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 House & Senate Rules Parliamentary resources General and Special Laws of Texas Codes of 1856 Paschal's Digest Penal Code revision research guide Code of Criminal Procedure guide Deceptive Trade Practices Act Impeachment of O.P. Carrillo Gubernatorial inauguration materials Water resources research guide
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.

March 26, 2015 list Print (PDF)

"Walmart finds backers in quest to sell Texas liquor." By Kimberly Reeves. Austin Business Journal, March20, 2015, p. 15
Discusses Walmart's legal challenge of Texas statutes that limit package store permits to family-owned businesses, prohibiting publicly-traded companies like Walmart from owning package liquor stores. Mentions SB609, 84th Legislature, R.S., relating to the regulation of package store permit holders and includes comments by the bill's author, Senator Kelly Hancock.
"'Sharing economy': helpful or selfish?" By Gloria Goodale. Christian Science Monitor, March 30, 2015, pp. 21-23
Examines the 'sharing economy' founded to use technology to connect people with other people's underused stuff, like cars and spare bedrooms. Describes critics of the industry charge the 'sharing economy' has become the 'selfish economy.' Points out leaders of the top sharing the economy companies are working to define what a 'sharing economy' is, and to establish guidelines for the companies as they grow. Includes a graph of selected companies with basic information, including financial data, year created, etc.
"25 years later, has Clery made campuses safer?" By Lee Gardner. Chronicle of Higher Education, March 13, 2015, pp. A22-A27
Focuses on the Clery Act which requires colleges and universities to disclose campus safety information and to send out notifications concerning emergency situations. Discusses the law's costs, complications, and limits. Includes sidebar, "Connie Clery turned grief into activism, and is pleased by the results."
Related information at: http://clerycenter.org/
"Board battles." By Jack Stripling. Chronicle of Higher Education, March 13, 2015, pp. B14, B16
Discusses the trend toward activist trustees on university governing boards. Includes the example of Wallace L. Hall, Jr., who conducted probes into the University of Texas at Austin. Highlights recommendations from a report of the National Commission on College and University Board Governance.
Report at: http://agb.org/sites/default/files/legacy/2014_AGB ...
"GOP governors' higher-ed focus: accountability and jobs." By Eric Kelderman. Chronicle of Higher Education, March 13, 2015, p. A4
Explores record of GOP (and Democratic) Governors on Higher Education initiatives. Reports that while some are raising budgets and some are cutting budgets, the unified agenda is holding colleges more accountable for how they spend their money and how they prepare students for the workplace. Discusses tension between economic development goals and academic freedom and intellectual pursuits.
"DFW's first public law school still waiting for new historic home." By Candace Carlisle. Dallas Business Journal, March 20, 2015, p. 12
Reports University of North Texas leaders have asked the Texas Legislature to provide funding to complete the renovation of the Dallas Municipal Courts building, which will house the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law.
"Executions: the drugs don't work." Economist, March 21st-27th, 2015, pp. 23-24
Discusses the shortage of chemicals needed to make the drugs used to execute people. Notes that several states are reconsidering older methods of execution, such as firing squads.
"Monetary policy and the markets: a leap in the dark." Economist, March 21st-27th, 2015, pp. 63-65
Considers how investors would react to the Federal Reserve's first interest rate increase in nine years. Notes that the last rate increase brought down the housing market, triggering the financial crisis.
"'We're medicating poverty.'" By Chris Kardish. Governing, March 2015, pp. 24-29
Explores the increasing medicalization of low-income children on Medicaid and foster youth with psychotropic drugs, ranging from stimulants to antidepressants to antipsychotics. Highlights Texas' response to psychotropic medication for foster youth, noting prescriptions for 60 days or more have decreased by more than a third since 2004.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-servi ...
"The yellow-bus blues." By Alan Ehrenhalt. Governing, March 2015, pp. 14-15
Considers the effect of charter schools and school choice on school transportation, noting increased student travel times and safety of school routes. Discusses the debate over neighborhood school closings around the country.
See: http://www.governing.com/columns/assessments/gov-e ...
"Low funding for educating ELLs affects students across Texas." IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), February 2015, p. 7
Highlights research findings presented at a recent symposium on English language learners (ELLs). Reports no secondary schools in Texas are consistently exceeding academic benchmarks with ELLs, and the majority of ELL students are U.S. born.
Related information at: http://www.idra.org/IDRA_Events/Fellow_Program_Sym ...
"Housing landscape 2015: an annual look at the housing affordability challenges of America's working households." By Mindy Ault, Lisa Sturtevant, and Janet Viveiros. Internet Resource, March 2015, pp. 1-8
Summarizes the severe housing cost burdens of low- and moderate-income working households and discusses policy recommendations for increasing homeownership and making rental housing more affordable. Includes a 50-state comparison of the severe housing cost burden and the number of working households in 2013, and figures for the Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio metropolitan statistical areas.
See: http://www.nhc.org/Landscape2015_final.pdf
"State and local government spending on public employee retirement systems (2015)." Internet Resource, Updated February 2015, pp. 1-5
Evaluates current state and local government pension spending levels. Shows Texas' pension contribution was 2.15 percent of all state and local government direct general spending in 2012.
See: http://www.nasra.org/files/Issue%20Briefs/NASRACos ...
"Deciphering cholesterol treatment guidelines." JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), March 10, 2015, pp. 1009-1010
Discusses new guidelines for treating cholesterol patients.
"Law, ethics, and public health in the vaccination debates: politics of the measles outbreak." By Lawrence O. Gostin. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), March 17, 2015, pp. 1099-1100
Examines the effects of vaccine policies on public health.
"Why does the Affordable Care Act remain so unpopular?" By Gail Wilensky. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), March 10, 2015, pp. 1002-1003
Examines the public's unfavorable views of the Affordable Care Act. Points out a small number of provisions of the Act do have the public's support.
"Regulations lag behind 'telehealth' technology." By Caroline Brown. National Law Journal, March 9, 2015, pp. 11, 13
Reports that despite a complex and evolving reimbursement and regulatory landscape, the home telehealth industry will flourish, providing less expensive ways to provide quality care to the growing number of Americans who want to "age in place" in their homes.
"Texas has a corruption problem." By Kevin D. Williamson. National Review, March 23, 2015, pp. 24, 26
Reviews a variety of ethics and corruption charges at various levels of Texas government. Argues that programs such as the Texas Enterprise Fund are corrupting by their nature. Suggests a philosophical and moral shift is needed.
"Conquer yourself, conquer the world." By Roy F. Baumeister. Scientific American, April 2015, pp. 60-65
Examines self-control and its benefits. Considers how self-control plays a role in overcoming substance abuse and other addictions.
"Sovereign immunity: the Texas Department of Transportation's duty to maintain roadways ravaged by the Eagle Ford Shale boom." By Lasca A. Arnold. St. Mary's Law Journal, Vol. 46, No. 2, 2015, pp. 213-244 (Note Length)
Addresses whether the state government's failure to maintain safe roadways in the Eagle Ford Shale region constitutes a premise defect or special defect under the Texas Tort Claims Act, resulting in a waiver of the state's sovereign immunity for the accidents occurring in the region. Considers whether potential plaintiffs would be able to prove the necessary elements to bring a successful special defect or premise defect claim against the Texas Department of Transportation.
"The ag report." By John B. Penson, Jr. Texas Banking, March 2015, pp. 8-11
Presents an economic outlook for agriculture, including trends in net farm income, farmland values, Federal Reserve monetary policy, and commodity prices. Considers the possibility of a farmland price bubble in the future.
"Committee passes bill for AG's Public Integrity Unit." By Angela Morris. Texas Lawyer, March 23, 2015, p. 10
Reports on the Senate State Affairs Committee's approval of a bill, SB10, 84th Legislature, R.S., that proposes to create a public integrity unit in the Texas Office of the Attorney General. Includes comments by Senators Joan Huffman, Judith Zaffirini, and Rodney Ellis.
"Plaintiffs use 'Fisher v. UT' Kroll Report." By Miriam Rozen. Texas Lawyer, March 23, 2015, pp. 1, 24
Discusses a friend of the court brief by the Cato Institute which supports Abigail Fisher's petition to the United States Supreme Court for a rehearing of her discrimination allegations against the University of Texas at Austin (UT). Notes the Cato Institute brief focuses on a report on the investigation of admissions practices at UT and comments by university president Bill Powers to argue that UT "uses race in an ad hoc fashion, entirely divorced [from] its stated justification" of using race "as a factor of a factor" to attain demographic parity and to overcome societal discrimination.
Related information at: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/p ...
Report at: http://s3.amazonaws.com/static.texastribune.org/me ...
"Retail's role in local economic development." By C. Kelly Cofer. Texas Town & City, March 2015, pp. 22-23
Discusses the impact of retail — now America's largest industrial sector — in local development, what can be done to help attract new business, and suggestions to support current retail. Includes sidebar "Buda sees success with retail expansion plan".
"The cancer gap." By Alice Park. Time, March 30, 2015, pp. 42-47
Discusses the promise of precision based medicine and genetic profiling in the treatment of cancer and the disparity in patient access to these cutting edge treatments. Profiles two patients with the same cancer diagnosis but who have unequal treatment options. Identifies factors that currently make it difficult to offer these new customized treatments to everyone.