HPPR Government & Politics

Government:
state government (executive, legislative & judicial)
local government (city & county)
regional agencies & authorities
policies
budgets & taxes
laws, rules & regulations

Politics:
district-level and statewide office campaigns
legislative proposals
voting patterns

KDVR/CNN

In one influential county in Colorado, Donald Trump’s campaign is being run by a 12-year-old, CNN reports.

Weston Imer is coordinating volunteers and organizing the get-out-the-vote operation in Jefferson County. Imer says he hopes his experience would lead other young people to become engaged politically.

Joey Bunch / The Denver Post

Yet another ballot measure could be coming to the November ballot in Colorado. This week a campaign was launched to have a reference to slavery removed from the state’s constitution, reports The Denver Post.

The disputed clause, written in 1876, states: “There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime.”

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Texas’s Voter ID law is in the spotlight again as the state considers appealing a Federal ruling that deemed the law unconstitutional. Last month, a Federal judge ruled that the law violates the U.S. law prohibiting racial discrimination in elections.

Oklahoma Watch

In 2014’s general election, a little more than 40 percent of registered voters cast ballots. That amounts to about 29 percent of Oklahoma’s voting-age population, reports Oklahoma Watch. That means that, when it comes to voter turnout, Oklahoma ranks near the bottom among states.

And 2014 was bad, even by Oklahoma standards; it was one of the worst years for turnout since the state began keeping track in 1960.

John Hanna / AP photo

Kansas has become the latest state to put forward an attempt to set up strict citizenship tests aimed at keeping thousands of would-be voters from casting ballots in November, reports USA TODAY.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has asked a federal appeals court in Denver to take up the state's proof-of-citizenship voting case.

James Gregg / Austin American-Statesman

Donald Trump paid a visit to Texas this week, causing some to wonder if the GOP might consider the state more in play than previously believed.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, a recent poll showed Trump with only a 6-point lead over Hillary Clinton. Former Land Commissioner Garry Mauro said of the billionaire’s visit to the Lone Star State, “He saw the same poll I did.”

Copper Neill / Texas Tribune

A familiar name could unseat Ted Cruz in the Texas Senator’s 2018 re-election bid, reports The Texas Tribune.

According to a new poll, former Governor Rick Perry would beat Cruz by nine percentage points in a head-to-head matchup for the U.S. senate seat. If the election were held today, Perry would get 46 percent of the vote and Cruz 37 percent. Eighteen percent said they were unsure who they would support.

fischerfotos / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected a change to a criminal justice reform question on the November ballot, reports The Tulsa World. The controversy has to do with the explanation of a law change voters will see on the ballot in November.

Alex Brandon / AP photo

Later this month, Jill Stein will make a campaign swing through Colorado, reports The Denver Post. Stein is the presidential candidate for the Green Party. Colorado overwhelmingly voted for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders at the 2016 caucuses. Stein hopes to appeal to Sanders’s former supporters.

Brennan Linsley / AP photo

Colorado’s upcoming single-payer health care vote in November is dividing Democrats in the state, reports The Gazette. Amendment 69 would create universal health care in Colorado, essentially eliminating all premiums and deductibles and replacing them with a taxpayer supported system.

Hewlett Packard Enterprises

Kansas has signed a deal to upgrade the Medicaid computer system that tracks patient claims and payments to providers.

As member station KCUR reports, Hewlett Packard Enterprises has entered into a $215 million contract with the state to provide the system.

Ilana Panich-Linsman / New York Times

Last month a federal appeals court ruled that Texas’s controversial Voter ID law discriminates against black and Hispanic voters. Now, reports The Dallas Morning News, the Lone Star State is appealing the decision with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

With 80 days until the US presidential election, Donald Trump has begun building his field operation in Kansas, reports The Lawrence Journal-World.

The Republican presidential candidate has hired a full-time state coordinator and opened an office in Wichita to coordinate his efforts in the Sunflower State. The operation is known as “Trump Team Kansas.” Trump’s campaign sent out emails Wednesday asking for volunteers to help with the effort.

Flickr Creative Commons

Three out of five Donald Trump supporters in Texas would support the state seceding from the Union if Hillary Clinton is elected, according to a new poll.

As TIME magazine reports, 61% of Trump supporters would want the state to secede in the event of a Clinton presidency. Trump is leading in Texas with 50% of the vote. Clinton trails the real estate mogul by six points, sitting at 44%.

The death penalty is costing Nebraskans over $14 million annually, reports the Omaha World-Herald. The number comes from a new study commissioned by Creighton University.

Rich Sugg / Kansas City Star

Kansas is still combing through the aftermath of this month’s primary. The election ousted many of the state’s far-right legislators, replacing them with more moderate lawmakers.

Marc Nozell / Flickr Creative Commons

Donald Trump’s lead in Texas has dwindled to six points, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.

9news.com

When pot was legalized in Colorado, supporters claimed the new law would add millions in tax dollars to the state coffers. Now many Coloradans are wondering where all that money is going.

News 9 in Denver decided to investigate. The truth is, marijuana is heavily taxed. And that money adds up.

In the fiscal year that ended in June 2015, recreational pot brought in a total of $129 million in state tax dollars. That’s nothing to sneeze at. It definitely helps.

Creative Commons

Kansas residents breathed a collective sigh of relief last month after the Supreme Court agreed to not shut down the Kansas public school system.

Getty Images

Two anti-fracking measures could find their way onto Colorado’s November ballot. But that’s not necessarily good news for the state’s Democratic Party, reports Politico.

Helen H. Richardson / Denver Post

An initiative to raise Colorado’s minimum wage has made the November ballot, reprts The Denver Post.

If the measure passes, the state’s minimum wage would rise to $12 by 2020. Supporters of Initiative 101 gathered many more signatures than the 99,000 needed to qualify for the ballot. Currently, Colorado’s minimum wage sits at $8.31 an hour.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

Texas’s agriculture commissioner says he has joined Donald Trump’s ag team, reports The Texas Tribune.

KHOU

The 2018 midterm election could be an interesting one in Texas, reports KHOU.

Some Texan officials who will be on the ballot are already in a strong position. Gov. Greg Abbott already has almost $30  million in the bank. Other Lone Star lawmakers look less invincible. Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing federal securities fraud charges and is under criminal indictment in state court.

John Leyba / Denver Post/Getty

Last Monday, anti-fracking proponents in Colorado turned in a petition featuring nearly 200,000 signatures. That means the state is one step closer to having two statewide fracking referendums on the ballot this fall, reports CNBC. The petition reached the requisite signature number over the weekend thanks to a last-minute push by advocates.

The effort is supported by a grassroots coalition called “Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking.”

Orlin Wagner / AP photo

Nebraska may want to look to the south for guidance, as two recent events in Kansas might provide some important budgetary lessons. Firstly, last week S&P dropped the Sunflower State’s credit rating for the second time in two years.

Ryan Poppe / Texas Public Radio

Latinos make up 17 percent of the U.S. population. But they only hold one percent of elected offices, reports Texas Standard.

And one group is hoping to change that. The Latino Victory Project’s goal is to develop a pipeline of Hispanic leaders to run for future open seats. These Latino elected officials will then address policy issues important to the Hispanic community.

Chris Neal / Topeka Capital-Journal/AP

Last week The New York Times editorial board waded into Kansas politics to laud the decision by voters in the state’s GOP primary. Last Tuesday, moderate Republicans in Kansas scored a dozen “impressive victories” over their far-right opponents. The primary’s losers were all loyal to the state’s beleaguered governor, Sam Brownback.

Justin Dehn / Texas Tribune

The Texas prison system could slash its operating budget by about $250 million in the next few years, reports The Texas Tribune. The budget cuts come after the Texas Department of Criminal Justice was asked to trim its budget by four percent.

Erich Schlegel / Getty Images

Last month a federal appeals court declared that Texas’s controversial Voter ID law was biased against minority and poor voters. Now, as Bloomberg reports, the Lone Star State has reached a compromise that will allow these voters to have their voices heard.

Doug Mills / New York Times

This week’s Kansas primary election is being seen as a repudiation of Sam Brownback’s tax policy, reports The Wall Street Journal. At least 11 conservative state lawmakers in Kansas were ousted on Tuesday. Many were allied with Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

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