Current Articles for November 30, 2023
The Legislative Reference Library produces a weekly list of current journal articles for members of the legislative community. Each week, librarians select and abstract articles of interest to the legislature from the latest issues of over 300 journals, newsletters, state documents, and trade publications. Electronic copies of the Current Articles list are distributed to legislative offices each Thursday.
The Legislative Reference Library is located on the second floor of the State Capitol building in Room 2N.3. For more information, please call the Library at 512-463-1252.
U.S. consumers spent more on food in 2022 than ever before, even after adjusting for inflation.
By Eliana Zeballos and Wilson Sinclair.
Amber Waves, September 25, 2023, p. 1.
Summarizes data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Expenditure Series, which provides a comprehensive measure of the total value of all food purchases in the U.S. Notes that real, or inflation-adjusted, annual food spending in the U.S. increased 70 percent from 1997 to 2022 to the highest level recorded. Notes trends before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
See: https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2023/september/u-s-consumers-spent-more-on-food-in-2022-than-ev ...
Deannexation law that gives power to developers challenged in court.
By Justin Sayers.
Austin Business Journal, November 17-23, 2023, p. A4.
Discusses ongoing legal challenges to SB 2038, 88th Legislature, R.S., which would allow those on the outskirts of large cities to petition to be removed from extraterritorial jurisdiction and thus develop their land with fewer regulations. Mentions the Lockhart City Council’s vote to join the lawsuit.
By Liz Hayes.
Church & State, November 2023, pp. 4-5.
Discusses the small but growing number of state education departments approving the use of Prager University educational materials in public schools, as well as Prager’s in-curriculum biases. Cites several members of the Texas Board of Education insisting Prager materials had not and would not be approved for use in Texas schools.
See: https://www.au.org/the-latest/church-and-state/articles/lackluster-video-prageru-materials-are-far-r ...
Helping older adults age well in rural America.
By Martha Hostetter and Sarah Klein.
Commonwealth Fund, November 9, 2023, p. 1.
Argues rural areas lack the resources to help older adults age in place, as they have fewer health care providers and professional caregivers and older adults in rural areas have higher needs. Provides recommendations for regulatory changes, as well as additional resources and assistance to better support older adults.
Merging rural and urban ACA rating areas improved choice, premiums in rural Texas.
By Simon F. Haeder, et al.
Health Affairs, November 2023, pp. 1527-1531.
Studies Texas’ recent adjustment to its Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace rating areas, integrating rural areas into nearby urban markets. Examines how the new rating areas affect plan choices and premiums and the need for additional research.
The price of progress.
By Sofia Gonzalez.
Houston Business Journal, November 10-16, 2023, pp. 18-22.
Discusses the rise in Houston's cost of living, particularly in housing. Notes barriers facing affordability, including housing costs; gentrification; inaccessibility; and income instability. Describes new and ongoing projects aimed at creating more affordable housing.
Influenza antiviral shortages reported by state and territorial public health officials, 2022-2023.
By Noah Kojima, et al.
JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), November 14, 2023, pp. 1793-1795.
Highlights the recent increase in influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), noting the need for access to antiviral medications. Surveys public health officials on influenza antiviral shortages and inclusion in state or territorial stockpiles.
State and local government contributions to statewide pension plans: FY 22.
NASRA Issue Brief (National Association of State Retirement Administrators), November 2023, pp. 1-9.
Describes how employer contributions for state and local government pension benefits are determined and charts trends in employer contributions for fiscal years 2001 through 2022. Includes data for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, Employees Retirement System of Texas, Texas County and District Retirement System, and Texas Municipal Retirement System.
Biden administration grants $7 billion in funding to seven US hydrogen hubs.
By Christopher E. Smith.
Oil and Gas Journal, November 6, 2023, p. 17.
Highlights the latest recipients of federal grants from the bipartisan infrastructure law to help develop clean hydrogen production.
Related information at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3684
Transforming resource adequacy: A reliable, clean energy future.
By Jim Robb and Mark Lauby.
Public Utilities Fortnightly, November 2023, pp. 50-54, 99.
Explains how the ongoing transformation of the electric grid affects our understanding of resource adequacy and reliability. Identifies the need to develop “new methods and metrics that quantify the key aspects of capacity and energy delivery.” Refers to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) 2023 State of Reliability Technical Assessment and 2022 Long-Term Reliability Assessment.
Related information at: https://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/PA/Performance Analysis DL/NERC_SOR_2023_Technical_Assessment.pdf
Related information at: https://www.nerc.com/pa/RAPA/ra/Reliability Assessments DL/NERC_LTRA_2022.pdf
Local aerospace company partners with DOD.
By Zoe Gottlieb.
San Antonio Business Journal, November 10-16, 2023, pp. 12-13.
Describes the recent partnership between San Antonio-based aerospace company Atkinson Aeronautics and the U.S. Department of Defense's SkillBridge, a no-cost program that connects service members transitioning to civilian life with industry partners. Follows the journey of a former Air Force officer who interned with SkillBridge upon leaving the service and who now works as a business analyst with the program.
See: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2023/11/10/local-business-gives-service-members-jobs.htm ...
Adapting to growing wildfire property risk.
By Judson Boomhower.
Science, November 10, 2023, pp. 638-641.
Explores the growing risk of U.S. home destruction by wildfire. Notes that wildland-urban interface growth has accelerated recently in Texas, resulting in many more homes in Texas facing exposure to wildfire risk. Identifies ways to mitigate these risks.
State output remains distinctly Texan, while jobs mix increasingly resembles the U.S.
By Jesse Thompson and Keighton Hines.
Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), November 17, 2023, p. 1.
Examines the diverse composition of employment in Texas, spurred by the Houston and San Antonio metropolitan areas. Discusses the high-tech industry in Austin and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mix of industries. Notes that if Texas were a country, it would rank third globally in crude oil and natural gas production.
Less driving but more deaths: Spike in traffic fatalities puzzles lawmakers.
By Tim Henderson.
Stateline.org, November 10, 2023, p. 1.
States that traffic-related deaths across America are on the rise despite an overall decrease in miles traveled. Examines possible causes, such as reduced traffic enforcement and bad driving habits developed during the COVID-19 shutdown; profiles different approaches taken by California and Texas to reduce the number of traffic fatalities.
See: https://stateline.org/2023/11/10/less-driving-but-more-deaths-spike-in-traffic-fatalities-puzzles-la ...
Texas lawmakers test limits of parliamentary procedure.
By Hayden Sparks.
Texan, November 27, 2023, p. 1.
Explores customs of parliamentary procedure in the Texas House and Senate. Notes that each chamber operates under its own rules, not Robert’s Rules of Order. Mentions Speaker Dade Phelan and Representatives Cody Harris, Jared Patterson, John Raney, Tony Tinderholt, and Armando Walle.
See: https://thetexan.news/state/legislature/texas-lawmakers-test-limits-of-parliamentary-procedure/artic ...
APHIS awards funds to Texas universities to study CWD.
Texas Agriculture, November 3, 2023, p. 4.
Explains that three Texas universities — Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas — are among the groups receiving funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to develop and implement solutions for managing chronic wasting disease (CWD).
On the mend: Maternal care wins encourage better outcomes in Texas.
By Hannah Wisterman.
Texas Medicine, November 2023, pp. 20-24.
Highlights recent legislation that has secured additional funding and resources for maternal care for women in Texas, including HB 12, 88th Legislature, R.S., which extended Medicaid postpartum coverage to a full year.
The Lege vs. red cities.
By Michael Hardy.
Texas Monthly, November 2023, pp. 53-54, 56, 58.
Highlights the effects of HB 2127, 88th Legislature, R.S., legislation granting the state authority over eight areas of regulation traditionally left to local governments. Discusses the reactions city officials, including a number of Republicans.
See: https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/republican-and-democratic-cities-band-together-to-blow-up ...
House votes 84-63 to strip vouchers from omnibus school funding bill.
By Josephine Lee.
Texas Observer, November/December 2023, p. 1.
Summarizes the debate regarding HB 1, 88th Legislature, 4th C.S., and the final vote to remove the entirety of "Article 6. Education Savings Account Program" from the bill.
Proposition 9 passes: Texas education retirees to receive first raise in twenty years.
Texas Retired Teachers Association, November 2023, p. 1.
Discusses the Texas Retired Teachers Association's support for Proposition 9 and voters approving the measure from the November 2023 election. Thanks the Texas Legislature for passing a cost-of-living adjustment for retired teachers.
School choice isn’t killing traditional public schools. It’s making them better.
By Michael J. Petrilli.
Thomas B. Fordham Institute, November 2023, p. 1.
Discusses the value that school choice adds to the current education system. Contends that competition introduced by school choice improves public schools.
See: https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/school-choice-isnt-killing-traditional-public-schoo ...
Trouble in toyland 2023.
By Teresa Murray and R.J. Cross.
U.S. PIRG Education Fund, November 2023, p. 1.
Cautions consumers about potentially dangerous children's toys. Endorses legislation to improve toy safety.