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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.

December 08, 2016 list Print (PDF)

"Jailhouse warehouse." ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, December 2016, pp. 42, 44-49
Notes the growing population of mentally ill persons being housed in jails instead of hospitals and how some institutions are reversing the trend by offering programs that provide treatment instead of punishment. Highlights programs in several counties, including Bexar County, Texas.
"Better data, better college workforce programs." By Lauren Walizer. Center for Law and Social Policy, November 2016, pp. 1-9
Explores how reporting of more rigorous data can improve workforce training programs. Suggests active engagement of institutions with local workforce development boards and employers.
See: http://www.clasp.org/resources-and-publications/pu ...
"Cognitive aging and the ability to work." By Anek Belbase and Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, November 2016, pp. 1-7
Discusses the effect of cognitive aging on the ability to work during ages 50-70, including employee productivity and job performance. Finds age is not generally related to productivity across a variety of occupations. Notes that in the context of retirement, working longer is a way to increase individuals' retirement security.
See: http://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/IB_16 ...
"Medicaid block grant would slash federal funding, shift costs to states, and leave millions more uninsured." By Edwin Park. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, November 30, 2016, pp. 1-4
Speculates on the possibility of converting Medicaid into a block grant, potential cost-shifts to the states, and the Medicaid funding cuts that could force states to limit eligibility and benefits to millions of low-income families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities.
See: http://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/file ...
"Marijuana use: indicators on children and youth." Child Trends, Updated December 2016, pp. 1-12
Charts trends in marijuana use among students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade from 1976-2015. Finds youth marijuana use remained steady or declined in 2015, reversing a rising trend of the past decade.
See: http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2016 ...
"What if Trump really does shut down the Dept. of Education?" By Sarah Brown. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 18, 2016, p. A24
Summarizes the history of the United States Department of Education and the opposition to it. Considers how the higher-education world would look if the department was abolished. Discusses, for example, what could happen to the $1.3 trillion student loan portfolio and how stopping that federal money to schools would take away the enforcement power for accreditation and Title IX. Identifies other agencies that could take over some of these functions.
"What was conservatism?" By Jennifer Burns. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 18, 2016, pp. B11-B13
Highlights the history of the Conservative movement in America through a discussion of George H. Nash's book, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945 with conservatism defined by Christian traditionalism, anti-Communism, and libertarianism. States William F. Buckley focused the movement on two common enemies: domestic liberalism and international Communism. Interviews Nash and finds he would modify his thesis to include neoconservatives, the religious right, and the effect of modern technology which removes gatekeepers such as Buckley.
"Here's the cost of biz with your doc." By Jason Roberson. Dallas Business Journal, December 2, 2016, pp. 4-7
Examines the top payments from drug and medical device makers to Dallas-Fort Worth [DFW] doctors. Questions whether these payments are a necessary cost of doing business or a conflict of interest. Lists the top DFW payments, top payers to Texas doctors, the purpose of payments to Texas doctors, and Texas spending by specific drug.
"Abortion — how to make it rarer." Economist, December 3rd-9th, 2016, pp. 50-52
Reports that abortion is the main form of birth control in many countries. Explains why the easiest and least controversial way to reduce abortion — preventing unwanted pregnancies — is often neglected, even in rich countries.
"Education: long-haul charters." Economist, December 3rd-9th, 2016, pp. 21-22
Considers how school choice and voucher advocate Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration's nominee for United States Secretary of Education will use her influence with conservative foundations to persuade governors to embrace school vouchers. Points out academic performance at charter schools in Michigan, Ms. DeVos' home state, remains below the state average and the state's schools rank 47th nationwide.
"The world economy: the dollar squeeze." Economist, December 3rd-9th, 2016, pp. 59-60
Reports a stronger dollar, now 40 percent above its 2011 lows, could further depress a weakened global economy and spur conflict among trading partners. Notes the dollar's 50 percent increase between 1980 and 1985 was brutal for America's exporters.
"Proposed ESSA spending rules encounter stiff resistance." By Andrew Ujifusa. Education Week, November 16, 2016, p. 15
Discusses criticism of the U.S. Department of Education's proposed spending regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act [ESSA]. Suggests the rules, which seek to assure that state and local financial responsibilities aren't displaced with federal Title I funds, violate the spirit of the law. Addresses an alternative proposal for distributing funds by the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Related information at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/09/ ...
"Diplomas that matter: ensuring equity of opportunity for students with disabilities." Internet Resource, November 17, 2016, pp. 1-12
Examines high school diploma options available to students with disabilities in the United States and why the national graduation rate for these students is low. Compares the course and assessment requirements for obtaining a regular diploma for students with disabilities and those without disabilities. Argues offering students with disabilities a less rigorous path to earning a diploma leaves them unprepared for college or a career. Provides recommendations for better preparation for postsecondary education and employment.
See: http://www.achieve.org/files/Achieve_NCEO_111616.p ...
"States and the rising cost of pharmaceuticals: a call to action." Internet Resource, October 2016, pp. 1-26 (Note Length)
Addresses states' stake in the increasing costs of pharmaceuticals. Discusses eleven strategies states could take as policymakers and as employers to address these challenges.
See: http://www.nashp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Rx ...
"The uninsured: a primer." By Rachel Garfield, et al. Internet Resource, November 2016, pp. 1-23
Analyzes changes in health insurance since the Affordable Care Act. Highlights populations that remain uninsured and presents reasons for these gaps. Emphasizes Medicaid expansion policies.
See: http://files.kff.org/attachment/Report-The-Uninsur ...
"Nexus news: states seek physical presence nexus challenge and nexus clarification for online transactions." By Jane Summers Haas and Daniel L. Stanley. Journal of State Taxation, Winter 2016, pp. 11-16, 43-45
Describes possible United States Supreme Court consideration of Direct Marketing Ass'n v. Brohl, a challenge to the longstanding physical presence nexus standard for sales and use taxes. Surveys various state responses to DMA v. Brohl in terms of tax reporting requirements and tax collections, and discusses the application of nexus to online listing services such as AirBnB and Craigslist.
Related information at: https://thedma.org/wp-content/uploads/petition_for ...
"State hybrid retirement plans (2016)." NASRA Issue Brief (National Association of State Retirement Administrators), November 2016, pp. 1-10
Examines two hybrid public retirement plan designs: a cash balance plan and a combination defined benefits and defined contribution plan. Includes Texas municipal, county, and district pension plans. Notes heightened attention to hybrid plans amid recent state reforms to public pension benefits and financing.
See: http://www.nasra.org/files/Issue%20Briefs/NASRAHyb ...
"Preventing juror misconduct is a big challenge." By Laurie L. Levenson. National Law Journal & Legal Times, November 21, 2016, 10
Discusses a case before the United States Supreme Court, Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado, which considers whether applying Colorado's no-impeachment rule to block evidence that a juror was racially biased violates a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury.
Related information at: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/pena-ro ...
"US midstream industry anticipates surge in ethane demand, exports." By Dan Lippe. Oil and Gas Journal, November 7, 2016, 62-68
Argues that the start of deep water ethane exports from terminals in the United States has caused the midstream sector of the petroleum industry to transition into a new era. Provides sets of statistics from several sources, including the United States Energy Information Administration and Petrol Consulting Co., to support predictions. Includes data that reflect oil and gas production based in Texas.
"Water quality parameters affect corrosion control." Opflow, November 2016, 20-22
Presents findings for how various parameters affect lead and copper release in drinking water so that effective treatment decisions can be made. Focuses on the optimal corrosion control treatment requirement established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency's [EPA] Lead and Copper Rule. Summarizes information found in the EPA's report Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment Evaluation Technical Recommendations for Primacy Agencies and Public Water Systems.
Report at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-03 ...
"Congress passes environmental health laws after states force its hand." By Sarah Breitenbach. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), December 2, 2016, pp. 1-5
Comments on federal legislation that sets standards for labeling food made with genetically modified organisms. Suggests the federal law attempts to prevent a patchwork of state labeling laws and regulations that are often more restrictive than national standards. Notes Congress also passed legislation banning plastic microbeads in cosmetics and updated the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act.
See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/ ...
"A whole lotta shakin' going on." By Angela Neville. Texas Lawyer, December 2016, pp. 12-13
Features discussion with Keith B. Hall, professor of energy law and director of the Mineral Law Institute, on the types of oil and gas activities that have been linked to causing earthquakes.
"A disturbing trend: medicine examines causes for spike in Texas maternal mortality rate." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, December 2016, pp. 49-55
Presents potential causes for the rise in Texas' maternal mortality rate which has doubled between 2010 and 2014 and is the seventh-highest rate in the United States. Offers potential preventive measures.
See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=43816
"Refugee care: left behind." By Amy Lynn Sorrel. Texas Medicine, December 2016, pp. 22-29
Outlines Texas' work with refugees and their medical needs. Discusses potential avenues for their continued care in light of the state's decision to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program. Offers ideas for improvement in refugee/public health measures. Mentions the Senate Health and Human Services Committee's charge to study the refugee resettlement program.
Related information at: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c6 ...
See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=43829
"Practicing with respect: story of Lee." By Ellen Martin. Texas Nursing, Fall 2016, pp. 7, 10-11
Discusses transgender awareness in nursing practice, using a case study of Lee, a 17-year-old transgender man from Central Texas. Mentions upcoming United States Supreme Court case Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. regarding bathroom use by transgender students.