In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community. 

  • Review election night returns. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed March 8, 2018)
  • Explore statistics related to disability in the United States. (Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics, January 2018)
  • Consider the effects of tariffs on U.S. jobs. (Trade Partnership Worldwide, LLC, March 5, 2018)
  • See how states are addressing public transit challenges. (The Council of State Governments, February 28, 2018)
  • Read about how the opioid crisis is affecting organ donations. (The Detroit News, March 5, 2018)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • "New states' rights battle: marijuana." By Patrik Jonsson and Story Hinckley. Christian Science Monitor, February 12, 2018, pp. 18-20.
    Considers the 29 states that provide for the legal sale of medical marijuana and the action of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to have United States Attorneys become more aggressive in prosecuting federal marijuana law in states that have decriminalized production and sale.
  • "Texas lawmakers weigh the limits of free speech on campus." By Katherine Mangan. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 9, 2018, p. A22.
    Highlights testimony heard at a January 31, 2018 meeting of the Senate Committee on State Affairs regarding free speech on college campuses.
    Related information at:
  • "Giving families an 'equal shot' at choice." By Michele Molnar. Education Week, February 21, 2018, pp. 16-19.
    Profiles Mohammed Choudhury, San Antonio Independent School District's chief innovation officer, and his efforts there (and previously in Dallas Independent School District) to help the district desegregate and provide equal educational opportunity. Describes his use of district charter schools and data analysis to encourage schools that are intentionally mixed by socioeconomic status.
  • "Steps gained toward policy goals, more to climb." By Susanne Retka Schill. Ethanol Today, January/February 2018, pp. 8-13.
    Points out two policy-related issues in the ethanol industry that recently received favorable outcomes at the national level. Identifies what the ethanol industry is currently doing to address Reid vapor pressure [RVP] relief and exports. Concludes by covering the industry's long-term goals.
    Related information at:
  • "Uncle Sam's secret bitcoin windfall." By Jeff John Roberts. Fortune, March 1, 2018, pp. 112-117.
    Considers cryptocurrency in the context of asset forfeiture and how such forfeitures should be documented.
  • "Are high-poverty school districts disproportionately impacted by state funding cuts? School finance equity following the Great Recession." By David S. Knight. Journal of Education Finance, Fall 2017, pp. 169-194 (Note Length).
    Examines the effects of recessionary spending cuts on high-poverty school districts in Texas and elsewhere as compared to wealthier districts. Finds there was a disproportionate influence on high-poverty districts and suggests strategies for restoring state education budgets.
  • "The arms dealer." By Mike Spies. New Yorker, March 5, 2018, pp. 24-31.
    Profiles the work of the influential National Rifle Association [NRA] lobbyist, Marion Hammer, and her efforts to pass pro-gun laws in Florida, such as the "Stand Your Ground" law.
  • "'Of urgent concern': what prompted House Bill 162, the Groundwater Conservation Act of 1949." By Charles Porter. Panhandle-Plains Historical Review, Volume LXXXVIII, 2017, pp. 1-18.
    Presents a legislative history of the Groundwater Conservation Act of 1949 (HB 162, 51st Legislature, 1949) amid the World War II era movement to declare state ownership of groundwater. Describes the involvement of Representatives Dolph Briscoe and I.B. Holt in the legislation.
  • "Comal County, Texas: preparing for life after high school." By Frank Walter. Phi Delta Kappan, February 2018, pp. 34-35.
    Highlights Communities in Schools [CIS] of South Central Texas, which works in seventeen Comal Independent School District schools. Reports that 99 percent of students in the program in grades seven through twelve have stayed in school.
  • "It takes a community." By Reuben Jacobson, et al. Phi Delta Kappan, February 2018, pp. 8-14.
    Examines community school programs that provide K-12 curriculum integrated with health and social services and family and community engagement.
  • "The pernicious myth of 'chain migration'." By Shikha Dalmia. Reason, March 2018, p. 14.
    Argues that ending "mass immigration" will break up nuclear families. Reports immigrants sponsored by family members have the same final earnings as those sponsored by an employer.
  • "Glass half full: decentralization in health policy." By Carol S. Weissert and Matthew J. Uttermark. State and Local Government Review, September 2017, pp. 199-214 (Note Length).
    Examines cycles of centralization and decentralization in health care policy over the past 40 years. Describes states' "positive leverage" in designing the Children's Health Insurance Program [CHIP] and Medicaid policy, federal and state leverage in Medicaid waivers, and the health care debate under the Trump administration.
  • "Variable speed limits: improving safety or confusing motorists?" By Jenni Bergal. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), February 23, 2018, pp. 1-4.
    Discusses the pros and cons of using high-tech systems to change speed limits based on traffic and weather conditions.
  • "PUC to review energy storage issues." Texas Public Power, February 2018, pp. 1, 8.
    Reports that the Public Utilities Commission [PUC] of Texas dismissed a request by American Electric Power [AEP] Texas to install two battery storage systems.
    Related information at: pgControl.asp?TXT_CNTRL_NO=46368 and
  • "Attacking 'false evidence' and 'junk science' in wrongful convictions." By Mike Ware. Voice for the Defense, January/February 2018, pp. 24-31.
    Discusses the distinction between "innocence" and "actual innocence" in the context of wrongful convictions and seeking post-conviction relief.

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.