of stay-at-home mothers has risen steadily over the past fifteen years. Notes some of the demographic characteristics of American mothers who did not work outside the home in 2012. Points out the increase is at odds with women's success in the workplace, as women hold half of the jobs in the United States.
Report at: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2014/04/Moms- ...
"Setting the standard for others to follow." By Betty Dillard. Fort Worth Business Press, April 21, 2014, pp. 1, 22-23
Interviews Vistasp Karbhari, President of the University of Texas at Arlington, on his first year as president and his goals for the university. Includes sidebar with data on students, faculty, staff, revenue, and expenditures.
"Rich counties, strapped governments." By Liz Farmer. Governing, April 2014, pp. 46-51
Concludes a special series on the rural/urban divide, focusing on new wealth from oil and agriculture in rural counties and underfunding of public services. Ranks Midland County as the ninth richest county in America in terms of per capita personal income.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-inf ...
"Managing public-sector retiree health-care benefits under the Affordable Care Act." By Michael Nadol, Jim Link, and Adam Benson. Government Finance Review, April 2014, pp. 10-16
Assesses the emerging terrain of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the effect on retiree benefit programs within the public sector. Looks at potential opportunities in health care and prescription drug coverage.
See: http://gfoa.org/downloads/GFOAGFRapr14ManagingBene ...
"Preparing the health care workforce to care for adults with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias." By Gregg A. Warshaw and Elizabeth J. Bragg. Health Affairs, April 2014, pp. 633-641
Discusses shortages in the health care workforce of physicians, nurses, and those who specialize in geriatric care or specifically care for patients with Alzheimer's. Suggests ways to improve and increase the workforce that cares for patients with Alzheimer's.
"The air up there." By Molly Ryan. Houston Business Journal, April 11-17, 2014, pp. 18A-20A
Examines the air quality of the Houston area and how well companies in Houston have been able to adhere to federal emission and ozone standards.
"The Affordable Care Act and youth aging out of foster care." By Dina Emam and Olivia Golden. Internet Resource, April 2014, pp. 1-13
Examines a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, effective January 1, 2014, that states extend Medicaid coverage up to age 26 for certain youth either in foster care or who have aged out of foster care. Explores implications for the child welfare system and next steps for child welfare officials.
See: http://www.clasp.org/resources-and-publications/pu ...
"Is U.S. science in decline?" By Yu Xie. Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2014, pp. 37-41
Examines the position of the nation's scientific community compared to other countries. Explains that, while the country remains a dominant force in scientific research, others, such as China, compete for dominance in scientific endeavors.
"Integrating care at the end of life." By David G. Stevenson and Haiden A. Huskamp. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), April 16, 2014, pp. 1493-1494
Discusses hospice care under Medicare. Argues that hospice care should be integrated into the Medicare Advantage managed care program.
"Fearless in Seattle." By Sasha Abramsky. Nation, April 28, 2014, pp. 22-24
Describes the movement for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, prospects for a national wage increase in Congress, and the potential to expand the national conversation on the living wage.
See: http://www.thenation.com/article/179251/what-if-mi ...
"Next step for marriage equality." By Marcia Coyle. National Law Journal & Legal Times, April 14, 2014, pp. 1, 4
Reports several state bans against same-sex marriage face constitutional tests in five separate federal appeals courts. Provides a brief summary of the cases and issues before the courts.
Related information at: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/litigation
"White House eyes steps to curb methane emissions from oil, gas operations." By Nick Snow. Oil and Gas Journal, April 7, 2014, pp. 46, 48, 50
Reports the White House is taking additional steps to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas production, including additional regulations to curb gas flaring on public lands. Points out that critics maintain that gas and oil companies have voluntarily reduced methane emissions and additional regulations are not necessary, while proponents welcome the strategy, noting that federal involvement would complement state efforts.
"Next-Gen nuclear." By John A. Bewick. Public Utilities Fortnightly, April 2014, pp. 31-36
Considers the resurgence of nuclear energy and the advances made in nuclear technologies. Discusses three Generation IV nuclear reactor concepts currently being researched: gas-cooled fast reactors, molten salt reactors, and sodium-cooled fast reactors. Points out other countries, such as China, India, and France, are active in the research and design of nuclear reactors. Concludes the United States needs to reactivate research and design of nuclear reactors now that many of the dangers have been addressed. Argues it is in the nation's best interest to provide funding for nuclear power.
"The next banking crisis." By Charles W. Calomiris and Stephen H. Haber. Regulation (CATO Institute), Spring 2014, pp. 32-35
Suggests regulatory reforms implemented after the housing finance crisis have not addressed risky investments in residential mortgages undertaken by over-leveraged government-sponsored enterprises and large banks and may not prevent a repeat performance of the subprime crisis.
See: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serial ...
"Groundwater markets." By Yusuke Kuwayama. Resources, No. 186, 2014, pp. 19-24
Discusses the unmonitored use of groundwater in the United States. Highlights the "reasonable use doctrine" in California and the "rule of capture" in Texas. Proposes the establishment of groundwater markets as a means of resource management.
"Are e-cigarettes safe?" By Dina Fine Maron. Scientific American, May 2014, pp. 31-32
Questions the safety of e-cigarettes. Explains how e-cigarettes work and examines the push for regulation.
"Should U.S. colleges be graded by the government?" By Haley Sweetland Edwards. Time, April 28, 2014, pp. 32-35
Discusses President Obama's college rating plan which ties the allocation of higher education funding to performance ratings. Argues the rating system will reduce student loan debt, increase competition, and improve performance. Details concerns, noting 60 percent of college presidents surveyed do not think it will succeed.