HPPR Government and Politics

Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Q: Texas doesn't have enough money to ____

Pedernales Falls State Park, a popular destination outside of Austin.
Credit MOSE BUCHELE / http://stateimpact.npr.org/

A:  Keep up its state parks.

State parks in Texas have always had one struggle, and that’s money.  In the early 1900s, Texas landowners tried to donate large chunks of land to create state parks.  Initially they were turned down by lawmakers who didn’t want to fund the maintenance costs, and when the land was finally accepted, it was without the promise of upkeep.  Fifty years later, not much has changed according to StateImpact Texas.

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Nursing Home Struggles with KanCare Payment Issues

Credit chamberofcommerce.com

Kevin Unrein, chief executive and co-owner of Lakepoint Corporate, a company that operates three Kansas nursing homes, said there is something he would like state policymakers to know about KanCare in a recent Kansas Institute of Health article.

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Texas Education
8:00 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Will Reformed Texas Graduation Requirements Limit College Options?

Credit madison.k12.wi.us

Texas educators are catching up with the fine print in the state’s new omnibus education reform law, and they find themselves chafing over a previously overlooked prospect: Even students who score straight A’s throughout high school might not be eligible for automatic admission to state-run universities.

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Gubernatorial Candidate
8:00 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Texas Election 2014: Abbott Pledges to Safeguard DNA

Credit Todd Wiseman / Bob Daemmrich / Micah Baldwin / texastribune.org

Texas gubernatorial frontrunner Greg Abbott recently released an extensive list of items he says he’ll push for once elected.. Ths list includes gun rights, campaign ethics, and blocking implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but the number one item is safeguarding your DNA according to KUT News

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State and Federal Government
8:00 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Abortion: From the High Plains to the Supreme Court

United States Supreme Court
Credit becketfund.org

Abortions were unregulated during the 1800s, and by the end of the 19th century, abortion was criminalized.  

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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Kansas Economic Conference: Brownback's State Income Tax Cuts Put Pressure on Local Communities

Gov. Sam Brownback, seated right, attended a recent business conference in Overland Park to describe the benefits of the tax cuts he signed into law in May. At the podium is Gary Allerheiligen, former president of the Kansas Society of CPAs. The law, which becomes effective for tax year 2013, is expected to eliminate income tax liability for about 190,000 business owners and reduce the state income tax obligations of more than 1 million Kansas filers.
Credit Mike Shields

The Kansas Economic Policy Conference was recently held in Lawrence.  Conference officials said they had record turnout with about 140 people, including about a dozen legislators, attending in Lawrence and 15 participating from Ulysses via a live video feed reported the Kansas Health Institute.

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Affordable Care Act: High Plains Enrollment Numbers for November

Credit hipstercrite.com

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced enrollment numbers for the federal and state online health insurance marketplaces that opened Oct. 1.  106,185 people in the United States have selected insurance plans during this period. 

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Texas Gun Control: The Duel Continues

Open Carry Texas members photographed Saturday in the parking lot of a Dallas-area restaurant.
Credit nytimes.com

Opposing sides of Texas gun culture are attending each other’s events according to a story in the New York Times.  

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Affordable Care Act
8:00 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Huelskamp: A tactical change on Obamacare

Credit J.M. EDDINS, JR./MCT

The same man who was pushing to shut down the government just a few weeks ago to defund the Affordable Care Act, now says another government shutdown to stop funding for ACA isn’t likely to happen in January according to a recent Politico story

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Election 2013
8:00 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Canadian, Texas: Residents Vote to Stay Dry

Credit politicspa.com

Canadian will remain dry.  The majority voters in Tuesday’s election cast ballots opposing the legalization of local liquor sales according to The Amarillo Globe-News.  

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November 2013
8:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

All green check marks in Texas: 9 amendments pass

Credit Photo by KUT

All nine constitutional amendments on the Texas ballot Tuesday easily passed, including the heavily publicized Proposition 6, creating a state water fund drawing from the Rainy Day fund.

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November 2013
8:00 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Colorado:Election Results 2013

Madeline Doak, 18, a student election judge, collected ballots in Denver. Taxes and marijuana were up for statewide votes.
Credit Matthew Staver / nytimes.com

Colorado voters said no to a tax increase that promised smaller class sizes, all-day kindergarten, and smarter education spending.  It was one of the most sweeping school-financing measures in the nation this year, according to The New York Times.  

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Texas State Government
8:01 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Politicians, researchers disagree on Proposition 6 as Texans vote Tuesday

Lilly pads in Stamford Lake, near Paint Creek, which was dug as a reservoir in the 1950s.
Credit Caleb Bryant Miller/The Texas Tribune

Tuesday, Texas votes on Proposition 6, a measure that aims to solve the state's water shortage by creating a fund for water development projects. The legislation would draw $2 billion in funds from the state's Rainy Day Fund.

Politicians including Governor Rick Perry support Proposition 6, calling the measure important in meeting the state's water needs. Some lawmakers are critical of the measure, saying it would give too much power to a three-member board overseeing spending.

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Amarillo City Government
8:00 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

Amarillo: Coca-Cola Moving to Make Way for New Ballpark

A downtown conceptual model displayed during a July meeting at City Hall shows a proposed downtown ballpark.
Credit amarillo.com

Amarillo city commissioners recently voted unanimously to accept a deal between the Amarillo Economic Development Corp. and Coca-Cola Refreshments to move the beverage company to a new location. 

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51st State?
8:01 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

North Colorado secessionist movement origins and plans outlined

Credit iNews at Rocky Mountain PBS

The North Colorado secessionist movement has been gaining publicity and momentum as ten counties in northeastern Colorado have decided to put the motion to their voters.

Details are being revealed about how such a movement for counties to secede from the state would work, including the steps necessary in the process of secession as well as the economics of a 51st state.

Also, secessionists have a backup plan for rural voters to gain greater clout in a state that is becoming more urban.

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Colorado State Government
8:01 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Explaining Colorado's Amendment 66

Credit staticflickr.com

Next week, Colorado voters go to the polls to vote on a state constitutional amendment to increase income taxes and fundamentally change how money goes to public schools.

Amendment 66 proposes to change Colorado from a flat-tax state and replace the structure with a progressive or graduated two-tier income tax system.

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Texas Politics
8:01 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Texas Panhandle Lawmakers Mostly Uncontested in Primaries… So Far

Credit capitol.state.tx.us

In Texas, a crowded field of hopefuls is expected for statewide offices in the March primaries.  However, for most Texas Panhandle posts, those primary races are going uncontested.

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Education
8:00 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Nation’s Report Card: How High Plains Eighth Graders Performed

Credit nationsreportcard.gov

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) creates The Nation’s Report Card, a document that informs the public about the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students in the United States.  The testing information available at this time compares 2009 test results to those gathered in 2011.  

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6:49 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Rare Bird Conservation Plan Approved by Feds

Lead in text: 
The federal government officially endorses a conservation plan, known as the Range Wide Plan, an unlikely partnership between those who might compromise the grassland habitat of the prairie chicken and landowners.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has put its stamp of approval on a plan that Texas and four other states have worked on for years to protect the lesser prairie chicken, a rare bird whose future has been threatened by economic development - especially oil and gas drilling - in West Texas and the Panhandle.
Obama Approved Brownback Request
8:00 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Kansas Counties Eligible for Federal Infrastructure Repair

Credit yellowmaps.com

President Obama recently approved a federal disaster declaration making 46 Kansas counties eligible for air to repair damaged infrastructure.  The damage was cause by severed summer storms and flooding according to The Wichita Eagle.  

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Race to be Texas Governor: It’s no Claytie and the Lady

Ann Richards (l) on the campaign trail in 1988 and Clayton Williams during the campaign in 1990
Credit texastribune.org

The last open race for governor of Texas was in 1990 —  a contest that ultimately featured two charismatic politicians and attracted national attention.  But a recent piece in The New York Times said Greg Abbott is no Clayton Williams, and Wendy Davis is no Ann Richards.

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Deer Trail, Colorado Considers Ordinance
8:00 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Drones: New High Plains Hunting Sport?

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

There could be a new kind of hunting season on the high plains, and the object of the hunter’s focus?  Drones. 

Drones are flying objects, typically equipped with cameras.  They range in size, up to several feet across.  The number of blades vary, and they are built and operated primarily by hobbyists and others for personal use.  Video is a large part of the appeal, allowing life to be seen from another perspective. 

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Affordable Care Act: The why is as important as the what

The reason why the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, was designed is just as important as the what the law does says Sheldon Weisgrau, senior consultant with Rural Health Consultants.  Weisgrau recently spoke at the NAACP Annual Freedom Fund according to the Salina Journal

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Affordable Care Act: New Premium Calculator

Credit moaablogs.org

The Obama administration recently released a new online tool that allows users to see premium estimates by state, level of coverage, and age categories without creating an account.  Previously, an account had to be created before individuals could see what plans were available and what premiums would be according to the Kansas Health Institute.

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Politics: Do Texans Care?

A recent study by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin revealed that in 2010, Texas voters don’t vote.  As a matter of fact, according to the Amarillo Globe-News, voter turnout in the state of Texas is the worst in the nation.    

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

Texas House Chair of Science and Technology Should Learn About Climate Change

Scheleen Walker
Credit te

Scheleen Walker, guest columnist for Texas Weekly, recently sounded off about the embarrassment of having an ill-informed chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology.

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Liberals and Conservatives in the Texas House: The 2013 Rankings Are In

Credit texastribune.org

Mark P. Jones, chairman of Rice University’s political science department, updated his rankings of Texas state representatives based on their votes during this years sessions.  The Texas Tribune recently featured Jones and his results.

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Obamacare Symposium in Amarillo: Panhandle Politicians Speak

An audience member asks a question Thursday in Amarillo Civic Center during Amarillo Area Foundation's Obamacare symposium.
Credit Michael Schumacher / AGN Media

The Amarillo Area Foundation recently hosted a symposium hoping to provide answers many have about the Affordable Care Act which many have dubbed Obamacare. Health care providers, administrators, business owners, and other citizens came to find out more according to the Amarillo Globe News.

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HPPR Government and Politics
8:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Election 2014: A New Class System for Kansas Voters?

Credit bloomberg.com

Court action over the state’s proof-of-citizenship voting law is pending, but Secretary of State Kris Kobach is not waiting for a ruling.  He’s laying groundwork for a system that would allow some voters to vote in all elections, while others could only vote for Congressional and presidential tickets according to a recent article in The Wichita Eagle.

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Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas
8:00 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Government Shutdown: Some Regional Lawmakers Are Refusing Pay

Credit huffingtonpost.com

Federal employees aren’t being paid during the course of the impasse, but members of Congress and the president will continue being paid because the law requires it said the Washington Post.  

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