HPPR Government & Politics

state government (executive, legislative & judicial)
local government (city & county)
regional agencies & authorities
budgets & taxes
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district-level and statewide office campaigns
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voting patterns

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

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

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

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.


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

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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


A southwest Kansas lawmaker says there is no debate about renewable energy standards according to a recent article from the Kansas City Star


Texas lawmakers loosened supervision requirements for nurse practitioners last session in theory, but not in practice according to a recent article from the Texas Tribune.

Texas Democratic Leaders Snub Kinky

May 20, 2014

Texas Democratic leaders don’t want Richard “Kinky” Friedman to run for any public office as a Democrat.  For example, State Sen Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio made a robocall touting South Central Texas rancher High Fitzsimmons III as the “serious” candidate for agriculture commissioner reported the Amarillo Globe-News.

It's primary runoff time in Texas

May 19, 2014

Here's some information to help get you ready to vote in next week's primary runoff in Texas.

GOP Railroad Commission race gets personal in Texas

May 15, 2014
StateImpact Texas

When there’s not much difference in policy, campaigns tend to get personal.  That’s exactly what’s happening in the Railroad Commission race in Texas.   (Just as a reminder, the Railroad Commission doesn't have anything to do with Texas railroads.  It regulates the oil and gas industry.)

Kansas: Huelskamp runs again

May 14, 2014

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp filed for re-election this week for the 1st District.  The lawmaker paid his $1,760 filing fee in Topeka.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reported the legislator is polishing his credential as a tea party rebel who is not afraid to ruffle the most influential Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C.

Haskell County family tests Kansas water law

May 13, 2014

With the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer looming, a Haskell County family is testing Kansas water rights law.  First in time, first in right gives senior water rights priority over junior rights.  If the senior right is impaired, the owner of the junior right could be ordered to reduce irrigation from their well or even be shut down completely water reported Amy Bickel for Kansas Agland.

Election board says Pat Roberts is a Kansas resident

May 13, 2014

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts was determined to be a Kansas resident this week by the state elections board. The Republican will be allowed to seek re-election this year.


Representative Don Hineman, R-Dighton, doubts the lack of connection between the Kansas Senior Consumer Alliance and Americans for Prosperity according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle

Texas: Think before you vote on bonds tomorrow

May 9, 2014

Voters in Texas will be voting on multimillion-dollar bonds for more than 80 school districts and municipalities tomorrow.  Comptroller Susan Combs asks Texas voters to take a close look at what they’re being asked to authorize according to the Amarillo Globe-News.


The Democratic Governors Association is not investing in the Texas Governor’s race this year said the head of the organization.  Despite the fact that the state is a fertile fundraising stop, the money isn’t flowing back into Texas to help turn the state blue reported KUT.

$3 million dollar suit worries drillers

May 1, 2014
Helen Slottje / The Texas Tribune

A jury recently awarded a North Texas family $3 million dollars in damages.  The family alleged a drilling company’s activities near their home caused chronic headaches, nose-bleeds, wheezing, and other illnesses according to The Texas Tribune.

Refusal to expand Medicaid costs Kansas

Apr 30, 2014

A recent panel said the decision by Gov. Sam Brownback and Republican legislative leaders not to expand Medicaid is denying care to thousands and costing Kansas hospitals millions of dollars according to a recent article by the Kansas Health Institute.

Texas loses upwind battle with Feds

Apr 30, 2014
Andrea Parker / Cory Maluski / The Texas Tribune

The state of Texas has battled the federal government over quite a few environmental regulations.  This week it lost a major battle when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to reinstate a regulation with the goal of limiting air pollution effects across state boundaries according to The Texas Tribune.

KanCare costs contractors millions

Apr 29, 2014

The three main KanCare contractors all lost money in their first year of managing health care for 380,000 Kansas Medicaid enrollees according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.

The trio received cash infusions from their parent companies allowing them to meet their obligations and stay solvent.

Fallin signs abortion hospice care bill

Apr 29, 2014
Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill this week requiring caregivers to notify women of the availability of perinatal hospice services for fetuses diagnosed with conditions incompatible with sustaining life after birth.  The perinatal hospice services provide support from the time of diagnosis through the infant’s birth and death according to a report from KGOU.