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 Bill-chapter cross reference 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 Lieutenant Governors of Texas Speakers of the House 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
Today's meetings Meetings by date Standing committees Committees by session Committee search Legislative reports Committee minutes
Library catalog House & Senate Journals General and Special Laws of Texas House & Senate Rules Parliamentary Resources Water resources research guide Penal Code Revision Research Guide Impeachment of O.P. Carrillo Codes of 1856 Paschal's Digest Deceptive Trade Practices Act Gubernatorial Inauguration Materials
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.

December 18, 2014 list Print (PDF)

"Building a better police department." By Drake Bennett. Bloomberg Businessweek, December 15-21, 2014, pp. 24-25
Examines the need for uniform standards for police departments in the United States. Considers possible changes in hiring practices, education and training, and the use of body cameras by police departments.
"Shale's relentless attack." By Peter Coy and Matthew Philips. Bloomberg Businessweek, December 15-21, 2014, pp. 8-9
Summarizes the role American shale oil producers play in the world oil market. Highlights the market's chronic volatility in both pricing and supply.
"To improve graduation rates, advising gets intrusive by design." By Vimal Patel. Chronicle of Higher Education, December 5, 2014, p. A6
Focuses on the changing role of college advisors as a key component in keeping students on track to graduate in four years. Profiles the advising program at Georgia Regents University that uses a central advising office to focus on improving student performance and encouraging students to take fifteen class hours each semester.
"Why colleges haven't stopped students from binge drinking." By Beth McMurtrie. Chronicle of Higher Education, December 5, 2014, pp. A23-A26
Reviews two decades of attempts to bring student alcohol abuse under control. Presents the environmental, economic, and political factors involved in changing the drinking culture. Argues that the issue needs to be reframed to focus on the institutional mission of providing a supportive learning environment and that alcohol abuse needs to be controlled and penalties enforced. Includes sidebar article profiling policies at four universities.
"What the numbers say on police use of force." By Steven Malanga. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), December 4, 2014, pp. 1-3
Reports that two decades of data on police interactions with Americans of all races show a reduction in confrontations between citizens and police officers.
Report at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpp08.pdf
Report at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/pbtss11.pdf
See: http://www.city-journal.org/2014/eon1204sm.html
"Cracking the craft code." By Danielle Abril. Dallas Business Journal, December 5, 2014, pp. 4-5
Reports on the burgeoning craft spirits market in North Texas. Notes beer has lost its once-commanding market share over the last decade and currently represents half of all dollars spent on alcoholic beverages.
"Charter schools: big, not easy." Economist, December 13th-19th, 2014, p. 34
Profiles the charter school model in New Orleans, where 94 percent of students attend charter schools. Notes schools have improved during the last ten years but Louisiana still comes in last or close to last on a range of performance measures.
"Policing: don't shoot." Economist, December 13th-19th, 2014, pp. 27-28
Advocates the overhaul of the law enforcement system in the United States, noting American police officers shot and killed at least 458 people last year. Points out how some forces are using smarter, less aggressive policing to reduce crime.
"Unmanned aircraft: the robot overhead." Economist Technology Quarterly, December 6th, 2014, pp. 11-13
Reports on the growing use of unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes. Highlights developments in collision-avoidance technology and other safety issues related to the use of drones.
"College policies mixed on AP, IB, dual classes." By Caralee J. Adams. Education Week, December 10, 2014, pp. 1, 10-11
Discusses the lack of consistency among colleges in awarding college credit for AP, IB, and dual-enrollment courses taken by high school students. Considers whether these courses reduce the completion time for a college degree. Reviews state legislative responses.
"Legislatures set to tackle hot K-12 issues." By Andrew Ujifusa. Education Week, December 10, 2014, pp.1, 19
Highlights education issues that state lawmakers are likely to address in the upcoming 2015 legislative sessions in light of recent elections and an upturn in the economy. Identifies common standards, testing, and school choice as top K-12 issues and discusses outlook for school finance.
"Government's major cost drivers and what to do about them." Governing, December 2014, pp. S7-S11
Highlights four budget cost drivers for state and local governments: workforce, Medicaid, education, and corrections.
"Up in smoke." By Chris Kardish. Governing, December 2014, pp. 50-53
Suggests smoke-free efforts in the states have lost focus and describes the policy challenges in driving down the rate of smoking.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-servi ...
"Accelerating efforts to prevent childhood obesity." By Debbie I. Chang, Allison Gertel-Rosenberg, and Kim Snyder. Health Affairs, December 2014, pp. 2207-2213
Examines the success of childhood obesity prevention strategies and recounts lessons learned.
"As immunity wanes, whooping cough returns." By Teresa L. Chin. Health Affairs, December 2014, pp. 2095-2098
Explores whooping cough outbreaks in the United States and the role vaccines play in prevention.
"Stepping it up for minority women in IT careers." By Michelle Adam. Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, December 1, 2014, pp. 9-11
Reports on UST Global's Step It Up America program, which offers training and job opportunities in tech careers to inner-city minority women who have a minimum of a high school diploma.
Related information at: http://www.ust-global.com/en/index.php/step-it-up- ...
"Trends in state financial aid." By Sarah Pingel. Internet Resource, November 4, 2014, pp. 1-7
Highlights trends in state financial aid programs enacted by state legislatures in 2013 and 2014. Reports major actions include innovations in need- and merit-based programs, linking financial aid programs to workforce demands, and programs focused on transfer students' pathways. Offers suggestions for future financial aid policy development.
See: http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/01/15/62/11562.pd ...
"Clinical education and the electronic health record: the flipped patient." By Jeffrey Chi and Abraham Verghese. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 10, 2014, pp. 2331-2332
Explores how the millennial generation approaches electronic health records.
"Bracing for hard times ahead." By Robert Kafalenos, et al. Public Roads, November/December 2014, pp. 1-10
Highlights United States Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) initiatives that can help state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations keep current transportation infrastructure in good repair. Provides an overview of practical tools the FHWA developed to guide users in analyzing and countering the risks posed by future extreme weather events and climate stressors that affect infrastructure components.
Related information at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/climate_change ...
See: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/ ...
"State legislation sought to rein in payday lenders." By Mike W. Thomas. San Antonio Business Journal, December 12, 2014, p. 6
Discusses payday loan businesses in Texas and local ordinances used to regulate predatory lending practices.
"Unknown significance." By Jennifer Couzin-Frankel. Science, December 5, 2014, pp. 1167-1170
Recounts a personal experience with genetic testing. Examines how genetic testing has advanced but notes the ramifications of some test results are not fully understood.
"The jet stream is getting weird." By Jeff Masters. Scientific American, December 2014, pp. 68-75
Examines how the jet stream has influenced extreme and severe weather conditions over the past four years in North America, Europe, and Asia. Explores weather changes related to El Nino and La Nina.
"Patent trolls' hefty tolls." By Jonathan Griffin. State Legislatures, December 2014, pp. 28-31
Discusses patent assertion entities (PAEs) which are typically holding companies that own patents purchased legally from bankrupt firms. Notes some PAEs request unreasonable fees from companies they claim are violating patents and companies usually pay the fees to avoid potential lawsuits. Points out that Vermont uses consumer protection laws rather than patent law to protect businesses.
"Riding by the rules." By Douglas Shinkle. State Legislatures, December 2014, pp. 24-27
Discusses the phenomenal growth of ridesharing networks and how lawmakers are responding to associated issues, such as liability insurance, age of driver, criminal background checks, safety of vehicle, work hours, and payment of taxes. Points out taxi companies feel they are being treated unfairly since ridesharing networks do not meet the same standards. Highlights several states that have studied and offered legislation that address these issues.
"Conserving private lands conserves water." By Kathy Wythe. txH2O, Winter 2014, pp. 1-4
Discusses private land stewardship and its connection to groundwater and surface water availability. Points out Speaker Straus issued an interim charge to the House Committee on Natural Resources on this issue. Describes 2005 legislative action (SB1273, 79th Legislature, R.S.) to provide grants to purchase conservation easements. Notes this program is not fully funded and supporters hope the 84th Legislature will provide the necessary funding.
See: http://twri.tamu.edu/publications/txh2o/winter-201 ...