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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.

August 28, 2014 list Print (PDF)

"The cookies you can't crumble." By Olga Kharif. Bloomberg Businessweek, August 25-31, 2014, pp. 37-38
Explains new approaches being developed for website data collection using alternatives to cookies that are more difficult to disable or detect.
"The kickoff to profit sharing." By Paul M. Barrett. Bloomberg Businessweek, August 25-31, 2014, pp. 66-71
Examines whether college athletes should be able to profit from their fame while still in college.
"Vermont's weapon in the war on drugs." By Josh Eidelson. Bloomberg Businessweek, August 25-31, 2014, pp. 31-33
Explores Vermont's new approach to dealing with heroin, which involves both addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs. Explains that Vermont's approach treats heroin as a public health crisis, rather than simply a crime, and employs naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
"If you serve it, will they eat?" By Laura Vanderkam. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), Summer 2014, pp. 1-3
Reports that, while healthier school meals can help to reduce obesity among children most at risk, school districts face challenges in implementing policies that encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables. Notes that school meal participation rates can drop based on menu offerings, a drawback for programs that operate on thin margins.
See: http://www.city-journal.org/2014/24_3_snd-childhoo ...
Related information at: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/uploadedFiles/Resou ...
"Who should pick the judges?" By Mark Pulliam. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), August 20, 2014, pp. 1-3
Discusses the debate over judicial selection versus judicial elections, highlighting the systems in California and Texas. Believes judicial elections are working in Texas and that the state should resist efforts to change the current system of choosing judges.
See: http://www.city-journal.org/2014/eon0820mp.html
"States create independent boards to approve charters." By Arianna Prothero. Education Week, August 20, 2014, pp. 1, 17
Discusses benefits of establishing independent statewide authorizing agencies to approve and oversee charter schools. Reports fourteen states have created such independent charter boards. Addresses concerns of removing local control and loss of autonomy for charter schools.
"U.S. schools become 'majority minority'." By Lesli A. Maxwell. Education Week, August 20, 2014, pp. 1, 12, 14-15
Reports the nation's student enrollment is undergoing a historic shift and, for the first time, the majority in K-12 schools is projected to be a diverse collective of minority students. Reports this trend is not reflected in teachers, creating a disconnect with students and cultural challenges. Identifies other challenges for educators, including the rise in students living in poverty and students who require English-language instruction.
"A lot less oil, but fracking marches on." By Chris Kardish. Governing, August 2014, p. 10
Reports on hydraulic fracturing in the Monterey Formation in California, despite decreasing estimates of recoverable oil.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-inf ...
"Determining the role of P3s." By Kyle Steitz. Government Finance Review, August 2014, pp. 40-44
Evaluates public-private partnership (P3) agreements as an economic development tool. Argues that privatization can improve service levels, realize cost savings, and handle fluctuating activity levels and demands.
"My kingdom for a welder." By Jordan Blum. Houston Business Journal, August 8-14, 2014, pp. 2B, 4B, 6B-8B
Examines the partnerships between the energy and education sectors. Explains that the energy sector needs to fill "middle-skills" jobs — jobs that require additional training but not necessarily a college degree.
"Corporate inversions." By Kimberly A. Clausing. Internet Resource, August 20, 2014, pp. 1-9
Considers the underlying causes and costs of a recent surge in corporate inversions — where American multinational corporations relocate their headquarters to a foreign country with a more attractive corporate tax climate. Discusses the merits of possible policy responses.
See: http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/413207-corporate- ...
"On the path to equity: improving the effectiveness of beginning teachers." By Mariana Haynes. Internet Resource, July 2014, pp. 1-19
Highlights the work of New Teacher Center, a national nonprofit organization, that has partnered with states, school districts, and policymakers to develop programs and policies that accelerate new teacher effectiveness. Reports roughly half a million of the nation's teachers either move or leave the profession each year — attrition that costs almost $2.2 billion annually. Recommends a comprehensive induction program, which would include high-quality mentoring and common planning times, as well as ongoing support from school leaders to curb teacher turnover.
See: http://all4ed.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/PathT ...
"Up in flames." Internet Resource, May 2014, pp. 1-12
Considers the damage to consumers and taxpayers when natural gas is lost to venting and flaring. Reports on the volume of and royalties lost from venting and flaring on federal lands. Estimates federal royalties lost from United States gas flaring amounted to more than $50 million in 2013.
See: http://westernvaluesproject.org/wp-content/uploads ...
"The ACA's contraceptive mandate: religious freedom, women's health, and corporate personhood." By Lawrence O. Gostin. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 27, 2014, pp. 785-786
Examines the implications of the Burwell v Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. decision.
Related information at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-354_ ...
"The mental health comorbidities of diabetes." By Lee Ducat, Louis H. Philipson, and Barbara J. Anderson. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 20, 2014, pp. 691-692
Examines the increased risk of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders for people with type 1 or 2 diabetes.
"The political economy of education finance: the case of Texas." By Thomas Husted and Lawrence Kenny. Journal of Education Finance, Summer 2014, pp. 1-16
Examines votes cast by Texas state legislators in 1993 and 2006 on bills that follow the directives of several education finance equity legal cases, collectively known as Edgewood Independent School District, et al. v. Kirby, et al. (SB7, 73rd Legislature and HB1, 79th Legislature, 3rd C.S.). Analyzes votes using the socioeconomic characteristics of the legislator's district, the political ideology of the legislator's constituents, and the legislator's party affiliation. Concludes party affiliation and constituent ideology had significant effects on votes taken on these two bills.
"The horrors of home." By Oscar Martinez. New Republic, August 25, 2014, pp. 31-33
Examines how gang violence in Honduras and El Salvador is contributing to the flight of undocumented children to the United States. Reports some of the most violent gangs of these countries were founded decades ago in California by Latin American migrants who were deported to Central America in the mid-1990s.
"The long-term outlook for the US economy." Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 31, No. 5, 2014, pp. 1-3, 6
Presents the most recent long-term forecast for the United States economy. Examines primary patterns driving future performance and factors that may present long-term challenges.
"Falling stock." By Richard Martin. Sierra, September/October 2014, pp. 38-42
Argues the United States coal industry is in decline due to natural gas competition from fracking, aging coal infrastructure, and renewable energy sources reaching "grid parity." Discusses financial concerns about the fossil fuel industry.
"A peak of partisanship." By Suzanne Weiss. State Legislatures, July/August 2014, pp. 18-19, 21, 23
Considers the causes for more partisan legislatures since the 1990s. Points out one study found roughly half of legislatures sharply divided but that other legislatures were less polarized. Includes sidebar article summarizing results of a Pew Center survey.
Report at: http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/12/political-p ...
"The politics of pay." By Morgan Cullen. State Legislatures, July/August 2014, pp. 33, 35
Discusses how states address pay raises for legislators. Reports some legislators' salaries are tied to judges' salaries, some to various indexes, and some to legislator compensation commissions. Suggests compensation commissions are the least controversial method for handling legislator pay increases.
"For aging inmates, care outside prison walls." By Christine Vestal. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), August 12, 2014, pp. 1-6
Reports that providing long-term health care for aging inmates is a large and growing cost for states, as the number of inmates with dementia and other age-related health conditions is growing rapidly. Explains that most elderly or disabled prison inmates qualify for Medicaid eligibility under existing rules — as long as they receive care outside prison facilities. Notes Connecticut is trying a new approach — providing care to inmates in a private facility, which could save the state's taxpayers more than $5 million in corrections health care costs annually.
See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/ ...
"Grandparent custody: the 3 obstacles." By Angela Laughlin Brown. Texas Lawyer, August 25, 2014, pp. 22, 24
Comments on the legal burden imposed on grandparents who seek court-ordered possession and access to their grandchildren. Mentions SB1148, 83rd Legislature, R.S., which addresses some of the issues that impede grandparents' access to grandchildren. Notes that the bill was left pending in committee.
"Report: 'no evidence' of vote tampering in primary." By Angela Morris. Texas Lawyer, August 25, 2014, p. 9
Discusses report by a data security company that found no evidence of tampering or illegal votes in the Hidalgo County Democratic primary election held on March 4, 2014. Notes the status of the lawsuits filed by candidates who lost the election.
"Texas titans: a look at the criminal justice players in Perry case." By Angela Morris. Texas Lawyer, August 25, 2014, pp. 1, 18-19
Highlights the credentials of the criminal defense lawyer, special prosecutor, and senior judge who will play key roles in the criminal case against Governor Rick Perry.