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LBJ School Experts Offer Analysis of 82nd Texas State Legislature

Lift the Blinds on Texas Budget by Sherri Greenberg, LBJ School Lecturer and Center for Politics and Governance Interim Director - Austin American Statesman, Jan. 22, 2011

Texas Budget Cuts May Shift Burden to Locals - Sherri Greenberg, Associated Press, Jan. 22, 2011

Two Area Legislators Propose Specialty Car Plates - Sherri Greenberg, Killeen Daily Herald, Jan. 22, 2011

Rick Perry Faces the Biggest Drop in Texas Revenue Since Oil Bust in 1980s - Sherri Greenberg, Bloomberg, Jan. 22, 2011

Increase Reported for Deaths at County Jails - Michele Deitch, Senior Lecturer - Correctional News, Jan. 12, 2011

Putting Iphones Behind Bars - Michele Deitch, Dallas Morning News, Jan. 7, 2011

 A TT Interview with Michele Deitch - Michele Deitch. The Texas Tribune, Jan. 4, 2011

Budget Woes May Close More Texas Youth Facilities - Michele Deitch. The Texas Tribune, Dec. 15, 2010

Guide to faculty, their expertise and direct contact information listed below

AUSTIN, Texas-- January 7, 2011-- As the 82nd Texas State legislative session gets underway, LBJ School faculty experts are serving to inform the debate and advance the dialogue on a number of challenging issues facing the state from the possible $25 billion budget shortfall, to redistricting, prison oversight, education, healthcare and energy policy.

Sherri Greenberg, Interim Director for the Center for Politics and Governance and former Texas state representative, has led a group of LBJ School student researchers in the production of policy briefs that offer an overview of the most pressing issues facing the state, an introduction of the major political players, and possible recommendations for how the state could procede. The issues covered in depth in this brief include: budget, redistricting, immigration, healthcare, foster care, state schools and financial transparency.

The policy briefs are available at http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/cpg/news_detail.php?id=19. These policy briefs were produced as part of Greenberg's Texas Legislature, Lobbyist and Internship policy research project course. In addition to the production of the policy briefs, students enrolled in the course will be interning in their areas of interest with members of the state legislature, advocacy groups or nonprofits during the spring semester.

The budget shortfall is expected to affect a multitude of policy issues. LBJ School Senior Lecturer  and prison expert Michele Deitch, is predicting that many prisons in Texas, including juvenile facilities, could be closed to help ease the shortfall. In the case of facilties managed by the Texas Youth Commission, lawsuits and accusations of sexual abuse may also contribute to possiblee juvenile facility closures, says Deitch.

Deitch outlines her predictions and recommendations in two pieces for the Texas Tribune. In a video and transcription of a Q&A with Deitch, A TT Interview with Prison Expert Michele Deitch, she says that closing some empty or under-staffed facilities could help save money for the state in the short-term, but the best long-term saving measure would be to maintain treatment programs that keep offenders in their communities and to reduce harsh, long-term jail sentences.

In another piece for the Texas Tribune, Budget Woes May Close More Texas Youth Facilities, Deitch calls on the state to consider the culture of the Texas Youth Commission facilties in question and whether they tolerate abuse and neglect. The final decision, according to Deitch, can't be based purely on the largest and most immediate savings to the state, but fewer facilities could help the commission to concentrate their efforts and improve services.

Below is a list of faculty experts with a variety of perspectives and insights on upcoming state policy issues.

Experts Guide:

State Government

Sherri Greenberg
Lecturer and Interim Director of the Center for Politics and Governance
512-471-8324
srgreenberg@mail.utexas.edu

Greenberg served as a Texas State Representative for 10 years, completing her final term in January 2001. Greenberg is an expert on the Texas state government, public finance, and electronic government.

Jan. 11 - Rick Perry Faces the Biggest Drop in Texas Revebue Since Oil Bust in 1980s - Bloomberg

Education Policy

Jane Lincove
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
512-232-2561
lincove@mail.utexas.edu

Lincove’s research focuses on education policy and economics of education, specifically the issue of teacher incentive pay. Lincove has served as a policy consultant for the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles and as an evaluator for several southern California public school districts.

Cynthia Osborne
Associate Professor of Public Affairs
512-471-9808
cosborne@prc.utexas.edu

Osborne’s teaching and research interests include poverty and inequality, and educator effectiveness and accountability. She currently works as an evaluator of the Parenting and Paternity Awareness Texas high school curriculum and the No Kidding curriculum to reduce teen pregnancy.

Energy

Varun Rai
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
512-471-5057
varun.rai@mail.utexas.edu

Rai is an expert in policy issues concerning energy, technology, the environment and climate change. His research has been published in Harvard International Review, Newsweek, Energy Policy, Economic and Political Weekly, and IAEE Energy Forum.

Environment

Josh Busby
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
512-471-8964
busbyj@mail.utexas.edu

Busby is the author of several studies on climate change, national security, and energy policy from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution, and CNAS. His research interests also include U.S. grand strategy, energy security, and the foreign policy of advanced industrialized countries.

David Eaton
Bess Harris Jones Centennial Professor in Natural Resource Policy Studies
512-471-8972
eaton@mail.utexas.edu

Eaton’s expertise focuses on energy policy, water conservation, climate change, and environmental cooperation between the United States and Mexico. He has lectured in twenty countries and conducted field research in fifteen nations.

Varun Rai
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
512-471-5057
varun.rai@mail.utexas.edu

Rai is an expert in policy issues concerning energy, technology, the environment and climate change. His research has been published in Harvard International Review, Newsweek, Energy Policy, Economic and Political Weekly, and IAEE Energy Forum.

Health Care Policy

David C. Warner
Professor of Public Affairs
512-471-6277
david.warner@mail.utexas.edu

Warner's major teaching and research interests are health policy and health finance. He is currently working on projects related to improving health insurance coverage, the integration of the U.S. and Mexican health care systems, diabetes policy, public health funding, and U.S.-Mexico border health.

Jacqueline Angel
Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology
512-471-2956
jangle@mail.utexas.edu

Angel has published extensively in the sociology of aging and how it is affected by the life course and social policy. She also serves as an advisor to professional committees, non-governmental organizations and other agencies that provide basic services to the elderly.

Labor

Chris King
Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources
512-471-7891
ctking@austin.utexas.edu

King is an expert on education, workforce development, labor and social policy. He has performed research for federal, state and local agencies, foundations and international organizations and is currently conducting research projects on education and workforce issues in Central Texas.

Prison Reform

Michele Deitch
Senior Lecturer
512-328-8330
mydeitch@aol.com

Deitch is an attorney with over 23 years of experience working on criminal justice policy issues with state and local government officials, corrections officials, judges, and advocates. Most of Deitch’s current research focuses on two issues: independent prison oversight, and the management of juvenile offenders.