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Current Articles and Research Resources, January 25

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

  • Examine how the economy is shaping up after President Trump's first year in office. (Forbes, January 18, 2018)
  • Read about a working group's findings on the state of early education in America. (National Conference of State Legislatures, January 18, 2018)
  • Follow updates from Texas' oil and gas regulatory agency. (Railroad Commission of Texas, last updated January 23, 2018)
  • Try out the revamped Texas Unclaimed Property database. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed January 24, 2018)

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

  • "Will Austin sick leave rules irk Texas lawmakers?" By Daniel Salazar. Austin Business Journal, January 19, 2018, p. 8.
    Considers how Texas legislators would react to local ordinances requiring employers to provide some type of paid sick leave to their employees.
    Reports at: http://www.epi.org/files/pdf/130245.pdf and http://www.epi.org/files/pdf/133463.pdf
  • "Legislative stars from the 2017 Texas Legislature." Classroom Teacher (Texas Classroom Teachers Association), Winter 2017-18, pp. 13-15.
    Presents members of the 85th Legislature designated "legislative stars" by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. Highlights education-related issues and legislation backed by these lawmakers.
  • "Missy Shorey has the most impossible job in Dallas." By Eric Celeste. D Magazine, February 2018, pp. 36-37.
    Describes the challenges facing the new chair of the Dallas County Republican Party as she works to recruit and support Republicans in a county that has elected more Democratic candidates in recent elections.
  • "America's trade policies: steel wars." Economist, January 13th-19th, 2018, pp. 63-64.
    Considers the Trump administration's options for addressing the dramatic increase in steel imports — whether the increase poses a threat to America's national security.
  • "Trump and the economy: no discredit where none is due." Economist, January 13th-19th, 2018, p. 23.
    Evaluates the Trump administration's economic policy. Assesses the prospects for the American economy in 2018.
  • "State agencies and 'legacy' systems: the cost of aging government technology." By Courtney King and Bruce Wright. Fiscal Notes, December 2017-January 2018, pp. 1, 3-5.
    Examines trends in information technology [IT] spending at Texas state agencies, the consequences of an aging IT infrastructure, and the growing skills gap in Texas' ability to maintain legacy IT systems.
  • "State of Texas children 2017: child well-being in the Rio Grande Valley." By Kristie Tingle, Madeline Haynes, and DongMei Li. Internet Resource, November 29, 2017, pp. 1-13.
    Outlines current and historical policies that contribute to children's lack of economic, educational, and health opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley. Offers key policy recommendations for improving the welfare of Valley children.
  • "Taxes and sugar-sweetened beverages." By Lisa M. Powell and Matthew L. Maciejewski. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), January 16, 2018, pp. 229-230.
    Debates the efficacy of imposing excise taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages as an approach to reduce obesity.
  • "Medication-assisted opioid treatment prescribers in federally qualified health centers: capacity lags in rural areas." By Emily B. Jones. Journal of Rural Health, Winter 2018, pp. 14-22.
    Highlights the significance of health care centers in providing access to medication-assisted substance use disorder treatment services.
  • "Friend of science." By Julie Kelly. National Review, January 22, 2018, pp. 12-13.
    Profiles Texas Congressman Lamar Smith and his tenure as Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
  • "Can big data help save abused kids?" By Naomi Schaefer Riley. Reason, February 2018, pp. 29-38.
    Explores the potential of predictive risk modeling and use of big data in pursuit of better risk assessment calculations in child welfare cases. Describes a current project, the Allegheny Family Screening Tool, as a promising model.
  • "Air pollution's hidden impacts." By Joshua Graff Zivin and Matthew Neidell. Science, January 5, 2018, pp. 39-40.
    Discusses how air pollution can affect the economy because of changes to worker productivity.
  • "The funded status of local pensions inches closer to states." By Jean-Pierre Aubry, Caroline V. Crawford, and Alicia H. Munnell. State and Local Pension Plans (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College), January 2018, pp. 1 -13.
    Assesses the current status of local pension plans and compares trends in funded status for state and local plans. Includes funded ratio and percentage of Annual Retirement Contribution [ARC] paid for pensions in the cities of Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.
  • "Globalization's effects on Texas manufacturing." By Luis B. Torres and Wesley Miller. Tierra Grande, January 2018, pp. 2-6.
    Explores the effects of NAFTA and China's accession into the World Trade Organization [WTO] on Texas manufacturing employment. Argues that while Texas manufacturing would benefit from updates to NAFTA, eliminating the agreement would present greater risks.
  • "A year ago, they marched. Now a record number of women are running for office." By Charlotte Alter. Time, January 29, 2018, pp. 26-33.
    Discusses the surge of first-time female candidates running for office in 2018. Spotlights Erin Zwiener, a Texas House candidate, and quotes several other Texas female candidates.

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, January 18

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

  • Explore Americans' perceptions of the news media. (Gallup, January 17, 2018)
  • Read about the legislative process in Congress. (Congressional Research Service, January 10, 2018)
  • Consider which drugs are causing lethal overdoses. (FiveThirtyEight, January 17, 2018)
  • Examine the costs of severe weather events. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2018)

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

  • "Marital discord." By Jonathan Black. ABA Journal: The Lawyer's Magazine, January 2018, pp. 16-18.
    Highlights several states' efforts to change minimum-age marriage laws and to prohibit forced marriages.
  • "The Texas GED problem is getting worse." By Chandra Villanueva. Center for Public Policy Priorities, January 2018, pp. 1-14.
    Reports on the decline in the number of individuals taking and passing the General Equivalency Diploma [GED] exam. Addresses the need for the state to follow students who receive a high school equivalency and track their career and educational outcomes.
    See: https://forabettertexas.org/images/2018_EO_GEDproblem_FullReport.pdf
  • "'Always think deeply.'" Chronicle of Higher Education, January 5, 2017, pp. A6-A7.
    Interviews Ruth J. Simmons, former president of Brown University and current president of Prairie View A&M University, about her career and coming out of retirement to guide Prairie View.
  • "A dying town." By Sarah Brown and Karin Fischer. Chronicle of Higher Education, January 5, 2017, pp. A14-A23.
    Discusses current research correlating low education levels in areas of economic malaise with poorer health outcomes.
  • "High-tax states: tax replanning." Economist, January 6th-12th, 2018, pp. 17-18.
    Examines how states might try to circumvent the new federal tax law.
  • "Mortality quadrupled among opioid-driven hospitalizations, notably within lower-income and disabled white populations." By Zirui Song. Health Affairs, December 2017, pp. 2054-2061.
    Examines opioid-driven hospitalizations in the United States. Finds that while the total volume has remained stable, it has shifted from diagnoses involving opioid dependence toward those centered on opioid or heroin poisoning, with patients more likely to be white, ages 50-64, Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities, and residents of low-income areas.
  • "Only one in twenty justice-referred adults in specialty treatment for opioid use receive methadone or buprenorphine." By Noa Krawczyk, et al. Health Affairs, December 2017, pp. 2046-2053.
    Investigates whether the criminal justice system refers people to the highest standard of treatment for opioid use disorder, methadone or buprenorphine. Reports that only 4.6 percent of justice-referred clients received such treatment, compared to 40.9 percent of those referred by other sources.
  • "Five ethical values to guide health systems reform." By Lawrence O. Gostin. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 12, 2017, pp. 2171-2172.
    Outlines five critical values for health care reform – universal access, equitable access, affordable access (cost), quality, and choice. Explains the trade-offs and why certain values should take priority.
  • "State fiscal effort and juvenile incarceration rates: are we misdirecting our investment in human capital?" By Jessica McGrath Ellison, William Owlings, and Leslie S. Kaplan. Journal of Education Finance, Summer 2017, pp. 45-63.
    Examines whether an increase in state fiscal effort for education is associated with decreased juvenile incarceration rates over the last 25 years in all 50 states.
  • "The waning impact of school finance litigation on inequality in per student revenue during the adequacy era." By Dennis J. Condron. Journal of Education Finance, Summer 2017, pp. 1-20.
    Examines how adequacy lawsuits affected inequality in school funding within states from 1990 to 2011. Finds adequacy litigation helped reduce inequality during the 1990-2000 period, but in contrast, from 2001-2011 in which there were fewer lawsuits, revenue inequality increased.
  • "Building a blue Texas." By John Nichols. Nation, December 18/25, 2017, pp. 12-15.
    Speculates on the future of the Democratic Party in Texas and examines the revival of progressive-populist politics in the state.
  • "The glut economy." By Lawrence Wright. New Yorker, January 1, 2018, pp. 42-50, 52-53.
    Examines the history of boom and bust in the Texas energy industry and the role the industry currently plays in the Texas economy. Discusses the industrialization of communities and environmental concerns in areas of intensive drilling.
    See: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/01/the-dark-bounty-of-texas-oil
  • "Industry insights: innovations put sustainable water systems in reach." By Frank Zammataro. Opflow, December 2017, pp. 6-7.
    Explores how renewable energy, conservation, and efficiency can provide a new vision for United States water operations.
  • "Industry and government partner to secure the grid." By Nidhi Chaudhry. Public Power, November/December 2017, pp. 12-17.
    Argues that, with the increasing complexity of the electric grid, it has become more critical for coordinated efforts across the industry and with federal agencies to appropriately respond to growing threats. Mentions disaster preparedness in Houston prior to Hurricane Harvey.
    See: https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/industry-and-government-partner-secure-grid
  • "New, higher tolls for 2018." By Elaine S. Povich. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), January 9, 2018, pp. 1-6.
    Reports the lack of funding from gas taxes and the growing popularity of fuel-efficient cars means more states are likely to impose tolls on "free" roads or build more toll-only lanes in 2018.
    See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2018/01/09/new-higher-tolls-for-2018
  • "Big changes coming for Texas Family Code in 2018." By Kris Balekian Hayes. Texas Lawyer, January 2018, pp. 34-36.
    Points out upcoming changes to Texas child support laws, enacted by SB550, 84th Legislature, R.S.
  • "Same-sex common law marriage." By Jeff Anderson. Texas Lawyer, January 2018, pp. 26, 28-29.
    Addresses whether the United States Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage can be applied retroactively to same-sex couples married informally through common-law before the date of enactment, June 26, 2015.
  • "New report finds — surprise — indigent defense attorneys shouldn’t be under the control of the state prison system." By Michael Barajas. Texas Observer, January 11, 2018, pp. 1-3.
    Highlights a recent report by the State Bar of Texas which suggests that the State Counsel for Offenders suffers from a conflict of interest between its mission and its position as an office within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
    Report at: http://www.voiceforthedefenseonline.com/story/review-operations-state-counsel-offenders
    See: https://www.texasobserver.org/new-report-finds-surprise-indigent-defense-attorneys-shouldnt-be-under-the-control-of-the-state-prison-system/

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, January 11

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

  • Consider factors contributing to higher tolls across the country. (Stateline, January 9, 2018)
  • Track what members of Congress are doing. (In Custodia Legis, January 8, 2018)
  • Read about this year's flu season. (National Public Radio, January 9, 2018)
  • See what to look for in the night sky every month. (National Geographic, December 28, 2017)

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

  • "'The system must be transformed.'" By Bill Hethcock. Austin Business Journal, December 8, 2017, pp. 12-13.
    Features interview with Baylor Scott & White CEO Jim Hinton on the future of health care and the advantages of combining the finance and delivery of health care into a single system.
  • "Building healthier communities for an aging population." By Debra Miller and Emily McCarthy. Capitol Ideas, November/December 2017, pp. 32-33.
    Highlights AARP's Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable Act [CARE Act] which aims to improve coordination and communications between seniors, their loved ones, and hospitals.
  • "Shining a spotlight on women veterans." By Shawntaye Hopkins. Capitol Ideas, November/December 2017, pp. 34-35.
    Describes the contributions of women in the armed forces. Highlights recent efforts in Oregon, Georgia, and California to recognize and advocate for women veterans, including a traveling portrait exhibit of Oregon women veterans entitled, "I Am Not Invisible."
  • "Can bipartisan buddies win over Texas?" By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, December 11, 2017, pp. 18-20.
    Highlights the bipartisan friendship of United States Representatives Will Hurd and Beto O'Rourke. States that although bipartisanship is difficult in today's political world, views may be changing as many voters want political leaders to compromise to get things done.
  • "Doing Houston wrong." By Joel Kotkin. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), December 13, 2017, pp. 1-6.
    Suggests critics are wrong to blame Houston's approach to urban development for Hurricane Harvey's massive flooding damage. Advocates bolstering infrastructure resiliency through flood control systems rather than through additional zoning or abandonment of the city's current growth model.
    See: https://www.city-journal.org/html/doing-houston-wrong-15604.html
  • "Public education: keeping the wheels turning." Economist, December 23rd, 2017-January 5th, 2018, pp. 39-40.
    Explains why America's school funding model — levies on property taxes — is not as regressive as some critics contest. Notes other countries do a better job of directing resources to children who need extra help.
    Related information at: https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/94961/making-sense-of-state-school-funding-policy_0.pdf
  • "Safer nicotine: the tobacco paradox." Economist, December 23rd, 2017-January 5th, 2018, pp. 85-86.
    Discusses the changing landscape of the tobacco industry. Explains the Food and Drug Administration is working on a regulatory process to make it easier for companies to introduce safer products.
  • "The uninsured do not use the emergency department more — they use other care less." By Ruohua Annetta Zhou, et al. Health Affairs, December 2017, pp. 2115-2122.
    Debunks the common misperception that the uninsured use the emergency department [ED] more. Explains insured and uninsured adults use the ED at very similar rates and in very similar circumstances, and the uninsured use other types of care much less than the insured.
  • "Determining health effects of hazardous materials released during Hurricane Harvey." By M.J. Friedrich. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 19, 2017, pp. 2283-2285.
    Discusses efforts to sample the air, water, and sediment, track hazardous chemical exposures, and identify ways we can improve risk management to protect communities from future disasters like Hurricane Harvey.
  • "Ag tech poses difficult state tax questions." By Matthew C. Boch, Cal McCastlain, and T.J. Lawhon. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, January 2018, pp. 34-36.
    Describes recent digital technology and artificial intelligence developments in the agricultural sector, designed to increase crop yields and improve operational efficiency, and the ambiguous relationship to decades-old state tax provisions, agricultural exemptions, and conservation credits.
  • "Collecting our thoughts on collecting states' use taxes." By Shirley Sicilian. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, January 2018, pp. 20-25, 48.
    Analyzes state approaches to minimizing the impact of the physical presence requirements in the Quill decision, and outlines use tax collection, notice, and reporting responsibility in certain states. Related information at: https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-0194.ZO.html
  • "The myth of the playground pusher." By C.J. Ciaramella and Lauren Krisai. Reason, January 2018, pp. 41-49.
    Reviews the use of drug-free school zones in the various states. Explains drug-free school zone laws are rarely used to prosecute sales of drugs to minors, but have become a vehicle to give prosecutors increased leverage in a variety of drug cases.
  • "A matter of trust." By Matthew Huston. Science, December 15, 2017, pp. 1375-1377.
    Explores public attitudes toward autonomous vehicles.
  • "Why free college tuition is spreading from cities to states." By Marsha Mercer. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), January 5, 2018, pp. 1-4.
    Reports 200 localities and twelve states are offering free tuition programs. Notes mixed results in meeting goals of producing more workers with marketable skills and helping local economies.
    See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2018/01/05/why-free-college-tuition-is-spreading-from-cities-to-states
  • "Bad medicine." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, December 2017, pp. 49-54.
    Calls for state legislative policy to help people safely dispose of unwanted medicines, noting this would reduce chances of poisonings or misuse and keep these chemicals out of the water system. See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=46159
  • "Big Spring vs. big oil." By Christopher Collins. Texas Observer, December 2017, pp. 26-31.
    Explores the effects groundwater mining and Permian Basin fracking operations are having on rural Texas towns. Argues groundwater districts' lax rules on water pumping and water companies lack of transparency risks depletion of these communities only sources of drinking water.
  • "ERCOT generation outlook released." Texas Public Power, November-December 2017, pp. 5, 7.
    Summarizes the following two reports from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas [ERCOT]: Final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy for the ERCOT region (SARA): Winter 2017-18 and Preliminary Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy for the ERCOT region (SARA): Spring 2018. Report at: http://www.ercot.com/content/wcm/lists/114797/SARA-FinalWinter2017-18.pdf
    Report at: http://www.ercot.com/content/wcm/lists/114797/SARA-PreliminarySpring2018.pdf

 

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, January 4

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

  • Find resources related to homeowners' associations law. (Library of Congress, December 7, 2017)
  • Consider issues related to face scanning in airports. (Georgetown Law, Center on Privacy & Technology, December 21, 2017)
  • Examine graduation rates by state. (Education Week, December 7, 2017)
  • Explore the Congressional Record from its first issue forward. (U.S. Government Publishing Office, January 3, 2018)

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

  • "No way out." By Barbara Bradley Hagerty. Atlantic Monthly, January/February 2018, pp. 54-66.
    Profiles the case of Benjamine Spencer, sentenced to life for the 1987 Dallas murder of Jeffrey Young. Examines the work of Jim McCloskey and Centurion Ministries in trying to prove Spencer's innocence.
    See: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/no-way-out/546575/
  • "Shale oil." By Alex Nussbaum and David Wethe. Bloomberg Businessweek, January 8, 2018, p. 72.
    Discusses the future of shale oil producers, particularly those in the Permian Basin. Details anxiety in the oil market regarding the shale oil industry's sustainability.
  • "Insecure ballots." By Warren Richey. Christian Science Monitor, December 11, 2017, pp. 26-32.
    Presents the findings of a Christian Science Monitor study of the vulnerabilities of the American election system.
  • "It's open season." By Dean DeChiaro. CQ Weekly, December 4, 2017, pp. 30-33.
    Discusses changes in immigration policy under the Trump administration — specifically, the removal of prosecutorial discretion when enforcing immigration law. Highlights the case of an undocumented girl with cerebral palsy who was arrested and detained in Texas after seeking medical help.
  • "Business and society: America Inc gets woke." Economist, December 2nd-8th, 2017, pp. 53-55.
    Reports reactions to the Trump administration are reinforcing a longer-term trend for former apolitical businesses to make their voices heard on social issues.
  • "Older Americans were sicker and faced more financial barriers to health care than counterparts in other countries." By Robin Osborn, et al. Health Affairs, December 2017, pp. 2123-2132.
    Surveys elderly adults across eleven countries and finds that seniors in the United States were sicker than their counterparts in other countries and faced more financial barriers to health care.
  • The promises and pitfalls of treating addiction." By Jessica L. Gregg. Health Affairs, December 2017, pp. 2204-2206.
    Relates an addiction medicine physician's personal experience treating opioid addiction. Notes that addressing the epidemic will require involvement from primary care providers, not just specialized treatment facilities.
  • "Houston area law enforcement leaders favor drug policy reform." Internet Resource, 12/08/2017, pp. 1-8.
    Offers informed perspectives on the detrimental effects of the war on drugs as well as a rationale for a new approach to dealing with nonviolent drug offenders. Includes excerpts from interviews with Sylvester Turner, Rodney Ellis, Art Acevedo, and others.
    See: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/media/files/research-document/ee3d9e84/bi-brief-120817-drug-policyreform.pdf
  • "Texas ranks higher in oil and gas allure." Oil and Gas Journal, December 4, 2017, pp. 34-35.
    Reports that, according to the Fraser Institute of Canada's annual Global Petroleum Survey, Texas holds the top rank as the "most attractive jurisdiction globally for oil and gas investment."
    Report at: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/global-petroleum-survey-2017.pdf
  • "Public health: lead in drinking water: past, present, and future." By Caroline Russell, Philip Brandhuber, and Darren Lytle. Opflow, December 2017, pp. 10-15.
    Explores the regulation and use of lead in plumbing materials.
  • "The end of free speech." By Katherine Mangu-Ward. Reason, January 2018, pp. 18-26.
    Argues that both the right and the left are willing to abridge free speech rights in the "service of partisan goals." Highlights recent events such as NFL player protests and Charlottesville rallies.
  • "Not so fast." By Jeffrey Mervis. Science, December 15, 2017, pp. 1370-1374.
    Discusses autonomous vehicles and whether they will be a realistic transportation option in the near future.
  • "On record: Dan Patrick, Texas Lieutenant Governor, author." By Gene Rose. State Legislatures, January 2018, pp. 24-25.
    Interviews Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick about Hurricane Harvey and ongoing recovery efforts.
  • "Top 10 in 2018." By Julie Lays. State Legislatures, January 2018, pp. 10-13.
    Highlights the biggest issues that will have a wide impact and presence in almost every state legislature in 2018.
  • "Courthouse security." By Julie Anderson. Texas County Progress, December 2017, pp. 12-14.
    Recounts two high-profile shootings that took place in Texas county courthouses and led the Texas Legislature to enact SB42, 85th Legislature, R.S.
  • "Closing the gap." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, December 2017, pp. 22-28.
    Discusses the value and importance of SB507, 85th Legislature, R.S., which will greatly expand mediation for out-of-network medical bills. Notes additional measures that would help eliminate balance billing.
    See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=46160
  • "Difficult situations." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, December 2017, pp. 37-42.
    Examines the Texas Advance Directives Act that was challenged in court in summer 2017. Explores the challenge of reconciling the wishes of a patient or the patient's health care decider with the ethical duties of a physician.
    See: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=46157
  • "Bordering on an outbreak." By Sophie Novak. Texas Observer, December 2017, pp. 12-16.
    Details Brownsville's battle with the Zika virus. Considers how the South Texas climate and the international border pose challenges to the efforts to address Zika outbreaks.
  • "The silence breakers." By Edward Felsenthal, et al. Time, December 18, 2017, pp. 30-56, 58-62, 64, 66-68, 70-71 (Note Length).
    Presents Time Magazine's Person of the Year — the Silence Breakers — the people who have launched a "revolution of refusal" by speaking publicly about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault.
    See: http://time.com/time-person-of-the-year-2017-silence-breakers/

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, December 14

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

  • Review statistics related to the country's southern border. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection, December 5, 2017)
  • Read about the costs of the Trump Administration's goals for the military. (Congressional Budget Office, December 4, 2017)
  • Consider the legal aspects of shared parenting. (The Washington Post, December 11, 2017)
  • Explore the stunning images from the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year submissions. (National Geographic, ©2017)

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

  • "The state of manufacturing." By Evan Hoopfer. Dallas Business Journal, November 24, 2017, pp. 4-6.
    Discusses the growth in manufacturing jobs and tracks how North Texas compares to its national and state counterparts.
  • "Disaster relief: defrauding the do-gooders." Economist, November 25th-December 1st, 2017, pp. 55-56.
    Reports countries are becoming more active in seeking to uncover and punish fraud related to humanitarian aid and natural and man-made disasters.
  • "Mental health: me, myself and iPhone." Economist, November 25th-December 1st, 2017, pp. 26, 28.
    Considers whether the current increase in the suicide rate among 15-to-19-year-olds coincides with the rise of social media and the time spent staring at phone screens.
  • "Why the Republican tax plans do nothing to help genuine small businesses." By Hunter Blair. EPI Issue Brief, November 29, 2017, pp. 1-8.
    Rebuts claims that Republican tax plans will help small businesses by lowering top tax rates on "pass-through" income. Explains the relationship between pass-through businesses and small businesses.
    See: http://www.epi.org/files/pdf/138390.pdf
  • "Making a case for sanctuary hospitals." By Altaf Saadi, Sameer Ahmed, and Mitchell H. Katz. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 5, 2017, pp. 2079-2080.
    Argues that hospitals should develop clear sanctuary policies so community members can seek medical care regardless of their immigration status. Highlights several Texas anecdotes in which patients were targeted by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] agents.
  • "The success of state newborn screening policies for critical congenital heart disease." By Alex R. Kemper, Wendy K.K. Lam, and Joseph A. Bocchini Jr. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), December 5, 2017, pp. 2087-2088.
    Reports that statewide implementation of mandatory newborn screening policies for critical congenital heart disease was associated with a significant decrease in infant cardiac deaths between 2007 and 2013.
  • "Electricity or natural gas: which holds the real price advantage?" By Mark Beyer. Public Utilities Fortnightly, December 2017, pp. 48-49.
    Compares the price advantages of electricity and natural gas.
  • "How does innovation impact customers?: no two are alike." By Sheri Givens. Public Utilities Fortnightly, November 2017, pp. 16-18.
    Considers how innovations impact residential utility customers. Suggests ways for utilities to accommodate innovations based on different customer preferences.
  • "For foster care kids, college degrees are elusive." By Teresa Wiltz. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), December 7, 2017, pp. 1-4.
    Reports on state programs that help foster care youth get into and through college or vocational school.
    See: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2017/12/07/for-foster-care-kids-college-degrees-are-elusive
  • "More protection for property owners: how TAB influenced policy to protect homeowners during the 85th First Called Special Session." By Eddie Martin. Texas Builder, November/December 2017, pp. 23-24.
    Discusses efforts of the Texas Association of Builders relating to the home building industry and property rights in the 85th Legislature, 1st C.S., specifically relating to HB7 (tree credits for mitigation fees) and SB6 (annexation).
    See: http://www.texasbuilders.org/site/publisher/files/TXBuilder_NovDec17_FINAL.pdf#page=23
  • "Overcoming the storm." By Lorraine Urey. Texas Builder, November/December 2017, pp. 12-16.
    Surveys Hurricane Harvey's damage to Texas homes and describes the main obstacle facing the rebuilding effort: a skilled construction labor shortage. Mentions recent education reform in HB5, 83rd Legislature, R.S., allowing students to earn construction industry or trade certifications.
    See: http://www.texasbuilders.org/site/publisher/files/TXBuilder_NovDec17_FINAL.pdf#page=12
  • "A slap at employment law?" By W. Gary Fowler. Texas Lawyer, December 2017, pp. 24-25.
    Comments on recent court decisions concerning the impact of the Texas Citizens Participation Act on employment law issues such as defamation and trade secrets. Notes the law was enacted by HB2973, 82nd Legislature, R.S., as a way to prevent lawsuits that deter free speech.
  • "Giving up the gavel: after five terms as House speaker, Joe Straus calls it quits." By R.G. Ratcliffe. Texas Monthly, December 2017, pp. 54, 56.
    Offers Speaker Joe Straus' thoughts on why he decided not to run for reelection, what it takes to achieve success as Speaker, and whether he might be open to running for statewide office.
  • "An 87-year-old nun said she was raped in her nursing home. here’s why she couldn't sue." By Haley Sweetland Edwards. Time, November 27, 2017, pp. 54-59.
    Reports an increasing number of nursing homes are requiring incoming residents to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of admission. Notes residents are often unaware they have relinquished their legal rights to have claims of negligence and criminal conduct heard in court. Addresses an arbitration case involving rape.
    See: http://time.com/5027063/87-year-old-nun-said-she-was-raped-in-her-nursing-home/

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, 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.

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