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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.

Week in Review, October 19

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

  • Consider the elimination of state and local tax deductions as part of tax reform. (The Heritage Foundation, October 16, 2017)
  • Explore manufacturing in Texas. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed October 19, 2017)
  • Read about oyster bed restoration in Galveston Bay. (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, October 9, 2017)
  • Explore what happens to a person's email account after death. (Nextgov, October 18, 2017)

Week in Review, October 12

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

  • Review pay patterns and earnings in the American workforce. (U.S. Census Bureau, September 2017)
  • Explore the level of economic freedom experienced by Americans. (Cato Institute, October 11, 2017)
  • Read about the status of women in the workplace. (McKinsey & Company, 2017)
  • Consider public employee Fifth Amendment rights. (National Conference of State Legislatures, October 6, 2017)

Week in Review, October 5

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

Week in Review, September 28

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

  • Read about an experimental way to treat addiction. (National Geographic, September 2017)
  • Review long-term energy consumption projections. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, September 14, 2017)
  • Analyze how Americans get their science news. (Pew Research Center, September 20, 2017)
  • See which cities have the best public transportation systems. (24/7 Wall St., September 20, 2017)

 

Week in Review, September 21

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

  • Review how some states are tackling public transit challenges. (Council of State Governments, July/August 2017)
  • Read about earthquake warning systems. (Wired, September 20, 2017)
  • Consider strategies for addressing childhood obesity. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 5, 2017)
  • View striking, recent pictures of wildlife. (The Atlantic, September 14, 2017)

Week in Review, September 14

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

  • Examine the tax burden of American workers. (Bloomberg, September 12, 2017)
  • Explore a police crime database. (Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database, ©2017)
  • Consider how Americans consume information. (Pew Research Center, September 11, 2017)
  • Map flood-prone areas in your county and across the country. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, accessed September 14, 2017)

Week in Review, September 7

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

  • Find resources on emergency tax help. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed September 5, 2017)
  • Explore how states are planning to address election security. (Politico, September 3, 2017)
  • Consider commentary on providing police with surplus military equipment. (CATO Institute, August 31, 2017)
  • Examine household spending as compared to pre-recession levels. (The Hill, September 5, 2017)

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