HPPR Government & Politics

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Politics:
district-level and statewide office campaigns
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A New State? Reactions to North Colorado

Jun 25, 2013
Huffington Post/Getty

Opinions and analysis abound after commissioners from Weld County earlier this month unveiled a proposal to break away from Colorado and form a new state.

A growing group of Republicans across the country are working to repeal their states’ income tax, using Texas’ economic success to make their case (e.g., Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas proclaiming “Look out, Texas. Here comes Kansas.”). In Texas, however, the state’s tax system is not universally beloved as explained in this background article by Aman Batheja of the Texas Tribune that appeared in the Amarillo Globe-News.

salina.com/Salina Journal

As Kansas' new concealed-carry law goes into effect on July 1, many cities, counties and educational institutions across the state are choosing to operate under exemptions from the law.

tilrc.org

In the midst of conference committee negotiations, with dozens of bargaining items on the table, Representative and House Appropriations Committee Chair, Marc Rhoades, presented a $12 million grant program earmarked for Educational Design Solutions.  Dave Ranney reported in a  recent article by the Kansas Institute of Health the Senate agreed to this addition partially out of desire to end the drawn out session to a close. 

Leaders in higher education struggle operate within caps and budget cuts, families wrestle with increased tuition, legislators grapple with fiscal accountability, and Governor Brownback signs the cuts into budget.

If you missed this story on Morning Edition, here's another opportunity.

Make Room Seniors, Rural Schools are in the Same Boat

Jun 12, 2013
wordpress.tokyotimes.org

The trials of senior citizens trying to balance increased expenses with fixed incomes are frequently in the news, and rural schools are in the same boat.  Educational District budgets are strained, and the Affordable Health Care Act requires public employers, like schools, to meet new health coverage requirements. 

The Senate voted Monday to approve its version of the farm bill, a massive spending measure that covers everything from food stamps to crop insurance and sets the nation's farm policy for the next five years.

The centerpiece of that policy is an expanded crop insurance program, designed to protect farmers from losses, that some say amounts to a highly subsidized gift to agribusiness. That debate is set to continue as the House plans to take up its version of the bill this month.

Dion Lefler/The Wichita Eagle

State legislatures are constitutionally mandated to provide adequate funding for schools.  Courts in both Kansas and Texas recently ruled this directive is not being met. 

In many high plains states, the divide between rural and suburban populations is as distinct as the difference between paved streets and dirt roads. Weld County Commissioners are uniting with other counties in northeastern Colorado to take steps to become a new state.

Gun control- words that can spark passionate discussion across the country, and on the High Plains. Oklahoma issued a record number of conceal-carry permits in 2013. Texas concealed-carry law allows license holders to carry an unlimited number of concealed handguns. Nucla recently became Colorado's first community to approve an ordinance requiring heads of households to have guns and ammunition. Gun control is in the spotlight, and in Kansas, the number of permit applications is on the rise.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said, “Look out, Texas. Here comes Kansas,” when he revealed his plan to phase out state income tax, but the Texas experience shows that if you rob Peter, you might have to pay Paul.

Will Rick Perry's name be missing from Texas ballots for the first time in 25 years? It seems to be anybody's guess, say Texas insiders.

An unlikely coalition of business and social interests tried last year to get the legislature to establish a state program that would help ag businesses hire undocumented workers and let them legally stay in the state. Conservative lightning rod Grover Norquist – more known for his anti-tax crusades than his immigration beliefs – endorsed the plan during a speech in Topeka this week. He likened current U-S immigration law to the 55-mile-per-hour speed limit enacted in the 70s. Norquist says most people broke that law, too.

Kansas faces a $234 million budget deficit. How would you resolve the problem? Cut taxes or raise them? Increase spending or downsize government? The Kansas Health Institute has created the Budget Puzzle as a tool that allows you to fashion your own version of the next state budget. Give it a try.

Farmers frustrated by farm bill extension

Jan 4, 2013

Farmers and ranchers across the country expected to start the new year with a new farm bill, the all-important legislation setting agricultural policy for the next five years.

As House and Senate negotiators worked feverishly at the turn of the year to come to a fiscal cliff deal, word leaked that the Agriculture Committees had finally come to an agreement on a long-awaited new farm bill. But the final fiscal cliff deal ditched new legislation and merely extended parts of the bill that expired in October.

Tune to HPPR for continuous election coverage on its FM stations and web stream from 7pm-2am CT.  Coverage may extend past 2am if the presidential race remains undecided.  

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HPPR will provide continuous election night coverage from 7pm-2am CT on November 6, immediately following the usual broadcast of All Things Considered.  In the event that the presidential race remains undecided and results are still coming in, coverage may extend past 2am.  NPR News will provide coverage from a national perspective and HPPR staff will report results of congressional and state-level positions and issues within the High Plains region.  In addition to providing coverage on all of its broadcast stations

Foreign policy proved to be a subject that kept the tone mostly substantive tonight in the third and final debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the Nov. 6 election.

HPPR will provide live coverage of the final presidential debate on all of its broadcast stations and web stream on Monday, October 22, starting at 8 pm CT.

In a town hall-style debate that saw the candidates constantly challenge each other on issues ranging from the economy to the handling of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney got up close and personal at times Tuesday night.

HPPR will provide live coverage of the second presidential debate on all of its broadcast stations and its web stream on Tuesday, October 16, starting at 8 pm CT.  HPPR.org will feature a live chat hosted by NPR's Frank James as well as live blogging from NPR’s It’s All Politics blog.

Vice President Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, had a lively debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., this evening — one marked by Biden's aggressive challenges to many of the Republican vice presidential nominee's claims and Ryan's oft-repeated message that the Obama-Biden administration's policies aren't working.

The discussion was steered by ABC News' Martha Raddatz. It's the only vice presidential debate of the campaign.

HPPR is currently carrying coverage of the final presidential debate on all of its broadcast stations and web stream. Listen now and follow the Live Chat and NPR All Politics Liveblogging, just below.

HPPR will provide live coverage of the vice-presidential debate on Thursday, October 11, starting at 8 pm CT from the Centre College in Danville, KY.  The debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics and be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each.

Kansas governor Sam Brownback is raising concerns about the national and global economy to justify state budget cut planning, deflecting concern over the impact of large tax reductions approved last year.

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