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

Some Kansas lawmakers have been getting a lot of attention during this legislative session for controversial bills they've introduced. Some lawmakers argue that the initiatives are distracting from core issues, like the economy, and are casting a negative light on the state.

Lenzi Sheible/Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

Last year, Texas lawmakers passed House Bill 2, which made abortion rules even more stringent.  The procedure was banned after 20 weeks of gestation and physicians performing abortions were required to have hospital admitting privilege within 30 miles of an abortion facility.  Those changes reduced access to abortions across the state according to The Texas Tribune.

The Kansas Supreme Court recently ruled on the school funding issue. The Kansas Attorney General recently gave legislators a deadline for solving the issue.

abovethelaw.com

Democratic-gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis recently appeared on TribLive, a Texas Tribune interview program.  

onelifesuccess.net

The Texas State Board of Education recently changed graduation requirements, curriculum, and testing requirements under the guidelines from lawmakers.  As part of the January change, algebra II will no longer be part of the “foundation graduation plan” beginning this fall said a recent article in the Texas Tribune.

zazzle.com

The Democrats recently held their convention in Topeka.  Their strategy to win the governor’s race and a few House seats is simple:  Convince moderate Republicans dissatisfied with the conservative wing of the GOP that they have a place underneath the Democratic Party’s big tent said a recent article in The Wichita Eagle.

texastribune.org

In the Texas primary, four of the five candidates in judicial and legislative races endorsed by Ted Cruz won on Tuesday said The New York Times.  

wikipedia.org

Totals were pulled county-by-county for each statewide runoff candidate, and the two gubernatorial nominees, then analyzed to find out what parts of the state the votes came from.  The Texas Tribune created an interactive map to compare each candidate’s performance.  Find the maps here.

Kansas: Supreme Court rules on school finance case

Mar 7, 2014
khi.org

The Kansas Supreme Court released its decision in the school finance case.  The unanimous decision found the lower court partially erred in its conclusion, and remanded it for further consideration.  The ruling also stated the lower court properly found the state’s funding mechanism had created “unconstitutional, wealth-based disparities” among school districts according to an article from the Kansas Health Institute

trojanhistory6.pbworks.com

Representatives Bud Estes and John Ewy, as well as Senator Garrett Love were in Dodge City, Kansas, recently for an open forum.  The delegates shared their position on elections, mortgage fees, and EPA regulations according to a recent article from the Dodge City Daily Globe.

Texas Election 2014: The Primary Results

Mar 5, 2014
texasgopvote.com

The results are in from the Texas Primary.  Here’s the scoreboard from the Texas Tribune

secwcd.org

The “Frying Pan-Arkansas” project conduit as been planned since the 1960s when the Pueblo Dam was built, but due to lack of funding was never completed.  The Bureau of Reclamation recently signed a Record of Decision giving the project the green light according to an article by The Colorado Springs Independent.  

Mike Hutmacher / The Wichita Eagle

Milton Wolf is trying to unseat three-term U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts in the Kansas Republican primary.  Wolf now has the support of a national tea party political action committee according to a recent article in The Wichita Eagle

Kansas Legislative Update

Mar 3, 2014
khi.org

Here is where some key issues stand at the midpoint of the legislative session according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle.

Texas Primary: Links to help you vote

Mar 2, 2014
politico.com

Tomorrow is the Primary in the great state of Texas.  To help you make your choices, here are some resources.

Texas Primary: Where a few have a lot of power

Feb 28, 2014
stateandfed.com

The Republican primary is the election that matters in the state of Texas.  The winners of Tuesday’s race and the following May 27 runoff election will mostly likely win in November according to The Texas Tribune

CPR / Irvin Coffee

Do federal regulations allow banks to deal with marijuana dispensaries? And how high is too high to drive?

These are two of the questions pressed by a developing recreational marijuana industry in Colorado.

theadvocate.com

Senator Pat Roberts is working to renew ties in his home state reported Jonathan Martin for the New York Times.  Tea Partly influences have changed his long Washington, D.C. history to a liability, and the 77-year old senator is working to adjust his position to better his chances at re-election say his aides.

pennsbury.k12.pa.us

The Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released a report, “Early Reading Proficiency in the United States.”  According to The Dodge City Daily Globe a majority of Kansas children are not reading proficiently by fourth grade.

Three of the nine seats on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals are up for grabs, and a fourth seat will be if its current judge succeeds in being elected to the Texas Supreme Court.

Seven Republican candidates are vying for those seats.

Kansas Office of the Governor

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is quoted as avowedly pursuing “a strategy that builds a strong state in the future on the red state model,” in a recent New York Times article on his administration to date.  According to the article, Brownback has delivered on his promise of a “conservative revolution” but the results and benefits to the state aren’t yet clear. 

Adam Vos / HPPR

The southwestern Kansas housing market may benefit from a small portion of the Farm Bill signed into law Friday. The trillion-dollar piece of legislation that is largely associated with agriculture also has something to say about who gets USDA home loans in rural America.

Exonerations in Texas at record high

Feb 12, 2014
Caleb Bryant Miller / KUT News

Texas exonerated more people than any other state last year.

13 Texans who were wrongly convicted of crimes were officially absolved of wrongdoing in 2013, for crimes ranging from murder to drug possession. They spent a matter of months to more than a decade in prison, the Texas Tribune reports.

Spencer Selvidge / Texas Tribune

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the state agency responsible for issuing permits for greenhouse gas emissions in the state, has refused to issue the permits until recently, leaving industry in the state in a difficult position.

National Archives

Both farmers and food stamps advocates sighed in relief Friday when President Obama signed the  long-overdue Agriculture Act of 2014 – the $956-billion farm bill – into law on Friday during a visit to Michigan State University.  The farm bill process was fraught with ups and downs and the loose coalition tying nutrition and farm programs seemed barely able to survive.

Not everyone likes the farm bill signed into law on Friday, but at least farmers will be able to start making informed decisions.

The biggest change in the 2014 farm bill is that the subsidies known as direct payments are gone. Instead of the government paying a known amount to farmers each year—at a fixed budget of $5 billion—the new system of subsidies will fluctuate, partly with market forces. That makes it really hard to predict how much the program will cost each year, says Iowa State University ag economist Chad Hart.

wibwnewsnow.com

The Kansas Department of Corrections, KDoC, is working with local law enforcement officials to help county jail keepers bill Medicaid for part of their inmates’ health care costs according to the Kansas Institute of Health.  

fhsu.edu

Last year the Kansas Legislature took money from universities, but Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed budget restores the ‘salary cap’ reductions that cost Fort Hays State University $276,176 according to a press release from FHSU University Relations.

jcpost.com

State Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, R-Grandview Plaza recently filed a bill requiring the state to count and report how many undocumented children are in Kansas public schools reported the Lawrence Journal-World.  

The Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a two-term Republican senator has 20 competitors for his senate seat.  The pack consists of seven Republicans, five Democrats, four independents, three Libertarians, and one Green Party according to a recent article from the Texas Tribune.

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