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

newportacademy.com

A new report from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services says Kansans on Medicare will save more than $10 million this year on prescription drugs, thanks to one of the lesser-known provisions of the Affordable Care Act reported Bryan Thompson for Kansas Public Radio

60,000 Kansans to Receive Insurance Refunds

Jul 24, 2014
alexmandossian.com

One of the lesser-known parts of the Affordable Care Act is about to put some money back into the pockets of nearly 60,000 Kansas families.  The refunds will total $3.6 million reported Bryan Thompson for Kansas Public Radio.

Women rally across the state to take Kansas back

Jul 23, 2014
womenforkansas.org/

  Two ladies, one light, one dark, are traveling across Kansas this week talking about a grassroots movement called, “Women for Kansas.” 

WT grads have significantly less student debt

Jul 17, 2014
wtamu.edu

The WT graduating class of 2012 entered the job market with better prospects and significantly less student loan debt.  The Amarillo Globe-News reported the average WT grad had student loan debt of $19,774 compared to the national average of $29,400.

Kansas Governor Race: Morris backs Davis

Jul 17, 2014
cjonline.com

Former Senate President Steve Morris is one of 104 Kansas Republicans backing Paul Davis in his bid to be governor according to a recent article in the Garden City Telegram

Creative Commons

The “who” part of the Farm Bill is pretty clear.

With trillions dollars of government spending up for grabs, lobbyists from all ends of the spectrum – representing environmental interests, biotech companies, food companies, farmers – flocked to Capitol Hill to find their piece of the Farm Bill pie.

David Kosling/USDA

When U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow announced passage of the Farm Bill in February, she echoed a refrain from a car commercial.

“This is not your father’s Farm Bill,” she said.

While Stabenow, the Michigan Democrat who leads the Senate Agriculture Committee, was referring to what proponents heralded as “reform” of some programs, her remarks were accurate on another score. The massive Farm Bill, which will spend $956 billion and set U.S. food policy for the next decade, is no longer the purview solely of agricultural interests.

Hotter temps don't figure into the Texas water plan

Jul 14, 2014
2014 National Climate Assessment

Texans voted overwhelmingly to fund new water infrastructure projects last November.  State water planners are preparing for a more populous Texas, but not a hotter one reported Neena Satija for The Texas Tribune.

Kansas water plan team gets an earful in Hays

Jul 10, 2014
kwo.org

The water plan for the state of Kansas was recently unveiled.  The goal is to ensure a reliable water supply for the future according to a recent article from the Washington Times.

Texas: Both sides claim greenhouse ruling a victory

Jul 4, 2014
DAVE FEHLING / StateImpact Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on how much latitude the federal government has to regulate facilities that emit greenhouse gases.  Texas environmentalists who want more regulation and Texas state official who want less both say the ruling was a victory reported Dave Fehling for StateImpact Texas.

oklahomafarmreport.com

The U.S. Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency will no longer provide no-cost surplus military vehicles and equipment to fire departments across the country reported StateImpact Oklahoma.

roberts.senate.gov

Republican U.S. Senator Pat Roberts recently signed a pledge sponsored by the conservative women’s organization, Independent Women’s Voice.  The pledge is to repeal, defund and dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare blogged Peter Hancock for the Lawrence Journal-World.

Kansas tax cut creates problems

Jul 1, 2014
workingkansans.com

Kansas has a budget problem.  It’s collecting less tax money than it planned.  This spring, the state intended to take in $651 million from personal income tax, but only received $369 million. The decrease was due to a large and rather unusual income tax cut passed by lawmakers in 2012 according to The New York Times.

wikipedia.org

Kansas was one of 18 states that sided with Hobby Lobby in the court battle over opting out of the inclusion of contraceptives in their insurance coverage.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby saying certain employers can opt out of including contraceptives in their insurance because of religious beliefs.  The reaction in Kansas followed predictable ideological lines reported Bryan Thompson for Kansas Public Radio.

Schodorf reveals proposed voting changes

Jun 27, 2014
Stephen Koranda / KPR

Jean Schodorf says Kansans with voter registrations that are on hold should be allowed to cast ballots until there’s actual suspicion of voter fraud according to a story from KPR.

Kansas borrows millions to pay bills, again

Jun 23, 2014
Stephen Koranda / KPR

The state of Kansas is loaning itself $675 million to be able to pay its bills.  That’s nothing new.  That’s how it’s been done for the last 16 years according to the Kansas Health Institute.

Fort Hays State University: Best buy in Kansas

Jun 22, 2014

The Kansas Board of Regents gave final approval of in-state rates for all six universities.  Fort Hays State University has the lowest increase, both in terms of percentages and in dollars according to a recent press release.

Texas Railroad Commission media policy raises concerns

Jun 19, 2014
texastribune.org

A recent story on the Railroad Commission of Texas’ practice of not allowing staff to talk to the media has raised some questions according to a recent article from the Texas Tribune.

USDA down payment program helps beginning farmers

Jun 17, 2014
marysbeagooddogblog.blogspot

Two of the biggest barriers for beginning farmers and ranchers are access to land and access to capital reported the Center for Rural Affairs

Texas foster care alumni not using higher ed benefit

Jun 17, 2014
tpr.org

The Lone Star State offers high education tuition waivers for students who were in the foster care system.  But, it’s rare students take advantage of this opportunity according to a recent article from the Texas Tribune.

http://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma

There are completely different responses to the Obama administration’s recent proposal to combat climate change in Oklahoma and Texas. 

Kansas has more children in foster care than ever

Jun 11, 2014
Cathy Mores/Special to KHI News Service / khi.org

Kansas has the more kids in foster care than ever reported the Kansas Health Institute.  In April, there were 6,156 children in the system.  That’s an increase of 356 over April of 2013, and 872 more than April of 2012.  The reasons for the all-time high vary.

High Plains Vets face long wait for mental health care

Jun 11, 2014
amarillo.com

The Amarillo Veterans Affairs Health Care System ranks third in the nation for the longest average wait times for new mental health appointments according to a recent article from the Amarillo Globe-News.

khi.org

Duane Goossen is a former state budget director, and he says the state won’t have enough revenue to implement the budget legislators recently passed according to a recent article from the Topeka Capital-Journal.

cjonline.com

A single newsprint sheet was distributed in Hutchinson-area neighborhoods calling western Kansas House Republicans “liberal.”   Western Representatives Steven Becker, R-Buhler, John Doll, R-Garden City, and Don Hineman, R-Dighton are the focus of the comments.  

Texas Runoff results could impact the Panhandle

Jun 1, 2014
texastribune.org

Unless there’s a Democratic upset Nov. 4, the Texas state government will probably be far more conservative, and committee appointments could impact the Panhandle’s clout, reported the Amarillo Globe News.

Runoff maps reveal low Texas voter turnout

May 29, 2014
Dan Hill / The Texas Tribune

The primary runoffs are history in the Lone Star State, and maps from the Texas Tribune reveal voter turnout was pretty low. 

For example, in the race for lieutenant governor only 3.5 percent of registered Texas voters earned State Sen. Dan Patrick the Republican nomination.

David Alameel won the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate with 1 percent of voters.

auvet/Flickr

The Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill making tax incentives for oil and gas production permanent.

Governor Mary Fallin is expected to sign the controversial legislation, despite threats of a constitutional challenge posed by an Oklahoma City attorney.

In Texas, Democratic and Republican voters both have somebody to vote for in today's runoff election, which will finally decide the victors from the March primaries. Statewide races include the Republican ballot for Lieutenant Governor, attorney general, railroad commissioner and agriculture commissioner. On the Democratic ballot, races for agriculture commissioner and U.S. Senate.

paralleluniverse38n.blogspot.com

More than half of Kansas counties were placed on the updated Drought Declaration by Gov. Sam Brownback this week.  105 counties are either in an emergency, warning or watch status according to the Hays Daily News.

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