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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.

October 30, 2014 list Print (PDF)

"Fewer incentives to do business." By Christopher Calnan. Austin Business Journal, October 24, 2014, pp. 4-5
Reports Texas' job-creating funds — the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund — are expected to survive after Governor Rick Perry leaves office but at a lower and more transparent level. Includes comments by Senators Kirk Watson and Brian Birdwell and Representatives Sylvester Turner and Jason Villalba. Explains how medical device maker Becton Dickinson and Company used money from the Texas Enterprise Fund to establish a presence in Texas.
Report at: http://www.sao.state.tx.us/reports/main/11-029.pdf
Report at: https://www.sao.state.tx.us/reports/main/15-003.pd ...
"Designated drivers." By Josh Eidelson. Bloomberg Businessweek, October 20-26, 2014, pp. 19-20
Explores the issue of companies treating employees as independent contractors.
"A ghost in the Gulf." By Matthew Philips. Bloomberg Businessweek, October 27-November 2, 2014, pp. 70-73
Discusses an oil tanker sitting in the Gulf of Mexico with cargo from Kurdistan.
"To spank or not to spank." By Stephanie Hanes. Christian Science Monitor, October 20, 2014, pp. 26-32
Discusses the effect of corporal punishment on the nation's children. Points out attitudes toward spanking reflect the cultures and races, regions and religions in America. Includes map illustrating whether states permit corporal punishment in schools.
"When guns come to campus, policy gets complicated." By Mary Bowerman. Chronicle of Higher Education, October 24, 2014, p. A8
Examines the issues facing public universities in states that permit the carrying of concealed weapons on college campuses. Discusses various state laws and situations that have emerged in trying to weigh public safety with the rights mandated by concealed carry laws.
"Cheaper oil: winners and losers." Economist, October 25th-31st, 2014, pp. 62-64
Reports on the global consequences of shifting oil prices. Discusses which countries will gain or lose from cheaper oil.
"Ebola and big data: waiting on hold." Economist, October 25th-31st, 2014, pp. 81-82
Discusses the value of mobile-phone records in combatting health crises and tracking the outbreak of diseases such as Ebola. Notes the challenges involved in making records available to approved researchers at the pace needed to prevent the spread of disease and to provide health workers the information and assistance they need.
"Elements of a social media strategy." By Derek Belt. Government Finance Review, October 2014, pp. 26-30
Explores social media as an integral part of the government decision-making process and a more effective communication method. Highlights King County, Washington's social media strategy and metrics and the role of social media in customer service, media relations, and community engagement.
"P3 builds business intelligence tool for enhanced reporting, transparency." By David M. Dukes. Government Finance Review, October 2014, pp. 20-24
Highlights an award-winning public-private partnership in the Williamson County Auditor's Office to create a business intelligence and operational reporting system utilizing cloud-based technology.
"Consequences of immigration reform for the American political parties." By Stephen Balkaran. Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, October 20, 2014, pp. 21-23
Explains how immigration reform will affect the American political landscape. Claims the Hispanic vote, which can be utilized by both political parties, will ultimately define the political process and which party controls the country's future political structure.
"First steps for early success." By Christine Johnson-Staub. Internet Resource, October 2014, pp. 1-16
Examines current levels of developmental screening in early childhood education, as well as relevant federal funds and grants. Describes state policy examples to improve children's access to screenings via child care licensing, child care subsidies, state pre-kindergarten, and early childhood quality initiatives.
See: http://www.clasp.org/resources-and-publications/pu ...
"Medical malpractice payments remained at historic low in 2013 despite slight uptick." By Taylor Lincoln. Internet Resource, October 2014, pp. 1-17
Examines recent trends in medical malpractice payments on behalf of physicians, payments by injury type, and medical liability costs as a percentage of total health care spending. Discusses declining medical liability insurance rates and insurance industry profits, as well as medical errors and patient safety.
See: http://www.citizen.org/documents/Medical-malpracti ...
"State policies through a two-generation lens." By Sheila Smith, Mercedes Ekono, and Taylor Robbins. Internet Resource, September 2014, pp. 1-8
Considers state policies that affect the lives of both young children and their parents ("two-generation" policies), including child care subsidies, full-day kindergarten, Medicaid, minimum wage laws, and paid family leave. Presents a table of state policies on early care and education, health and nutrition, and parenting and family economic supports.
See: http://www.nccp.org/publications/pdf/text_1092.pdf
"State tax codes as poverty fighting tools: 2014 update on four key policies in all 50 states." Internet Resource, September 2014, pp. 1-32 (Note Length)
Highlights state tax policy strategies for reducing poverty and provides an update on 2014 state anti-poverty developments. Includes state-by-state report cards on poverty rates, income, and recent policies.
See: http://www.itep.org/pdf/Poverty2014Report.pdf
"Streamlining the visa and immigration systems for scientists and engineers." By Albert H. Teich. Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2014, pp. 55-64
Explores possible ways to make studying and researching in science and engineering fields in the United States easier for foreign-born students and researchers. Explains the current visa and immigration process for foreign-born students and researchers wishing to work in the United States is a bureaucratic quagmire.
"Unclaimed property upheaval in the insurance industry." By Jamshid Ebadi, Michael Goldman, and Samuel Schaunaman. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, October 2014, pp. 22-27, 43
Examines the changing standard for when life insurance policies become "due and payable" under state unclaimed property laws. Discusses recent multistate audits of insurance companies for compliance with unclaimed property laws.
"Abortion: no more apologies." By Katha Pollitt. Nation, November 10, 2014, pp. 12-15, 17
Argues that the pro-choice movement should claim abortion as a social good based on the right to equality, not privacy. Discusses recent state abortion legislation in Texas and other states and decreased access to abortion clinics in the Rio Grande Valley.
"Top Texas governor candidates talk incentives, business matters." By Bill Hethcock. San Antonio Business Journal, October 24. 2014, p. 6
Provides views of the gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis on economic development, health care, and energy.
"All in!" By Morgan Cullen and Tim Storey. State Legislatures, October/November 2014, pp. 20-24
Discusses possible November election outcomes for the Democratic and Republican parties in legislative and gubernatorial elections. Notes the President's party usually does not do well in mid-term elections. Points out campaign spending continues to surge in state races as states continue to make policy while Washington continues to be gridlocked.
"Stats shed light on top e-filing complaints." By Angela Morris. Texas Lawyer, October 27, 2014, pp. 4-5
Reviews the state's e-filing system for court documents, launched about a year ago. Notes that the Texas Office of Court Administration plans to publish e-filing statistics at EFileTexas.gov, in an effort to increase transparency on the system's performance.
"Responding to House Bill 5." By Kelly Kyle. Texas Lone Star (Texas Association of School Boards), November 2014, pp. 8-10, 12
Summarizes survey results regarding school district implementation of Section 46 of HB5, 83rd Legislature, R.S., relating to performance evaluation of community and student engagement efforts. Reports 69 percent of respondents felt the biggest challenge was the lack of direction and clarity of the law, followed by identifying what measures to use, and the immediate implementation of the law.
"Gridlocked: tackling Texas transportation problems." By Ginger Goodin. Tierra Grande, October 2014, pp. 14-17
Attributes the ever increasing traffic congestion problems in Texas to the high demand for roadway space that is in short supply. Argues highway funding for new roads and maintaining existing infrastructure is not keeping pace with population growth. Suggests solutions for improving traffic issues must include, not only new construction, but better use of the existing transportation system.
See: http://recenter.tamu.edu/pdf/2075.pdf
"What to do about all this fracking water." By Harold D. Hunt. Tierra Grande, October 2014, pp. 10-13
Addresses the increase in fracking-related water usage in Texas along with the treatment and disposal of resulting wastewater. Includes discussion of groundwater ownership and usage.
See: http://recenter.tamu.edu/pdf/2074.pdf
"12 answers to Ebola's hard questions." By Alice Park, et al. Time, November 3, 2014, pp. 22-29
Answers key questions regarding the Ebola virus outbreak including missteps of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, safety issues, patient rights, status of a vaccine, travel bans, and other infectious diseases of concern.
"Taking on teacher tenure." By Haley Sweetland Edwards. Time, November 3, 2014, pp. 34-39
Profiles David Welch, tech entrepreneur turned education reformer, and his efforts to eliminate teacher tenure and job protection laws in California. Discusses his involvement in Vergara v. California which struck down these state laws as unconstitutional. Addresses concerns with the ruling and highlights the difficulty of measuring teacher effectiveness.