HPPR Government and Politics

Healthcare
9:57 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Texas law failed to provide nurse practitioner independence

Dr. Rose Okoro, a nurse practitioner, who owns Daystar Family Clinic. She says she has struggled to treat a greater number of Medicaid patients because of state regulations.
Credit texastribune.org

Texas lawmakers loosened supervision requirements for nurse practitioners last session in theory, but not in practice according to a recent article from the Texas Tribune.

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Texas Election 2014
8:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Texas Democratic Leaders Snub Kinky

Credit styleweekly.com

Texas Democratic leaders don’t want Richard “Kinky” Friedman to run for any public office as a Democrat.  For example, State Sen Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio made a robocall touting South Central Texas rancher High Fitzsimmons III as the “serious” candidate for agriculture commissioner reported the Amarillo Globe-News.

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6:00 am
Mon May 19, 2014

It's primary runoff time in Texas

Lead in text: 
Here's some information to help get you ready to vote in next week's primary runoff in Texas.
AUSTIN - Early voting for the May 27 Democratic and Republican primary runoffs begins today. Texas voters still have six critical statewide races to decide.Democratic voters will choose the party's nominees for the U.S.
Texas Election 2014
8:00 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

GOP Railroad Commission race gets personal in Texas

Ryan Sitton and Wayne Christian are facing off to become the GOP nominee for Railroad Commissioner.
Credit StateImpact Texas

When there’s not much difference in policy, campaigns tend to get personal.  That’s exactly what’s happening in the Railroad Commission race in Texas.   (Just as a reminder, the Railroad Commission doesn't have anything to do with Texas railroads.  It regulates the oil and gas industry.)

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Incumbent promises to fight incompetence
8:00 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Kansas: Huelskamp runs again

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp seeking re-election
Credit huffingtonpost.com

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp filed for re-election this week for the 1st District.  The lawmaker paid his $1,760 filing fee in Topeka.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reported the legislator is polishing his credential as a tea party rebel who is not afraid to ruffle the most influential Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C.

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Garetson Brothers v. American Warrior
8:00 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Haskell County family tests Kansas water law

Haskell County, Kansas
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

With the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer looming, a Haskell County family is testing Kansas water rights law.  First in time, first in right gives senior water rights priority over junior rights.  If the senior right is impaired, the owner of the junior right could be ordered to reduce irrigation from their well or even be shut down completely water reported Amy Bickel for Kansas Agland.

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10:21 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Election board says Pat Roberts is a Kansas resident

Lead in text: 
U.S. Senator Pat Roberts was determined to be a Kansas resident this week by the state elections board. The Republican will be allowed to seek re-election this year.
TOPEKA, Kan. - A state elections board Monday rejected a claim that U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is not truly a Kansas resident, allowing the three-term Republican to seek re-election this year to a seat the GOP always has counted on holding. The State Objections Board’s decision means Roberts will be on the ballot in the Aug.
Ties to Americans For Prosperity?
12:10 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Western Kansas Legislator doubts independence of grassroots organization

Credit ljworld.com

Representative Don Hineman, R-Dighton, doubts the lack of connection between the Kansas Senior Consumer Alliance and Americans for Prosperity according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle

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Voting May 10
10:20 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Texas: Think before you vote on bonds tomorrow

Credit bloomingbath.com

Voters in Texas will be voting on multimillion-dollar bonds for more than 80 school districts and municipalities tomorrow.  Comptroller Susan Combs asks Texas voters to take a close look at what they’re being asked to authorize according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Texas Election 2014
8:00 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Texas Democrats move forward without national support

Credit thelastofthemillenniums.wordpress.com

The Democratic Governors Association is not investing in the Texas Governor’s race this year said the head of the organization.  Despite the fact that the state is a fertile fundraising stop, the money isn’t flowing back into Texas to help turn the state blue reported KUT.

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North Texas
8:00 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

$3 million dollar suit worries drillers

Credit Helen Slottje / The Texas Tribune

A jury recently awarded a North Texas family $3 million dollars in damages.  The family alleged a drilling company’s activities near their home caused chronic headaches, nose-bleeds, wheezing, and other illnesses according to The Texas Tribune.

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Refusal to expand Medicaid costs Kansas

Credit obamacareworks.org

A recent panel said the decision by Gov. Sam Brownback and Republican legislative leaders not to expand Medicaid is denying care to thousands and costing Kansas hospitals millions of dollars according to a recent article by the Kansas Health Institute.

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HPPR Government and Politics
8:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Texas loses upwind battle with Feds

Texas power plant
Credit Andrea Parker / Cory Maluski / The Texas Tribune

The state of Texas has battled the federal government over quite a few environmental regulations.  This week it lost a major battle when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to reinstate a regulation with the goal of limiting air pollution effects across state boundaries according to The Texas Tribune.

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

KanCare costs contractors millions

Credit kcur.org

The three main KanCare contractors all lost money in their first year of managing health care for 380,000 Kansas Medicaid enrollees according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.

The trio received cash infusions from their parent companies allowing them to meet their obligations and stay solvent.

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Oklahoma State Government
8:00 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Fallin signs abortion hospice care bill

Credit Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill this week requiring caregivers to notify women of the availability of perinatal hospice services for fetuses diagnosed with conditions incompatible with sustaining life after birth.  The perinatal hospice services provide support from the time of diagnosis through the infant’s birth and death according to a report from KGOU.

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Kansas State Legislative Session 2014
8:00 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Kansas lawmakers resume session this week

Credit Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers are set to resume the 2014 legislative session this week after taking almost a month off.  They still have some work to do according a recent report from Kansas Public Radio.

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Kansas Thank You Tour
3:03 am
Sun April 27, 2014

Dole Reflects On A Long Career As He Cruises His Home State

Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 1:45 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Senator Bob Dole is doing a lot of appreciating these days. He just wrapped up the first leg of a thank you tour around his home state of Kansas, meeting with longtime friends and supporters who've helped him with throughout his career. And they did turn out to see the native Kansas son, who served as the Republican Majority Leader in the Senate and ran for president in 1996. It is clear Dole still loves working a room. He loves weighing in on the big issues, and he cannot resist a good one-liner.

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Renewable Energy
8:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

OK utilities can now charge customers for generating their own electricity

Credit futurewithinreach.com

Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 1456 into law recently.  The new measure allows regulated electric utility companies to charge customers who generate electricity from rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines reported StateImpact Oklahoma.

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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Kansas: Brownback signs school finance bill with controversial add-ons

House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, left, and Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, right watch Gov. Sam Brownback sign the school finance bill into law Monday afternoon.
Credit cjonline.com

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed the school finance bill this week; complete with controversial add-ons reported the Topeka Capital-Journal

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Texas Election 2014
8:00 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Texas: Republican Lt. Gov. Candidate accepts debate challenge to talk immigration

Sen. Dan Patrick, r, and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro debate immigration at Univision on April 15, 2014.
Credit texastribune.org

With the Texas May primary run-off looming overhead, a Republican lieutenant governor candidate is being held-- feet to the fire.  Rep. Dan Patrick answered the social media challenge of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, where Castro called the senator the “most anti-immigrant Republican running for office,” according to a recent article from The Texas Tribune.

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1:40 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Colorado Republicans cut candidates at statewide assembly

Lead in text: 
Colorado Republicans cut number candidates significantly during a recent statewide assembly. U.S. Rep. Gardner will not have a primary challenger. The number of gubernatorial hopefuls was whittled down from seven to four.
BY KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press BOULDER | Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner won't have a primary before taking on Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. Gardner, a two-term congressman from eastern Colorado, edged two GOP rivals Saturday in a statewide Republican assembly.
Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Brownback signs Kansas Supreme Court changes into law

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback
Credit politico.com

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed 19 bills into law.  Topping the list was and a bill stripping the Kansas Supreme Court of its appointment power as well as changing the system’s management according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.

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Temple, Texas
8:00 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Texas Libertarian Convention: Being small has its advantages

Chairman Pat Dixon presiding at the Libertarian Party of Texas state convention in Temple on April 12, 2014.
Credit Ross Ramsey / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Libertarian Party recently held its convention in Temple to nominate statewide candidates.  With fewer votes than it takes to get on the vestry of a church, November nominees were chosen.  But, there are advantages to being a small group reported The Texas Tribune.

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1:06 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

State attorneys general gather in Denver to talk fracking regulation

Lead in text: 
About a dozen attorneys general attended the first-ever conference on fracking.
The fracking boom in Colorado and other western states has attorneys general dealing with an evolving and thorny set of legal and public policy issues. About a dozen attorneys general met in Denver yesterday for a first-ever gathering on fracking, sponsored by the Conference of Western Attorneys General.
Oklahoma State Government
8:00 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

‘August: Osage County’ reveals Oklahoma film rebates are “bad business”

State Rep. David Dank (R-Oklahoma City)
Credit http://kgou.org/

Oklahoma State Rep. David Dank says a recently released report the Oklahoma Department of Commerce shows legislative film rebates are a “bad deal” according to a recent story from KGOU.

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Oklahoma Panhandle
8:00 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Oklahoma: Lone Democrat joins US 3rd District race

Credit oksenate.gov

Lone Democrat, Frankie Lee Robbins, wants to unseat 10-term U.S. Rep Frank Lucas in Oklahoma’s 3rd Congressional District according to The Republic.

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Conservation
8:00 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Kansas: Wildlife and conservation bills spur strong emotions

Bill Johnson, right, has been working to get a conservation easement put on his property so a favored wetlands could never be drained and the land developed. A current bill could greatly hamper conservation easements in Kansas.
Credit Michael Pearce / kansas.com

Legislative action to revoke the Kansas Endangered Species Act and another bill to prevent landowners from locking their property indefinitely into conservation programs are firing up conservationists reported the Wichita Eagle.

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Conservation of the lesser prairie chicken
8:00 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Kansas joins Oklahoma’s lawsuit over federal listing of lesser prairie chicken as threatened

Lesser Prairie Chicken
Credit watchdog.org

Gov. Sam Brownback recently announced that Kansas is joining a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the designation of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle.

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Oklahoma State Government
8:00 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

Oklahoma Oil Executive Doesn’t Think Oil and Gas Tax Cuts are Needed

Don Millican, CFO, Kaiser-Francis Oil Company.
Credit JOE WERTZ / STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA

The Kaiser-Francis Oil Company is like other Oklahoma energy empires in many ways.  It’s been created by entrepreneurs who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps.  It’s ruled by a billionaire CEO who has weather storms of controversy and showers of praise, but the Tulsa-based exploration and production company is different.  It isn’t pushing for oil and gas tax cuts according to a recent article from StateImpact Oklahoma.

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GoCode Colorado
9:25 am
Sat March 29, 2014

App Competition Underway in Colorado

Credit blogs.telegraph.co.uk

Recently programmers from five Colorado cities began competing against each other to create apps with a goal of putting to use massive amounts of public data sitting in virtual file drawers of government agencies reported Elaine Grant for Colorado Matters.

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