HPPR Government and Politics

Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Brownback Tries to Back Off Supreme Court Justices in State of the State Speech

Gov. Brownback giving the State of the State speech.
Credit ksn.com

Governor Sam Brownback said the number one item in the state budget is education in his recent State of the State speech according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.  

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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Kansas Business Owners Say Taxes are Too High Despite Cuts

Credit ocpathink.org

Gov. Sam Brownback says Kansas has the best tax environment in the nation for small businesses, however 57% of business owners say state and local taxes are too high despite state tax cuts reported Bryan Lowry for the Wichita Eagle.

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Kansas Election 2014
8:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Kansas Election 2014: Wichita Woman Throws Her Hat in the Ring for Governor

Credit forward-now.com

Jennifer Winn is a Republican and a co-owner of a family landscaping business in Wichita.  She also wants to be the next governor of Kansas according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle.  

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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

What the Kansas Legislature Is Facing This Session

Kansas Statehouse at Twilight
Credit khi.org

Here are the issues facing Kansas legislature according to the Wichita Eagle:

  • Abortion.  State lawmakers have passed some of the most stringent laws, and there is little left to add without being in direct conflict with the Supreme Court.  The Wichita-based Kansas Coalition for Life is expected to push again for a law to outlaw abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected, about five to six weeks into a pregnancy.
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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

The End of the Line for the Amarillo Santa Fe Railway Museum Board

Santa Fe Depot, Amarillo Texas
Credit texasescapes.com

Challenges to create the Santa Fe Railway Historical Museum became too much for the board behind the effort, and they recently voted to disband according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Election 2014
8:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Is the Third Time a Charm in Kinky Friedman’s Bid for Office?

Kinky Friedman
Credit Todd Wiseman / texastribune.org

Kinky Friedman, singer, humorist, novelist, and hawker of tequila, is trying to the third time to add “elected official” to the list.  The 69 year old has tossed his black cowboy hat into the ring to become agriculture commissioner according to an article in the Texas Tribune.

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Election 2014
8:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Legislative Scorecards: Voter Beware

Credit motherjones.com

A recent article from the Texas Tribune offers a word of caution to voters.  Political scorecards are to politicians what consumer and auto review magazines are to car makers.  So voters, just like buying a car, it’s buyer beware.

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Texas “Pro Life” Groups Disagree on Lawmaker Scorecard

State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, explains the point of order she called on State Sen. Wendy Davis to end the Democrat’s 11-hour filibuster of anti-abortion regulations.
Credit Todd Wiseman / texastribune.org

Texas Right to Life creates a scorecard that gives lawmakers a grade based on anti-abortion and end-of-life issue voting.  The card holds quite a bit of weight with Republicans, and the way they vote reported Becca Aaronson for The Texas Tribune

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Colorado State Government
8:01 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Colorado Legislative Session Opens Today Facing Guns, Schools, and Floods

People opposed to future gun laws, line the sidewalks for a rally last spring.
Credit denverpost.com

The Denver Post reported the Colorado Legislature will open the legislative session facing these issues:

  • Education.  How to finance education with the failure of Amendment 66.  With significant reserves in the state education fund, lawmakers could use this pot of money to initiate some of the bill's more popular elements, such as a rolling student count system rather than a single count day for purposes of school funding. A financial transparency website that tracks money to the individual school level also proved popular.
  • Flood recovery.  September's floods impacted 24 counties and killed 10 people. To date, millions of dollars in state and federal money have gone toward the disaster recovery.
  • Gun Battles.  Republicans will attempt to "reform, rescind or revise" some of the gun bills. 
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Genetically Modified Organisms
8:00 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Lessons to be Learned from a Councilman’s Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops

Greggor Ilagan initially thought a ban on genetically modified organisms was a good idea, until he did his homework.
Credit Jim Wilson / nytimes.com

Hawaii may seem a long way from the High Plains, but there are lessons to be learned from Greggor Ilagan’s quest to find the facts about genetically modified organisms.  

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Kansas Election 2014
8:00 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Kansas Election 2014: The First Governor’s Contest is April 26

Credit lp.org

The first contest in the race to be the next governor of Kansas is weeks away, but the Libertarian contest is off most people’s radar.

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Higher Education
8:01 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Kansas Board of Regents social media policy criticized

A social media use policy adopted by the Kansas Board of Regents is drawing criticism from university faculty and education groups, who claim the new rule raises First Amendment and academic freedom concerns.

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2014 Texas Election
8:01 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Texas politicians who learn Spanish are at an advantage

Credit Marjorie Cotera / Jennifer Whitney / Callie Richmond / Spencer Selvidge

Spanish-speakers now make up nearly one-third of the population of Texas, and political observes say that's an important factor for politicians to consider during the upcoming 2014 election season.

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Government and Politics
8:00 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Watch out Kobach, Schodorf’s in the Race

Jean Schodorf
Credit blogs.kansas.com

The office of state secretary is usually a quiet position, operating under the theory that no publicity is good.  Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach has turned that philosophy on its ear.  Kobach is the outspoken lightning rod that has worked to reform voter registration in Kansas, and helped Arizona and Alabama write laws to crack down on illegal immigration reported Brad Cooper for the Kansas City Star.  That’s gotten him national attention.

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Kansas State Government
9:11 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Kansas: Pro Affordable Health Care Insurance Commissioner Stepping Down

Sandy Praeger
Credit ksn.com

This is Sandy Praeger’s final year as Kansas insurance commissioner.  Praeger has a national reputation for expertise on health care issues and a lengthy, unbroken string of election victories as a Republican in a GOP-leaning state, however on one issue she seems to stand alone. 

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Water Conservation
8:01 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Groundwater Pipeline a Solution to Republican River Dispute

Credit National Geographic / geomorphologyresearch.files.wordpress.com

Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas recently agreed to a pipeline to help solve the Republican River water dispute.  The pipeline would carry irrigation water pumped out of the aquifer north of Wray and deliver it to the North Fork of the Republican River near the Nebraska state line reported the Denver Post.

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Education
8:00 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Texas Panhandle Schools Face Federal Sanctions for Poor Performance

Credit blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com

Seventeen Texas Panhandle schools are subject to federal sanctions, which could include closure, because of their poor performance.  The group is in the bottom 15 percent of Title I in the state according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Gun Control
8:00 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Colorado Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce New Gun Control Laws

John Cooke is among the Colorado sheriffs who are resisting enforcement of new state gun laws.
Credit Michael Ciaglo / The Colorado Springs Gazette

Some sheriffs are refusing to enforce the new gun laws in Colorado reported Erica Goode for the New York Times.  

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Kansas education funding
4:49 am
Wed December 18, 2013

All-day kindergarten funding may be common ground

Parent's tea party in a kindergarten classroom
Credit Quentin Hope

While the Kansas legislature and local school districts may be at odds over school funding, there may be common ground in a proposal to fund full-day kindergarten, according to a story from the Wichita Eagle.  The state now funds only half-days.

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Texas Election 2014: Election Brackets

Credit texastribune.org

It’s the 2014 Texas Election version of March Madness brackets.  The brackets will take you from candidate filings, to March primaries, May runoffs, and finally to the grand finale-- the November general election.

Your Texas election tool from the Texas Tribune can be found here.  

Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Texas Election 2014: Will Abbott Follow Perry’s Double Dipping Standard?

Credit thecontributor.com

Lax Texas ethics laws don’t require politicians to disclose pension income, so virtually no one knew Rick Perry was double dipping until he ran for president and had to comply with more stringent federal disclosure laws.

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Education
8:00 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

HB 5 Requires All Texas Students to Have a 90% Attendance Rate

Credit musicmotion.com

The reduction of testing and change in graduation requirements are parts yet to be implement of Texas House Bill 5, however the attendance requirement was immediately implemented according to KUT News

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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Tobacco Prevention is not a Priority Use for Settlement Money in Kansas

Credit kaiserhealthnews.org

15 years ago 46 states and the nation’s major tobacco companies came to a multi-billion dollar settlement.  The purpose of the action was to ultimately reduce smoking.

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Colorado City Government
8:00 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Deer Trail Colorado Drone Hunting Vote Postponed to Dec. 10

Deer Trail Mayor Franks Fields displays proper drone-hunting technique.
Credit denverpost.com

Deer Trail, Colorado has postponed voting on drone hunting until December 10 reported the Denver Post.  Mayor Frank Fields said the previous date was too close to the November election.

Deer Trail residents will be deciding upon approval of an ordinance allowing unmanned aircraft to be shot down.  

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Dodge City, Kansas
8:00 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Highway 50 Expansion Puts “Point of Rocks" Landmark at Risk

Credit zuoda.net

The “Point of Rocks” monument outside Dodge City is a regional landmark: a rock outcropping with a silhouetted steel band of horsemen announcing you’re in Dodge City.  However, a $69 million dollar highway improvement project could mean the leveling of the icon according to The Kansas City Star.

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Most Texans Running for State Office Refuse to Share Tax Returns

Credit outsidethebeltway.com

There are 48 statewide candidates who have filed, or say they are going to run for office in Texas.  10 agreed to release their last three tax returns according to the Texas Tribune.

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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Sherman County Sheriff Pays For K9

Sherman County Sheriff Joe Powell walks his newly purchased Dutch Shepherd, Ziggy.
Credit amarillo.com

Sherman County Sheriff Joe Powell purchased a K9 with his own money Mollie Bryant reported for The Amarillo Globe News.

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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Meade Native Appointed Chair of the Kansas House Social Services Budget Committee

Ron Ryckman Jr. of Olathe and his father, Rep. Ron Ryckman Sr. of Meade.
Credit ronforkansas.com

Rep. Ron Ryckman Jr, R-Olathe, has been appointed to succeed Rep Brian Weber, R- Dodge City, as the chair of the House Social Services Budget Committee according to the Kansas Health Institute.

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5:34 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Amarillo Logo Contest Round Two

Lead in text: 
See the top entries and vote for your favorite!
Judging by the number of submissions, contestants in the Amarillo logo competition were delighted to throw their hats in the ring to help alleviate the city's mishap.The general public was even more willing to help decide which design ultimately will represent the city.
Gun Control
8:00 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Kansas Attorney General Says Guns Are Allowed in Some Polling Places

Credit biatrainingsolutions.com

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt recently advised state election officials that guns will have to be allowed in some polling places, but can be banned in others reported Dion Lefler for the Wichita Eagle.

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