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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 10, 2014 list Print (PDF)

"Tech scene will suffer if kids continue on present path." By Jack McDonald and Cameron Wilson. Austin Business Journal, April 4, 2014, p. A31
Advocates for greater computer science course offerings and completion in Texas' K-12 school system to address the shortage of qualified workers in industries that rely on technology.
Related information at: https://www.acm.org/runningonempty/index.html
"Does God hate Obamacare?" By Susan Berfield. Bloomberg Businessweek, April 7-13, 2014, pp. 76-79
Examines the background of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, argued before the United States Supreme Court in late March. Explains that the Court's ruling is expected in July 2014.
Related information at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/ ...
"Participation in out-of-school time activities and programs." By Kristin Anderson Moore, et al. Child Trends, March 2014, pp. 1-12
Examines benefits of children and youth participation in "out-of-school" (OST) programming and addresses inequities in access. Includes state-level estimates of OST participation rates by age and poverty status.
See: http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2014 ...
"Troubling threat to the US rivers." By Noelle Swan. Christian Science Monitor, April 7, 2014, pp. 18-20
Considers the options for disposing of coal ash, a byproduct from burning coal for electricity. Discusses concerns of industry leaders if coal ash is declared a hazardous waste and heavily regulated. Reports that environmentalists advocate for federal regulation of coal ash discharges into waterways and its storage in unlined holding basins.
"Health care in America: the geek guide to insurance." Economist, April 5th-11th, 2014, p. 57
Highlights Oscar, a private, independent insurer that plans to transform American health care by using technology to simplify "a notoriously complex market" and by making good care easier to find.
Related information at: https://www.hioscar.com/?locale=en
"Higher education: is college worth it?" Economist, April 5th-11th, 2014, pp. 23-24
Discusses the high cost of higher education. Suggests that, in time, demands for transparency of college costs and earnings and greater access to reputable digital education options will force many colleges to cut costs, raise the quality of the educational experience, and provide students with a better rate of return on their investment.
Related information at: http://www.payscale.com/college-roi/
"Presidential libraries: style and guile." Economist, March 29th-April 4th, 2014, pp. 30-31
Reports the Barack Obama Foundation is scouting potential sites for the 14th presidential library. Explains how presidential libraries are used and includes statistics on library visits in fiscal year 2013.
"High times!" By Nathan Vardi. Forbes, April 14, 2014, pp. 90, 92-94
Reports on the emergence of the pot penny stock business, spurred by a growing number of states that permit the sale of marijuana for recreational and/or medical use. Notes that some of the 60 publicly-traded outfits claiming to be pot or hemp stocks are snarled in a difficult-to-track web of interconnections. Points out that most were launched without the disclosure and scrutiny associated with the Initial Public Offering process.
"Come together." By J.B. Wogan. Governing, April 2014, pp. 34-37
Continues a special series on the rural/urban divide, focusing on the relationship between cities and rural counties.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-can-c ...
"Out in the country." By Alan Greenblatt. Governing, April 2014, pp. 26-32
Begins a special series on the rural/urban divide, focusing on the rural/urban political dialogue. Mentions Texas Senate District 31.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-rural ...
"Medicaid expansion: considerations for states regarding newly eligible jail-involved individuals." By Stephen A. Somers, et al. Health Affairs, March 2014, pp. 455-461
Outlines steps states can take to help inmates determine their eligibility for Medicaid enrollment after jail release. Explains that the majority of individuals released from jail have no health insurance, as states cannot use federal Medicaid funds to provide health care services to inmates. Examines the overlap between jail-involved and Medicaid populations and notes the prevalence and need for treatment of mental illness and substance abuse among jail-involved populations.
"Autonomous vehicle technology: a guide for policymakers: summary." By James M. Anderson, et al. Internet Resource, 2014, pp. 1-16
Assists policymakers at the state and federal levels in making wise policy decisions in the area of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology. Discusses the current state of the technology. Addresses effects of AV technology on mobility, congestion, land use, energy, and emissions.
Report at: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research ...
See: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research ...
"A comparison of state minimum wages." By Yuri Shadunsky and Norton Francis. Internet Resource, March 31, 2014, p. 1
Provides a graphic overview of state minimum wages and which states, like Texas, match the federal minimum wage.
See: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/1001722 ...
"Improving the efficiency and equity of highway funding and management: research summary." By Tracy C. Miller. Internet Resource, February 2014, pp. 1-3
Explores the role that vehicle miles travelled charges could play in reforming highway funding and management. Finds that replacing fuel taxes with a comprehensive system of vehicle mile charges — particularly if the change is accompanied by a greater role for private firms in owning or managing roads — would achieve a more efficient and equitable arrangement for funding surface transportation infrastructure and could eliminate most congestion without requiring a massive expansion of the highway network.
See: http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/Miller_VMT ...
Related information at: http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/Miller_VMT ...
"Fulfilling the promise of 'anyone, anywhere' to perform CPR." By Mickey S. Eisenberg, Bentley J. Bobrow, and Tom Rea. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), March 26, 2014, pp. 1197-1198
Explains the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) administered quickly to people in cardiac arrest. Suggests strategies to increase bystander involvement in initiating CPR.
"Websites that offer care over the Internet." By Colette DeJong, John Santa, and R. Adams Dudley. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), April 2, 2014, pp. 1287-1288
Examines the emergence and quality of websites that provide online health care for simple conditions.
"Reducing prescription drug abuse." NGA Paper, February 2014, pp. 1-8
Reviews challenges the states participating in the National Governors Association's policy academy encountered in developing and implementing plans for reducing prescription drug abuse. Discusses strategies states adopted to overcome challenges. Presents lessons learned and outcomes achieved.
See: http://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/ ...
"Teacher tenure and dismissal on trial." By Adrienne Lu. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), April 1, 2014, pp. 1-4
Discusses a California lawsuit, filed on behalf of nine public school students, challenging the rules on teacher tenure and dismissal. Suggests the lawsuit is significant because it is the first to attribute unequal education opportunities to personnel policies. Looks at what other states are doing to reform teacher tenure and dismissal policies.
See: http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headli ...
"County indigent health care program." By Julie Anderson. Texas County Progress, April 2014, pp. 14-16, 18, 20
Details legislative changes from the 83rd Legislature to the requirements for state matching funds for county indigent health care programs and the Texas Health Care Transformation and Quality Improvement Program Waiver (also known as the 1115 Medicaid waiver).
"The ACA marketplace." By Amy Lynn Sorrel. Texas Medicine, April 2014, pp. 16-25
Examines problems physicians are facing as a result of the federal health insurance exchange, such as patients not knowing what their premiums or deductibles are, even after signing up for health coverage on the exchange. Explains that physicians have had to bear the risks of accepting patients with no assurance they will be reimbursed for care.
"A raw deal: why Texas should relax and let dairies bring their milk to town." By Megan Loder. Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal, Fall 2013, pp. 231-252
Discusses the raw milk and cottage food industries and policies the Texas Department of State Health Services should consider when drafting food regulations. Provides recommendations for future regulatory changes.
Related information at: http://cottagefoods.org/laws/
Related information at: http://www.ncsl.org/documents/agri/RawMilk13.pdf
Related information at: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/foodestablishments/cf ...
"The Texas Permanent School Fund: its contribution and potential to school finance." By Rebecca Schlosser. Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal, Fall 2013, pp. 171-186
Provides a brief history of the Texas Permanent School Fund and school finance litigation. Offers proposal to increase the revenue generated by the fund.
"Conservation easements." By Steve Jester. Texas Wildlife, April 2014, pp. 42-44
Explains the history and significance of conservation easements and how they promote and ensure land conservation in Texas.
"The state of change." By Judy Bishop Jurek. Texas Wildlife, April 2014, pp. 8-12
Discusses the population boom in Texas and its effects on privately owned farm and ranch land. Examines the problem of rural land loss to oil and gas drilling and land developers and the effects of this loss on farming, ranching, the environment, and wildlife.
"Money talks." By Michael Scherer. Time, April 14, 2014, p. 14
Discusses the recent United States Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission related to campaign contributions. Suggests the landmark ruling will not only push more money into elections but will change the national view on political corruption.
Related information at: http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/scanned/archive/2014/23 ...