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Current Articles and Research Resources, December 7

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

  • Consider new flexibility granted to the states for operating food stamp programs. (Politico, December 5, 2017)
  • Read about amicus briefs filed for Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. (Heritage Foundation, December 5, 2017)
  • Explore how new technologies can help manage diabetes. (National Institutes of Health, December 2017)
  • Find resources related to vaccinating against and tracking the flu in Texas. (Texas Department of State Health Services, last updated October 9, 2017)

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

  • "Guardian of the vote." By Jill Leovy. Atlantic Monthly, December 2017, pp. 16, 18, 20.
    Reports on Barbara Simons and her work with the nonprofit, Verified Voting, and their goal of getting paper ballots in every state to combat the vulnerability of electronic systems.
    (See: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/12/guardian-of-the-vote/544155/)
  • "Unnatural disaster." By Shannon Sims. Bloomberg Businessweek, November 20, 2017, pp. 52-59.
    Examines the legal aspects of flood control measures implemented in west Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Quotes Senator Joan Huffman.
  • "The scholars behind the quest for reparations." By Marc Parry. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 17, 2017, pp. A14-A16.
    Highlights the work of Hilary Beckles and other historians as they seek reparations for slavery. Explains new scholarship focuses on the role slavery played in the development of American capitalism.
  • "Emergency management." By Andrew Siddons. CQ Weekly, November 13, 2017, pp. 24-28.
    Discusses the current opioid crisis in the United States. Examines how Scott Gottlieb, the new commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration [FDA], plans to address the crisis.
  • "Wages: great again." Economist, November 18th-24th, 2017, pp. 23-24.
    Discusses the surge in wages for workers in blue-collar occupations. Notes the acceleration in manufacturing employment this year in Texas and surrounding oil states.
  • "Health IT in Texas: the doctor is ... online." By Lauren Mulverhill. Fiscal Notes, November 2017, pp. 7-10.
    Examines health information technology as a promising solution for the challenges of rural health care and the physician shortage, including the expansion of telemedicine enacted by SB1107, HB1697, SB922, and SB1633, 85th Legislature, R.S.
    (See: https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/fiscal-notes/2017/november/health-it.php#article)
  • "Statewide payment and delivery reform: do states have what it takes?" By Judy Feder, et al. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, December 2017, pp. 1113-1125.
    Cautions federal and state policy makers that state leaders' political desire to be the stewards of health care for the state's entire population may be affected by statutory authority and purchasing power.
  • "Are sugar-sweetened beverages taxes legal? Williams v. Philadelphia." By Kevin A. Diehl. Journal of State Taxation, Winter 2017, pp. 17-22, 38.
    Highlights the legal arguments in a recent Pennsylvania soda tax case in which the appellate court found that the City of Philadelphia's beverage tax did not violate the Sterling Act's prohibition on duplicative taxes, and does not fall under the preempted sales tax category.
    (Related information at: http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Commonwealth/out/2077cd16_6-14-17.pdf)
  • "The new frontier: automobile insurance in the ride-share world." By Catherine L. Hanna. Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Fall 2017, pp. 17-20.
    Discusses how ridesharing challenges the traditional insurance dichotomy between personal and commercial activities. Explains the effect of HB1733, 84th Legislature.
    (Related information at: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&Bill=HB1733)
  • "American families are broken and blended." By Robert Verbruggen. National Review, November 27, 2017, pp. 18, 20.
    Reports that about 40 percent of children in the United States are born to unmarried parents. Comments on the economic, technological, and cultural developments that have led to this situation and result in children experiencing a number of family-structure transitions.
  • "The serial-killer detector." By Alec Wilkinson. New Yorker, November 27, 2017, pp. 30-35.
    Highlights the Murder Accountability Project [MAP], which seeks to track and accurately account for unsolved homicides in the United States, including identifying potential serial killers.
    (Related information at: http://www.murderdata.org/)
    (See: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/27/the-serial-killer-detector)
  • "Gerrymandering educational opportunity." By Meredith P. Richards. Phi Delta Kappan, November 2017, pp. 65-70.
    Argues that gerrymandering school attendance zones can create educational communities that increase diversity and improve educational opportunities.
  • "Energy and politics at FERC: an independent agency?" By Robin Lunt. Public Utilities Fortnightly, November 2017, p. 65.
    Discusses United States Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry's role in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's [FERC] proposed rule that addresses rates for wholesale electricity markets.
    (Related information at: https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/09/f37/Secretary%20Rick%20Perry's%20Letter%20to%20the%20Federal%20Energy%20Regulatory%20Commission.pdf)
  • "How immigration crackdowns screw up Americans' lives." By Shikha Dalmia. Reason, December 2017, pp. 26-36.
    Explains how American citizens are harmed in overzealous immigration crackdowns, which include deporting American citizens, treating border towns as hostile territory, and driving restaurateurs out of business.
  • "FERC to issue rule on markets to preserve 'fuel-source.'" By Paul Ciampoli. Texas Public Power, October 2017, pp. 3, 6-8.
    Discusses the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee's [FERC] proposed rule addressing rates for wholesale electricity markets.
    (Related information at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/10/10/2017-21396/grid-resiliency-pricing-rule

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.

Current Articles and Research Resources, November 30

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

  • Track the legislative priorities of members of Congress. (ProPublica, November 20, 2017)
  • Review the financial soundness of the National Flood Insurance Program. (Congressional Budget Office, November 14, 2017)
  • Explore aspects of the opioid crisis. (National Conference of State Legislatures, ©2017)
  • Examine the most congested roadways in Texas. (Texas A&M Transportation Institute, ©2017)
  • Find opinions from current and past Texas attorneys general. (Attorney General of Texas, accessed November 29, 2017)

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

  • "A billionaire's war on poverty." By Simon Montlake. Christian Science Monitor, November 20, 2017, pp. 24-30.
    Highlights the varied charitable projects of Tulsa philanthropist George Kaiser and his new mission to create a comprehensive strategy of public programs to target every poor child in Tulsa from birth until third grade. Suggests his success derives from the partnering of evidenced-based analytics and empathy.

  • "For civil-war scholars, a settled question that will never die: What caused the war?" By Julia Martinez. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 10, 2017, p. A45.
    Explores the views of three historians on why the American public has a difficult time accepting slavery as the central cause for the Civil War. Quotes one as suggesting two questions are merged as one: what caused the war and why people fought in it.

  • "Skills gap growing in North Texas, though severity varies; What's being done to bridge the skills gap." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, November 17, 2017, pp. 4-6.
    Discusses the strong demand for middle-skill workers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with jobs in health care as the hardest to fill. Points out how collegiate academies, "Year Up" programs, and the Fellowship Initiative are helping to close the skills gap in North Texas.

  • "For-profit colleges: decline and fall." Economist, November 11th-17th, 2017, pp. 28-29.
    Reports on the suspension of two Obama administration rules designed to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges. Mentions for-profit enrollment has declined by 33 percent.

  • "Health care in America: the right dose?" Economist, November 4th-10th, 2017, pp. 61-62.
    Considers whether a merger between CVS Health and Aetna would provide strong incentives to offer consumers more access to primary care, better health care outcomes, and lower prices.

  • "GOP tax plan could affect K-12 aid, teachers' pocketbooks." By Andrew Ujifusa. Education Week, November 15, 2017, pp. 19-20.
    Details how the proposed federal tax legislation could impact school finance, teachers, school choice, and charter schools.

  • "In Florida, laissez-faire approach to monitoring private school vouchers." Education Week, November 15, 2017, pp. 1, 12-13.
    Discusses pros and cons of Florida's hands-off approach to regulating private schools receiving state aid in the form of publicly funded school vouchers. Details one parent's struggle with private school choice and her special needs child.

  • "Education effects of banning access to in-state resident tuition for unauthorized immigrant students." By Alexander Villarraga-Orjuela and Brinck Kerr. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, December 2017, pp. 621-643.
    Discusses the effects of state laws that prevent unauthorized immigrant students from receiving in-state tuition and other state financial benefits for higher education. Examines policies implemented in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, and Ohio, and their effect on college enrollment, school dropout rates of undocumented students, and enrollment of United States citizens.

  • "Building blocks for addressing social determinants of health." By Stuart M. Butler. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), November 21, 2017, pp. 1855-1856.
    Suggests that to support social factors in health, more states should adopt "children's cabinets" and/or "health cabinets" to coordinate departments dealing with medical care as well as housing, transportation, social services, and education.

  • "Five key takeaways from the recently-passed 'Hail Bill.'" By Emily Buchanan. Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Fall 2017, pp. 3-5.
    Examines five components of HB1774, 85th Legislature, R.S., as it relates to insurance claims. Highlights the quandary for Texans facing Hurricane Harvey damage and the overlapping effective date of this new law.
    (Related information at: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=85R&Bill=HB1774)

  • "Cost-of-living adjustments (2017)." NASRA Issue Brief (National Association of State Retirement Administrators), November 2017, pp. 1-16.
    Discusses periodic cost-of-living adjustments [COLA] in state and local government pensions and common COLA types and features, as well as COLA costs and recent changes. Features an appendix of COLA provisions by state, including Employees Retirement System of Texas and Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
    (See: http://www.nasra.org/files/Issue%20Briefs/NASRACOLA%20Brief.pdf)

  • "Utilities can do more to partner with customers: regain the connection." By John Hargrove. Public Utilities Fortnightly, November 2017, pp. 60-61.
    Argues that by changing their business models utilities can take advantage of opportunities to serve as energy experts for their customers.

  • "Facing more 'hoops.'" By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, November 2017, pp. 37-43.
    Debates the use of prior authorization requirements from health plans to battle the opioid crisis, with some physicians supporting such initiatives and others considering them to be inefficient and ineffective.
    (See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=45914)

  • "EIA says electricity prices reflect rising delivery costs." Texas Public Power, October 2017, p. 9.
    Summarizes a recent article from the United States Energy Information Administration's publication Today in Energy that focuses on the relationship between the cost of fuels for producing electricity and the average retail price of electricity.
    (Related information at: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=32812)

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.

Current Articles and Research Resources, November 16

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

  • Explore state legislator viewpoints on the state and local tax deduction. (American Legislative Exchange Council, November 1, 2017)
  • Consider the separation of powers related to the use of nuclear weapons. (Congressional Research Service, November 3, 2017)
  • Find statistics related to hate crimes. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, November 13, 2017)
  • Review results from the November 7, 2017 constitutional amendments election. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed November 15, 2017)

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

  • "Measuring justice." By James Podgers. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, November 2017, pp. 66-68.
    Presents global rankings on how well countries perform on eight specific factors, prepared by the World Justice Project in its Rule of Law Index, 2016 edition.
    (Related information at: https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/RoLI_Final-Digital_0.pdf)
  • "Syllabus for civility." By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo. Christian Science Monitor, November 13, 2017, pp. 24-30.
    Highlights the establishment of "bridge-building" groups on college campuses with a goal of providing forums for "responsible discourse" where there can be civil conversation amongst those with different points of view.
  • "A new redline is holding back South Dallas entrepreneurs." By Jon Prior. Dallas Business Journal, November 3, 2017, pp. 4-6, 8.
    Highlights the inequity in Small Business Administration [SBA] loan distribution among small businesses in Dallas' southern and northern neighborhoods. Notes white small business owners received 60 percent of the SBA's financing in 2016.
  • "Tax reform: deducting deductions." Economist, November 4th-10th, 2017, pp. 23-24.
    Suggests elimination of state and local tax deductions would make federal taxes more progressive.
  • "Texas politics: thus spake Joe." Economist, November 4th-10th, 2017, p. 29.
    Discusses House Speaker Joe Straus' retirement and how his departure could affect 2018 primary campaigns.
  • "Factors associated with increased US health care spending." By Patrick H. Conway. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), November 7, 2017, pp. 1657-1658.
    Examines a report that shows health care spending (after adjusting for price inflation) has increased by $933.5 billion between 1996 and 2013. Outlines possible contributing factors and ways states can address this unsustainable growth.
  • "Conventional wisdom." By Richard Krietner. Nation, November 20/27, 2017, pp. 20-24.
    Presents aspects of the movement for an Article V constitutional convention.
  • "Win-win: pensions efficiently serve American schools and teachers." By Christian E. Weller. National Institute on Retirement Security, October 26, 2017, pp. 1-30 (Note Length).
    Analyzes defined benefit [DB] teacher pension plans from a labor management perspective, including the benefits of teacher retention and effectiveness for school districts. Contrasts DB plans with defined contribution [DC] 401k-style plans.
    (See: http://www.nirsonline.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=976&Itemid=61)
  • "What NAFTA does?" By Kevin D. Williamson. National Review, November 13, 2017, pp. 26, 28-29.
    Criticizes Trump administration efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], suggesting the treaty agreement has been a success for the United States. Explains NAFTA could use "freshening up" and discusses what factors should be considered.
  • "Blending high school and college can sharpen the focus of each." By Joel Vargas, Sarah Hooker, and Carol Gerwin. Phi Delta Kappan, November 2017, pp. 13-18.
    Highlights the experiences of a Rio Grande Valley student to demonstrate the value of giving students a head start on college with early college programs. Argues high schools and colleges each have distinct, important roles, but blurring the boundaries can improve educational outcomes.
  • "Ready for a fifty percent demand spike?: electric vehicles are coming." By Curt Underwood. Public Utilities Fortnightly, October 2017, pp. 60, 65.
    Considers how increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road will affect electric generation, transmission, and distribution. Offers suggestions that may help the electric utilities industry with this challenge.
  • "Crisis in the country." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, November 2017, pp. 55-59.
    Explores the high number of rural hospital closures in Texas and the effects on the communities and local physicians. Notes telemedicine's role in filling the gap.
    (See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=45915)
  • "A flood of problems." By Sean Price and Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, November 2017, pp. 22-35.
    Intermingles physicians' and patients' stories from Hurricane Harvey with discussion of health care issues in the storm's wake, including public and mental health concerns. Describes the legislative response to Harvey thus far.
    (See: https://www.texmed.org/FloodofProblems/)
  • "Coal plant closures in Texas continue." Texas Public Power, October 2017, p. 1.
    Indicates which coal plants in Texas are scheduled for retirement. Considers how these closures will affect various aspects of electric utilities.
  • "Ahead of the curve: Hill Country stakeholders proactively create Upper Llano River watershed protection plan." By Claire Corley. txH2O, Fall 2017, pp. 27-30.
    Describes the efforts of local stakeholders to partner with several programs and agencies to develop a watershed protection plan for the Upper Llano River.
    (See: http://twri.tamu.edu/publications/txh2o/fall-2017/ahead-of-the-curve/)

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.

Current Articles and Research Resources, November 9

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

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

  • "Gun control: glimmers of compromise." By Patrik Jonsson and Francine Kiefer. Christian Science Monitor, October 23, 2017, p. 17.
    Presents a Q&A on the status of state and federal gun control efforts in the wake of the recent Las Vegas shooting.
  • "The crisis of civic education." By Derek Bok. Chronicle of Higher Education, October 6, 2017, pp. B3-B5.
    Argues colleges could do more to develop a knowledgeable electorate that actively participates in politics and public affairs.
  • "From theory to practice, hurdles for personalized learning." By Benjamin Herold. Education Week, October 4, 2017, p. 11.
    Summarizes results of study conducted on the effectiveness of "Opportunity by Design" schools, which emphasize personalization and mastery-based learning.
  • "All about octane." By Kristy Moore. Ethanol Today, September/October 2017, pp. 37-38.
    Considers whether or not the octane rating of fuel, regardless of the ethanol content, can be accurately measured and posted for consumers.
  • "Fuel of the future." By Katie Fletcher. Ethanol Today, September/October 2017, pp. 8-21.
    Reports that current testing efforts support a national transition to a higher octane fuel, despite the uncertainty of how regulatory agencies will treat this naturally occurring component of ethanol. Explains what octane is and discusses the benefits that it provides consumers.
  • "Effects of state insurance mandates on health care use and spending for autism spectrum disorder." By Colleen L. Barry, et al. Health Affairs, October 2017, pp. 1754-1761.
    Cites research suggesting that state mandates are an effective tool for broadening access to autism treatment under commercial insurance.
  • "Prevalence, treatment, and unmet treatment needs of US adults with mental health and substance use disorders." By Beth Han, et al. Health Affairs, October 2017, pp. 1739-1747.
    Discusses the low rates at which adults with co-occurring disorders receive mental health care and/or substance use treatment — fewer than ten percent receive treatments for both disorders, and fewer than 50 percent receive treatment for just one disorder.
  • "The state and local tax burden: update for fiscal year 2016." By Ferdinand Hogroian. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, November/December 2017, pp. 39-40.
    Highlights the most recent state and local business tax burden study by the Council on State Taxation and State Tax Research Institute, showing businesses paid more than $724 billion in taxes in FY 2016 and approximately 44 percent of all state and local taxes in FY 2015.
    (Report at: http://www.cost.org/globalassets/cost/state-tax-resources-pdf-pages/cost-studies-articles-reports/fy16-state-and-local-business-tax-burden-study.pdf)
  • "State angel and R&D: a comparative analysis of tax credit programs." By Diane Lupke and Andrew Johansson. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, November/December 2017, pp. 6-23, 44-48.
    Compares state-level angel investor and research and development [R&D] tax credits that encourage economic investment and job creation. Includes a 50-state spreadsheet of current state incentives.
  • "Harvey's historic wrath." By Andy Rhodes. Medallion (Texas Historical Commission), Fall 2017, pp. 4-5.
    Examines the effects of Hurricane Harvey on five State Historic Sites: the Fulton Mansion in Rockport, Sabine Pass Battleground in Port Arthur, Varner-Hogg Plantation in West Columbia, Levi Jordan Plantation in Brazoria, and Fannin Battleground near Goliad.
    (See: http://www.thc.texas.gov/medallion)
  • "The forecast for the US economy." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 1-3.
    Forecasts moderate growth for the United States economy over the next five years. Notes immigration reform and trade policy could affect future expansion.
  • "The effect of standards for new vehicle fuel economy and GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions on US consumers." By Joshua Linn, Benjamin Leard, and Yichen Christy Zhou. Resources, Fall 2017, pp. 1-4.
    Explores theoretical and historical effects of vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards on consumers.
    (Report at: http://www.rff.org/files/document/file/RFF-Rpt-WTP_FuelEconomy&Performance.pdf)
    (See: http://www.rff.org/research/publications/effect-standards-new-vehicle-fuel-economy-and-ghg-emissions-us-consumers)
  • "Emails reveal pressures on NIH gun research." By Meredith Wadman. Science, October 20, 2017, p. 286.
    Discusses staff emails related to the fate of the firearms research program at the United States National Institutes of Health.
  • "U.S. floods: the necessity of mitigation." By Beverly A. Cigler. State and Local Government Review, June 2017, pp. 127-139.
    Explores the types, causes, and rising financial costs of flooding and reviews mitigation tools and strategies for all levels of government in responding to flooding disasters.
  • "Legislator who stood up to sexism in '73 sees some progress." By Jen Fifield. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), November 7, 2017, pp. 1-5.
    Profiles Representative Senfronia Thompson, the nation's longest-serving female legislator. Suggests electing more women to state legislatures may help reduce sex discrimination and change the type of state laws enacted.
    (See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2017/11/07/legislator-who-stood-up-to-sexism-in-73-sees-some-progress)
  • "Borrowing trouble?" By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, October 2017, pp. 52-55.
    Examines how precipitously rising levels of student debt for medical school students are affecting how these new physicians approach medicine. Notes that Texas medical schools have worked hard to keep prices down, with six Texas schools on U.S. News and World Report's top ten most affordable medical schools list.
    (See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=45794)
  • "The problems of parental leave." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, October 2017, pp. 47-51.
    Explores the value of paid parental leave and notes that several states have established state-financed programs that give access to parental leave. Points out that paid leave might assist with Texas' unusually high maternal mortality rate.
    (See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=45802)
  • "Still affordable." By James P. Gaines and Clare Losey. Tierra Grande, August 17, 2017, pp. 9-13.
    Addresses the decline of housing affordability since 2012. Notes Texas is still better off than the rest of the nation despite the weakening of affordability in some of the larger metropolitan areas in the state.
    (See: https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/articles/tierra-grande/Still-Affordable)
  • "On the border: transboundary water initiative looks at shared aquifers, governance." By Kathy Wythe. txH2O, Fall 2017, pp. 8-9.
    Describes an interdisciplinary initiative focusing on studying the shared underground water resources at the border between the United States and Mexico.
    (See: http://twri.tamu.edu/publications/txh2o/fall-2017/on-the-border/)

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.

Current Articles and Research Resources, November 2

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

  • Explore the most recent release of documents related to the JFK assassination. (National Archives, October 26, 2017)
  • See how Google tracks America's health. (Fortune, October 25, 2017)
  • Examine proposed tax reform. (Penn Wharton, October 30, 2017)
  • Consider the regulation of dietary supplements. (Pew Charitable Trusts, October 24, 2017)
  • Read about the 1998 Federal Vacancies Act. (Congressional Research Service, October 30, 2017) 

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

  • "Amazon's Texas two-step." By Greg Barr. Austin Business Journal, October 13, 2017, pp. A10-A12.
    Discusses Amazon's growing footprint in Austin and Central Texas, now one of the area's largest employers.

  • "EPA: its course in the Trump era." By Amanda Paulson. Christian Science Monitor, October 16, 2017, p. 17.
    Reviews the actions by the new Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] Administrator, Scott Pruitt, and finds a lot in common with EPA actions at the beginning of the Reagan administration. Explains the difficulty in attempting to undo established rules.

  • "Grit and the gridiron rescue a town." By Carmen K. Sisson. Christian Science Monitor, October 23, 2017, pp. 24-30.
    Reports on Refugio, Texas, and the town's Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. Explains the schools and football team have provided an important focal point and symbolize the strength of the citizens.

  • "The long last miles to college." By Eric Hoover. Chronicle of Higher Education, October 13, 2017, pp. A14-A18.
    Features the experiences of two low-income students from Dallas in their summer between high school graduation and starting college.

  • "Power of the purse." By Kate Ackley. CQ Weekly, October 23, 2017, pp. 16-23.
    Argues a surge in women campaign donors is reshaping the political landscape in the United States. Examines what is fueling this increased engagement in the political system by women from both parties and inspiring more women to run for elective office.

  • "E-commerce: the new bazaar." Economist, October 28th-November 3rd, 2017, pp. 3-12.
    Examines how the new breed of e-commerce conglomerates, including Amazon and Alibaba (China), are reshaping retailing, manufacturing, and logistics and assesses their broader impact on society.

  • "Innovative justice: Oxy-courting." Economist, October 21st-27th, 2017, p. 30.
    Profiles the country's first opioid court and considers whether this type of court can be replicated in other cities.

  • "Opioid abuse and poisoning: trends in inpatient and emergency department discharges." By Dario Tedesco, et al. Health Affairs, October 2017, pp. 1748-1753.
    Analyzes data that show inpatient and emergency department discharge rates increasing across the study period. Observes a decline for prescription opioid-related discharges beginning in 2010, while a sharp increase in heroin-related discharges begins in 2008.

  • "A real fix for traffic." By Daniel Herriges. Milken Institute Review, Fourth Quarter 2017, pp. 66-78.
    Debates the definition of "traffic" as a problem of volume, delay, or distribution. Examines measures for alleviating traffic woes at a reasonable expense, such as congestion pricing, public transit, and highway planning.

  • "Less gun violence without new gun laws." By Robert Verbruggen. National Review, October 30, 2017, pp. 18-19.
    Argues focusing on specific geographic areas and the tiny percent of the population most involved in gun violence will do more to stop gun violence than new gun control laws.

  • "API, other groups want new NAFTA to retain crucial ISDS [Investor-State Dispute Settlement] provision." By Nick Snow. Oil and Gas Journal, October 2, 2017, pp. 26-27.
    Discusses which provisions from the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] the American Petroleum Institute [API] and several other trade associations from United States industries would like to retain.

  • "'Fractivism' in the city: assessing defiance at the neighborhood level." By Jonathan M. Fisk, Yunmi Park, and Zachary Mahafza. State and Local Government Review, June 2017, pp. 105-116.
    Analyzes the oil and gas politics of fracking in Denton, Texas, and Longmont, Colorado. Charts the extent of voter support of proposed fracking bans using spatial and political data.

  • "Inside the 85th legislative session." By Felicia A. Wright. Texas Builder, September/October 2017, pp. 30-37.
    Summarizes the 85th Legislature, Regular and First Called Sessions, from the perspective of the Texas residential construction and development industry, including legislation on development and zoning, property taxes, workforce, linkage fees, special districts, the state water plan, housing and community development, and tree credits.
    (See: http://builderfusion.texasbuilders.org/bf/messaging/TexasBuilder/TexasBuilder/TXBuilder_SeptOct17_final.pdf#page=30)

  • "New balance, new beginning." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, October 2017, pp. 22-29.
    Praises the passage of SB1148, 85th Legislature, R.S., which restricts the use of maintenance of certification [MOC] as a condition for physician licensure or registration.
    (See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=45823)

  • "The campus culture wars." By Katy Steinmetz. Time, October 23, 2017, pp. 48-55.
    Discusses conflicts on college campuses related to free speech and censorship concerns. Reports campus division over free speech and voicing cultural beliefs has led several state legislatures to consider bills that prevent the disruption of controversial speech at universities.

 

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.

Current Articles and Research Resources, October 26

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

  • Review employment projections, largely driven by the health care industry. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 24, 2017)
  • Look ahead to the expected winter weather outlook. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, October 19, 2017)
  • Read about EPA Administrator Pruitt's meeting related to cleanup of the San Jacinto Superfund site. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, October 20, 2017)
  • Consider the manufactured home industry's role in providing affordable housing. (Stateline, October 24, 2017)

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

  • "Jobs are back, but ..." By Mark Trumbull. Christian Science Monitor, October 16, 2017, pp. 24-30.
    Explains unemployment is down, but in spite of some personal improvement, many workers still experience great anxiety about what their employment future holds.

  • "How much gerrymandering is too much?" By Paul Basken. Chronicle of Higher Education, October 20, 2017, p. A19.
    Interviews Phillip Rocco, a political scientist at Marquette University, regarding the social science research calling attention to efficiency gaps in state redistricting plans.

  • "Mr. Bezos goes to Washington." By Carolyn M. Proctor. Dallas Business Journal, October 13, 2017, pp. 20-21.
    Discusses Jeff Bezos' growing influence on lawmakers and public policy in Washington, D.C., noting Amazon's increasing lobbying expenditures has placed the company on the top 20 list of biggest lobbying spenders nationwide.

  • "Renegotiating NAFTA: preparing for the worst." Economist, October 21st-27th, 2017, pp. 69-70.
    Questions whether the Trump administration is negotiating in good faith, describing the latest set of trade demands as "so extreme that they allow no room for negotiation."

  • "Even as schools reopen, storm recovery remains painful." By Marva Hinton and Corey Mitchell. Education Week, October 11, 2017, p. 6.
    Discusses current hurricane recovery efforts of schools in Florida and Texas. Addresses the challenges faced by Aransas County and Port Aransas school districts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

  • "Watch list: high court, 2017-2018 term." By Mark Walsh. Education Week, October 4, 2017, pp. 16-17.
    Highlights education-related cases the United States Supreme Court will hear in the current term.

  • "Emergency department visits for firearm-related injuries in the United States, 2006-14." By Faiz Gani, Joseph V. Sakran, and Joseph K. Canner. Health Affairs, October 2017, pp. 1729-1738.
    Reports that firearm-related injuries result in an annual financial burden of approximately $2.8 billion in emergency department and inpatient charges.

  • "Freestanding emergency departments preferentially locate in areas with higher household income." By Cedric Dark, Yingying Xu, and Vivian Ho. Health Affairs, October 2017, pp. 1712-1719.
    Finds that freestanding emergency departments are more likely to be in areas that could yield higher profit, rather than areas of high demand. Notes that Texas is the epicenter of the freestanding emergency room movement.

  • "Mitigating the mental and physical health consequences of Hurricane Harvey." By James M. Shultz and Sandro Galea. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), October 17, 2017, pp. 1437-1438.
    Highlights the likely long-term health concerns Hurricane Harvey survivors may face and discusses ways Texas could create a recovery and reconstruction plan that strengthens public mental health.

  • "Ten steps the federal government should take now to reverse the opioid addiction epidemic." By Andrew Kolodny and Thomas R. Frieden. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), October 24/31, 2017, pp. 1537-1538.
    Suggests ten steps to address the opioid epidemic, broken into two categories: preventing opioid addiction and overdoses and treatment and harm reduction for current users.
    (See: http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2017.14567)

  • "EIA: world energy consumption to increase by 28% by 2040." Oil and Gas Journal, October 2, 2017, p. 38.
    Summarizes the United States Energy Information Administration's latest International Energy Outlook 2017.
    (Report at: https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/pdf/0484(2017).pdf)

  • "Oil pipeline profits soar, natgas net softens." By Christopher E. Smith. Oil and Gas Journal, October 2, 2017, pp. 66-84.
    Examines the United States' regulated interstate oil and natural gas pipeline system for 2016. Includes analyzed data that are compiled from annual and periodic reports filed with FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission].

  • "For teachers, a better kind of pension plan." By Marcus A. Winters. Phi Delta Kappan, October 2017, pp. 32-36.
    Explains the advantages and disadvantages of the widely used defined benefit retirement plans offered to public school teachers.

  • "High Texas student loan delinquency rates underscore deeper challenges." By Wenhua Di and Stephanie Gullo. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Third Quarter 2017, pp. 14-17.
    Examines the increase in Texas student loan delinquencies, student and consumer debt levels and patterns, and issues with difficult student loan repayment terms.
    (See: https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/research/swe/2017/swe1703e.pdf)

  • "Texas taxes: who bears the burden?" By Jason L. Saving. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Third Quarter 2017, pp. 3-7.
    Discusses Texas' relatively low per-capita tax burden, carried in large portion by low-income households, and the implications for lawmakers in setting tax policy and delivering state services.
    (See: https://www.dallasfed.org/~/media/documents/research/swe/2017/swe1703b.pdf)

  • "The audacious launch of the city of Houston: capital of the Republic of Texas." By Stephen C. Cook. Southwestern Historical Quarterly, October 2017, pp. 122-144.
    Presents an adaptation of Texas State Historical Association President Stephen C. Cook's presidential address in March 2017, exploring the founding of the city of Houston in August 1836, Houston's site selection at the confluence of the Buffalo and White Oak Bayous, and its designation as the capital of the Republic. Mentions the devastating flooding in August 2017 due to Hurricane Harvey.

  • "Aye for modernizing voting." By Wendy Underhill and Amanda Buchanan. State Legislatures, October/November 2017, pp. 26-29.
    Summarizes states' policy goals for improving elections and updating aging voting systems.

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.