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

Oklahoma's teacher shortage not helped by election

Nov 25, 2016

A teacher shortage in Oklahoma could grow even larger following the election, in which Oklahomans shot down a one-cent sales tax hike that would have increased teachers’ annual salaries by $5,000.

AP photo/Topeka Capital-Journal

The Sunflower State is making a particularly strong showing when it comes to filling jobs in Donald Trump’s White House.

As the Topeka Capital-Journal­ reports, there are more Kansas names being floated this year than in any presidential transition in recent memory. There have been at least five Kansas names speculated about for potential top posts since the election.

Rural Blog

A pastor recently wrote an editorial in The Lexington Herald Leader attempting to explain Hillary Clinton’s loss in the heartland.

According to Paul Prather, a pastor in rural Kentucky, Democrats brought the election of Donald Trump upon themselves by ignoring the needs of small-town Americans. Prather noted that many Americans without college degrees find it almost impossible to earn a living.

Crispin Havener / KKCO

A Colorado ballot measure that would have removed a reference to the slavery in the state’s constitution has failed, reports Colorado Public Radio.

When counting concluded on Friday, the Secretary of State's office had the votes to keep the slavery language leading by almost 18,000 votes. The amendment’s backer, Democratic State Rep. Jovan Melton of Aurora, conceded, saying the voters had spoken.

The Wichita Eagle

Last week Donald Trump named Kansas rep. Mike Pompeo as his choice to head the CIA. Now the question for Kansans becomes, who will take Pompeo’s vacant seat in congress?

As The Wichita Eagle reports, it’s now up to Kansas’ 4th Congressional District to choose a successor.

Mark Makela / Getty Images/The Guardian

An editorial by a rural West Texas woman appeared in the British newspaper The Guardian last week.

Travis Morrisse / Hutchinson News/AP photo

Beleaguered outgoing Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp says a person closely associated with president-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has contacted him about the possibility of becoming Agriculture Secretary in the new administration.

KDVR

Colorado residents may be changing the way they carry their driver’s licenses, according to KDVR.

The Centennial State is part of a pilot program that would make it one of the first states in the nation to offer a digital driver’s license. Colorado participants will download their license onto a mobile app.

The Wichita Eagle

Donald Trump’s proposed tax plan may look familiar to folks in Kansas, reports The Wichita Eagle.

That’s because the president-elect’s plan is very similar to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s 2012 legislation, which Brownback referred to as his “real-live experiment.”

According to analysts, both plans include a rate cut for individual income tax. Both plans also require cuts to business income.

pulseheadlines.com

Conservative Texas lawmakers have seen hope in the election of Donald Trump when it comes to abortion legislation.

As The Daily Beast reports, in the wake of Trump’s election, Texas Republicans have filed multiple bills banning abortions. The laws are being decried by critics as a bridge too far, even by Texas standards.

Colorado voters pass ballot to increase minimum wage

Nov 18, 2016

Colorado is one of four states to pass a ballot measure this election that will increase the minimum wage.

According to The Atlantic, Colorado, Arizona, Maine and Washington passed the measures, which will increase the minimum wage between now and 2020.

Dallas Morning News

Hundreds of bills were filed this week by Texas lawmakers, who are hoping to shepherd their legislation through the process of becoming law.

Most of the bills are DOA. Last year, for example, 6,400 bills were filed in the Lone Star State. And only one in five of those made it all the way to becoming law.

Here are some of the more unique potential laws on offer this year, courtesy of The Dallas Morning News.  

AP photo

Democrats are blaming their loss in this year’s election on Hillary Clinton's lack of attention to rural areas.

And, as Politico reports, progressives are also worried about farm-state Senate races during the midterm elections in 2018. Since last week’s defeat, Democrats have been second-guessing Hillary Clinton's “decision to largely surrender the rural vote” to Donald Trump.

The Wichita Eagle

Kansans continue to debate how Trump’s presidency is going to affect the Sunflower State, reports The Wichita Eagle. Areas being watched particularly closely include health, veterans affairs, international trade and immigration.

Todd Wiseman/Lucas Jackson (Reuters)/Bob Daemmrich / Reuters/Texas Tribune

Some well-known Texans are being talked about for top posts in a Trump administration.

KWCH

Donald Trump has named Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to his immigration transition team, KWCH reports.

Kobach said the job will take some of his time, but won’t take him away from home much. “I've got plenty to do here in Kansas,” he said.

James Nimmo

Amid all the hullabaloo about the presidential election, some of last week’s state questions got lost in the shuffle.

Amarillo voters approve two bond propositions

Nov 14, 2016
Getty Images

Amarillo voters approved two of seven capital improvement bond proposals in last week’s election.

Voters approved propositions to improve Amarillo streets and public safety.

Jen Reel / Texas Observer

Lost amid the red tidal wave that struck America on Tuesday was one salient data point: According to The Texas Observer, Texas was one of only four states to grow more blue compared with its 2012 vote tally.

With the exception of Fort Worth’s Tarrant County, all of Texas’s urban counties tilted Democratic this year. Texas’ biggest urban area, Houston’s Harris County, is now 70 percent non-white. Clinton won that county by 12 percentage points.

Reuters

Pundits and political scientists are still sifting through data can explain how Donald Trump surged to the most unexpected presidential victory in U.S. history.

ivn.us

This election season, we heard a lot of talk about how eliminating the Electoral College would make every American’s vote count. Often, this cry comes from more conservative circles of our political discourse.

But, as the Independent Voter Project notes, real thought went into the idea of the Electoral College. And the system gives rural voters far more of a voice than they would receive if it were abolished.

Kansas City Star

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been delivered yet another defeat in court over his plan to prevent people from voting in state and local elections unless they show proof of U.S. citizenship.

As The Kansas City Star reports, a Shawnee County judge has permanently extended an earlier injunction against a two-tiered voter registration system backed by Kobach.

Colorado Independent

During the 2015-16 session of the Colorado House of Representatives, Democrats held a 3-seat advantage over Republicans.

That could change tonight. Here are some Colorado house elections you should be keeping an eye on tonight, according to The Colorado Independent.

In Broomfield’s District 33, Democratic Rep. Dianne Primavera has reached her term limit. The seat has flipped between Democrats and Republicans three times in the past four elections.

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Oklahoma Watch

In Oklahoma, Republicans hold a supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature. In the Senate they hold a 39-9 advantage, while they outnumber Democrats in the House by 71-30.

Here, courtesy of Oklahoma Watch, are some legislative races to keep an eye on tonight in the Sooner State.

RIck Ruggles / Omaha World-Herald

The League of Women Voters of Nebraska has weighed in on recent claims that the U.S. election system is rigged. The group called the rhetoric “unfounded and irresponsible.”

Wikimedia Commons

There’s a lot more happening on Lone Star ballots today besides Trump vs. Clinton. Here are some things to watch for tonight in Texas, courtesy The Dallas Morning News.

Getty Images

This year has seen the strangest election that most of us can recall. But, as the BBC has found, U.S. elections are just strange, in general.

Here are a few ways that our friends across the pond have found us to be a little odd when it comes to choosing our leaders.

Many of us are going to want to have a drink tomorrow when it’s all over. But for some folks in Indiana, that won’t be easy. Eighteen cities and seven counties in Indiana have banned the sale of booze on election day.

Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas voters won’t just be choosing a president tomorrow at the polls; they’ll also be deciding on a matter close to the heart of sportsmen.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, voters in Kansas are deciding this year whether hunting and fishing should be protected by the state constitution. The potential amendment has been overshadowed by other races this year, but the issue has raised a pitched battle all the same.

Texas Observer

Texas is seeing a staggering turnout for early voting this year. In fact, no election in history has seen so many early voters in the Lone Star State.

As The Texas Observer reports, the heavy early turnout could be good news for Democrats. Strategists have said it appears that Republicans are simply “not as enthusiastic” this year. Historically, heavy early voting numbers have been good news for the Republican Party in Texas.

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