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Week in Review, December 1

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

  • Review mental health services in Texas jails. (Texas Law, University of Texas at Austin, November 15, 2016)
  • Explore the privatization of American airports. (Cato Institute, November 21, 2016)
  • Consider how court fines affect people on low incomes. (American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, November 2016)
  • Examine the services economy. (Gigaom, November 29, 2016)
  • Read about women's earnings in 2015. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2016)

New & Noteworthy List for November 2016

New & Noteworthy List for November 2016Request Form (PDF)



To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, please contact the library at 463-1252. 
 

1. Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era By Max Krochmal 
Examines the multiracial collaboration of African American, Mexican American, and white labor and community activists in Texas from the 1930s-1960s, as they worked to promote liberal politics and civil rights activism. Draws from archival sources and oral histories to describe how diverse groups united to form the Democratic Coalition of the 1960s and push back against Jim Crow and Juan Crow. Draws comparisons to contemporary efforts by Texas Democrats and organizations like Battleground Texas.
University of North Carolina Press, 2016. 421 pages. 
324.2764 K912B 2016


 

 

2. Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream By Sara Goldrick-Rab 
Presents evidence that the current financial aid system in the U.S. is failing. Draws from a study of 3,000 students aided by federal aid and Pell grants who entered public colleges and universities in 2008. Describes the results of the study, which found that over half the students left school without a degree and huge amounts of debt due to the exorbitant costs of higher education and a lack of money. Chronicles the experiences of six individuals, whose struggles highlight the human and financial costs of insufficient and short-sighted financial aid policies. Offers practical solutions for fixing the college affordability crisis and saving the American Dream.
The University of Chicago Press, 2016. 373 pages. 
378.3 G569P 2016


 

 

3. Mission High: One School, How Experts Tried to Fail It, and the Students and Teachers Who Made It Triumph By Kristina Rizga 
Profiles the story of several students, teachers, and the administration of Mission High School in San Francisco, California to illustrate the effect education reforms and standardized testing has on students' education and their futures. Questions how, over the course of four years, students at Mission High School can excel in classes and get accepted into college, yet still struggle with standardized testing metrics which results in a "low-performing" rating for the school. Argues that critical thinking, self-management, personalized classrooms, and cultural flexibility are better suited to gauge qualities that matter most when it comes to learning, not standardized tests.
Nation Books, 2015. 295 pages. 
371.26 R528M 2015


 

 

4. The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II By Jan Jarboe Russell 
Explores the internment of over 6,000 German, Italian, and Japanese immigrants at Crystal City, Texas during World War II. Focuses on the stories of two American-born children, Ingrid Eiserloh and Sumi Utsushigawa, to show what life was like at the camp which operated from 1942 to 1948. Notes the camp was the center of a government prisoner exchange in which these families were exchanged for Americans being held by Germany and Japan. Concludes the "fundamental questions of citizenship, the status of aliens - indeed the definition of who is and who is not an American - are perennial" and therefore, this story holds high relevance for us today.
Scribner, 2015. 393 pages. 
940.53 R914T


 

 

5. The Gates of the Alamo: A Novel By Stephen Harrigan 
Tells the famous story of the siege and fall of the Alamo through historical fiction, featuring many historical personalities, including James Bowie, David Crockett, and William B. Travis. Focuses on three characters: naturalist and intellectual Edmund McGowan, widowed innkeeper Mary Mott, and Mary's sixteen-year-old son Terrell Mott. Narrates the Alamo story not only from the perspective of American defenders but Mexican soldiers as well.
A.A. Knopf, 2000. 577 pages. 
813.54 H235G 2000


 

 

6. Miles and Miles of Texas: 100 Years of the Texas Highway Department By Carol Dawson and Roger Allen Polson
Presents a chronological perspective of the 100-year history of the Texas Highway Department, now called the Texas Department of Transportation. Highlights the development of the department as a state agency, and explores how evolving infrastructure and technological changes led to improvements in modes of transportation. Includes visual elements such as photographs, maps, and illustrations. 
Texas A&M University Press, 2016. 407 pages. 
388.109764 D323M 2016

 

 

Interim Hearings - Week of December 5

Interim Hearings - Week of December 5 
Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.
 
December 7
House Committee on Transportation
Topic:  Autonomous vehicles
 
Topic: Safety issues
Topic: Sunset
 
Invited testimony from Texas Department of Transportation on HB 20, 84th Legislature
 

Interim Hearings - Week of November 28

Interim Hearings - Week of November 28

Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.

 

November 30

Topic: Determine and adopt a sufficient balance to maintain in the Economic Stabilization Fund

 

December 1

House Committee on Insurance

Charge: Weather-related property insurance claims and incidence of litigation of these claims

Preview of the 85th Texas Legislature

Below you'll find a preview of the 85th Texas Legislature. New and returning members will be sworn in on January 10, 2017, the opening day of the regular session.
 
Membership statistics for previous sessions are available on the library's Member statistics page.
 

Summary of the 85th Legislature

 
Party House Senate Overall
Democrat 55 11 66
Republican 95 20 115
Total 150 31 181
 
Gender House Senate Overall
Women 29 8 37
Men 121 23 144
Total 150 31 181

 

Members not returning to the 85th Texas Legislature

Not Returning Replacement
Sen. Rodney Ellis (D) Borris Miles (D)
Sen. Kevin Eltife (R) Bryan Hughes (R)
Sen. Troy Fraser (R) Dawn Buckingham (R)
Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R) Scott Cosper (R)
Rep. Myra Crownover (R) Lynn Stucky (R)
Rep. Marsha Farney (R) Terry Wilson (R)
Rep. Allen Fletcher (R) Tom Oliverson (R)
Rep. Rick Galindo (R) Philip Cortez (D)
Rep. Patricia Harless (R) Kevin Roberts (R)
Rep. Bryan Hughes (R) Cole Hefner (R)
Rep. Jim Keffer (R) Mike Lang (R)
Rep. Susan King (R) Stan Lambert (R)
Rep. John Lujan (R) Tomas Uresti (D)
Rep. Marisa Márquez (D) Evelina Ortega (D)
Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D) Diana Arevalo (D)
Rep. Borris Miles (D) Shawn Thierry (D)
Rep. Doug Miller (R) Kyle Biedermann (R)
Rep. Elliott Naishtat (D) Gina Hinojosa (D)
Rep. John Otto (R) Ernest Bailes (R)
Rep. Gilbert Peña (R) Mary Ann Perez (D)
Rep. Debbie Riddle (R) Valoree Swanson (R)
Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R) Victoria Neave (D)
Rep. David Simpson (R) Jay Dean (R)
Rep. Wayne Smith (R) Briscoe Cain (R)
Rep. Stuart Spitzer (R) Lance Gooden (R)
Rep. Laura Thompson (I) Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D)
Rep. Scott Turner (R) Justin Holland (R)
Rep. Sylvester Turner (D) Jarvis Johnson (D)
Rep. Molly White (R) Hugh Shine (R)
 
 

Week in Review, November 17

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

  • Read the findings of a recent report about Child Protective Services. (Texas Tribune, November 4, 2016)
  • Consider how the current political climate has affected the 2016 election season. (The Weekly Standard, November 16, 2016)
  • Examine infrastructure maintenance and funding. (The New York Times, November 14, 2016)
  • Explore how Americans use social media. (Pew Research Center, November 11, 2016)

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers! Week in Review will return on Thursday, December 1.

Week in Review, November 10

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

 

Interim Hearings - Week of November 21

Interim Hearings - Week of November 21

Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.

 

November 21

House Committees on Human Services and Juvenile Justice & Family Issues (Joint Hearing)

Charge: Youth recruited into human trafficking, pipeline from foster care

Bill Prefiling Statistics and FAQ

Bill prefiling begins November 14, 2016. Starting that day, returning members and members-elect may file bills to be considered during the regular session of the 85th Legislature, which begins at noon on January 10, 2017.    
 
For a general overview of bill prefiling, see our previous blog post, Bill Prefiling FAQs.
 

Interim Hearings - Week of November 14

Interim Hearings - Week of November 14
Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.
November 14 Top
House Committee on General Investigating & Ethics
Charge 1: Ethics laws governing public officers and employees
House Committee on Pensions
Charge: Immediate and long-term fiscal impact to the state of the unfunded liabilities for the Law Enforcement and Custodial Officer Supplemental Retirement Fund (LECOS) as part of the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS)
November 16 Top
House Committee on County Affairs
Topic: Improvements to Child Protective Services such as salary increases, employee retention, recruitment of qualified employees, and additional suggestions on ways to decrease turnover and create better outcomes within the agency
Topic: Improvements to criminal justice system such as diversion practices, increasing training provided to jail staff, improving Texas' racial profiling policies, and additional suggestions on ways to better the criminal justice system
 

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