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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.

September 18, 2014 list Print (PDF)

"Unhealthy choice: federal medical-privacy law frustrates ID theft victims." By Lorelei Laird. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, September 2014, pp. 17-18, 67
Reports the crime of medical identity theft grew by 19 percent between 2012 and 2013 and medical records breaches were over 43 percent of all breaches reported to the federal government in 2013. Explains the major federal health privacy law, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, does not provide a clear consumer right to correct health records. Mentions long-lasting consequences of medical identity theft.
"Recent report on TANF's responsiveness to the recession has serious flaws." By LaDonna Pavetti. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, September 10, 2014, pp. 1-5
Examines state caseload trends in the federal welfare program, Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF), and includes a comparison of New York and Texas.
See: http://www.cbpp.org/files/9-10-14tanf.pdf
"The dark forces of the pot market." By Jennifer Scholtes and Jonathan Broder. CQ Weekly, July 28, 2014, pp. 1047-1049
Discusses possible effects and unintended consequences related to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington State. Discusses the contradictory policies among federal agencies. Identifies why the main selling point of legalizing marijuana — the elimination of the marijuana black market and drug cartel violence — is unlikely.
"Advertising and technology." Economist, September 13, 2014, pp. 3-7, 10-11, 14-16
Presents a special report on the advertising industry. Explains how mobile devices, social networks, and real-time bidding is radically changing the dynamics of advertising and enabling companies to gather vast amounts of data about consumer browsing habits and online purchases. Raises concerns about consumer privacy and possible consumer pushback if companies "overstep the mark."
"Efficiency in education: new school values." Economist, September 13th-19th, 2014, p. 69
Highlights two new reports that examine how efficiently education budgets are allocated in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development — addressing which school systems generate the greatest educational return for each dollar invested. States that the link between educational outcomes, higher teachers' pay, and smaller classes is surprisingly weak. Mentions that America's pricey school system disappoints in both efficiency and outcomes.
Report at: http://www.edefficiencyindex.com/book/
Report at: http://www.oecd.org/edu/Education-at-a-Glance-2014 ...
"Gunshot detectors: calling the shots; Who gets murdered." Economist, September 13th-19th, 2014, p. 37
Explains how gunshot-recording technology is helping police reduce crime. States that many incidents of gunfire are unreported, noting that microphone data can spur changes in police policies dealing with shootings.
Related information at: http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/413216-Close-Rang ...
"An epidemic of wage theft is costing workers hundreds of millions of dollars a year." By Ross Eisenbrey and Brady Meixell. EPI Issue Brief, September 11, 2014, pp. 1-8
Estimates wage theft is costing the United States low-wage workforce of 30 million more than $50 billion a year. Provides examples of employer practices that can be considered wage theft, taken from a sample of cases from state prosecutions and settlements finalized in 2012.
See: http://www.epi.org/files/2014/wage-theft.pdf
"Barnett still packs economic punch, study says." By A. Lee Graham. Fort Worth Business Press, September 15-21, 2014, p. 28
Highlights study on the economic effect of the Barnett Shale on Fort Worth and Texas. Reports Fort Worth is still benefitting from the oil and gas industry despite reduced drilling and unstable gas prices. Credits oil and natural gas exploration in the Barnett Shale with adding $12.8 billion in annual gross product and 115,000 jobs statewide.
Report at: http://www.fortworthchamber.com/chamber/docs/BSISe ...
"Beyond gun control." By J.B. Wogan. Governing, September 2014, pp. 32-39
Describes cities' evolving strategies to cope with gun violence amid failure of gun control legislation at the state and federal levels. Discusses local ordinances that are newly focused on curtailing unsafe gun use, not the acquisition of guns themselves.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-saf ...
"A climate of change." By Daniel C. Vock. Governing, September 2014, pp. 24-30
Highlights local government efforts to address natural disasters, including powerful storms, flooding, drought, and forest fires. Discusses early signs of climate change and how new weather patterns can overwhelm existing infrastructure.
See: http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-inf ...
"Fracking's financial losers." By Frank Shafroth. Governing, September 2014, p. 62
Highlights fracking problems that local governments must deal with, including blasting noise, toxic chemicals, degraded water sources and roads, and cleanup costs. Mentions a dispute in Bartonville, Texas, in which Exxon's CEO sued a local fracking operation to block construction of a water tower.
See: http://www.governing.com/columns/public-money/gov- ...
"The derailment of university presidents." By Sylvia Mendoza. Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, September 8, 2014, pp. 9-12
Highlights a recent book, Presidencies Derailed: Why University Leaders Fail and How to Prevent It, which examines the reasons university presidencies fail and how university administrators can address issues before things get out of hand.
"Latino college-going & graduation rates moving up but gaps remain." By Angela Provitera McGlynn. Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, September 8, 2014, pp. 18-20
Reports on the latest trends in Latino students' educational progress.
Report at: http://www.edtrust.org/sites/edtrust.org/files/The ...
"Taxing marijuana: the Washington and Colorado experience." By Joseph Henchman. Internet Resource, August 2014, pp. 1-5
Looks at tax collection on marijuana sales and revenue shortfalls in Washington State and Colorado.
See: http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/f ...
"Resources on girl-focused juvenile justice policy." Juvenile Justice Update, August/September 2014, pp. 3-4, 6
Provides a research synopsis on girls in the juvenile justice system, including a Texas analysis.
Report at: http://www.texascjc.org/sites/default/files/upload ...
"ICE's widening net." By Zoe Carpenter. Nation, September 22, 2014, pp. 14-15, 17-18
Reports on increased immigration enforcement in New Orleans under the Criminal Alien Removal Initiative, including law enforcement stops, detainment, and mobile fingerprinting of Latinos.
"The economic benefits of oil and natural gas production for the United States and major energy-producing states." Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 31, No. 6, 2014, pp. 1-3, 6
Presents results of recent study on the economic benefits of oil and natural gas drilling and exploration activity in the United States and in selected major energy-producing states. Finds that Texas realizes the largest economic benefits with almost $473 billion in gross product each year and over 3.7 million permanent jobs.
"Ethics, elections, and accusations." By Peggy Kerns and Cassandra Kirsch. State Legislatures, September 2014, pp. 30-31
Examines state rules for filing ethics complaints during an election cycle. Identifies eleven states, including Texas, that impose blackout dates or bans on filing ethics complaints against candidates in order to prevent frivolous or unfounded accusations that could damage an election campaign.
"Hire power." By Jack Queen. State Legislatures, September 2014, pp. 16-17, 19-21
Highlights states that have developed successful industry partnership training programs with industries that cannot locate "middle skilled" workers within the state. Reports there is a shortage of multi-skilled, multi-craft workers for companies such as Toyota because the traditional education and training institutions are not focused on these skills. Profiles partnership programs in Tennessee, Maryland, Michigan, and Oregon.
"More states enforce food stamp work requirements." By Jake Grovum. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), September 15, 2014, pp. 1-5
Reports several states plan to reinstate food stamp work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults who are between 18 and 50 years of age that were temporarily suspended as part of the 2009 economic stimulus law.
Related information at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/able-bodied-adults-wi ...
See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/ ...
"Banking and the immigration debate." By John Heasley. Texas Banking, September 2014, p. 40
Discusses cities' approach to assimilation of undocumented immigrants, including the use of resident or municipal identification cards. Highlights the Austin City Council's recent immigrant inclusion efforts and potential issues with immigrant identification cards in banking services.
"Response rate: how to prepare for and deal with violence in Texas schools." By Cristina Ruiz Blanton. Texas Bar Journal, September 2014, pp. 709-711
Discusses Texas school districts' approach to student safety. References HB1009, 83rd Legislature, R.S., which establishes a new category of law enforcement officer designated as a school marshal.
See: http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Te ...
"Details of Perry's representation now secret; Perry's legislative director also lawyered up." By Angela Morris. Texas Lawyer, September 15, 2014, pp. 1, 20
Reports that Governor Rick Perry's decision to pay attorney fees in his defense of felony charges from a campaign account rather than from state funds means the legal contracts and payment records will not be subject to disclosure requirements under the Texas Public Information Act. Notes the governor's office paid over $19,000 for an attorney to represent his legislative director, Ken Armbrister, in the grand jury proceedings investigating the complaint against Governor Perry.
"The Texas solution to spies in the sky." By Jennifer P. Henry. Texas Lawyer, September 8, 2014, p. 23
Highlights HB912, 83rd Legislature, R.S., which creates two new crimes — the illegal use of an unmanned aircraft to capture images and the offense of possessing or distributing the image. Notes the bill includes nineteen lawful uses for unmanned aircraft, making the Texas law the most liberal in terms of permissible uses, compared to other states that have passed similar legislation. [Note: HCR217, 83rd Legislature, R.S. corrects technical errors in HB912].
Related information at: http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.Ta ...
Related information at: http://www.naag.org/assets/files/Full Drone Report ...
"TEXPAC needs you!" By Amy Lynn Sorrel. Texas Medicine, September 2014, pp. 18-24
Discusses TEXPAC, the Texas Medical Association's political action committee. Stresses the need for the medical profession to have a strong voice in politics.