HPPR Government & Politics

Government:
state government (executive, legislative & judicial)
local government (city & county)
regional agencies & authorities
policies
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Politics:
district-level and statewide office campaigns
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From Texas Standard.

After another school shooting in Texas, this time in Santa Fe, calls for action have come from various places along the political spectrum. Some believe that beefed-up school security is the answer, while others advocate gun regulation. Texas lawmakers are talking about how to move forward, including Republican Jason Villalba, a member of the Texas House from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and Rep. Chris Turner, chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus.

Police arrested 18 people protesting policies pushed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach after the demonstrators occupied part of his office.

Police led them past other protesters to a bus waiting outside the Kobach’s office.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed into law a measure allowing faith-based adoption and foster care agencies to get state reimbursement for placement services — even if they turn away prospective parents on religious grounds.

Some conservative House Republicans made it clear Friday in voting down the 2018 farm bill: They’re not interested in a farm bill without working on immigration first.

Thirty Republicans and every Democrat voted against the farm bill, which failed 198-213 in the full House.

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Primary runoff elections will be held across Texas tomorrow.

As The Texas Tribune reports, in more than 30 races statewide, no candidate drew more than 50 percent of the vote. That means Texans will go to the polls to decide between the candidates who placed first and second in those races. The most high-profile race is for which Democratic contender will face off against Gov. Greg Abbott this November.

Gov. Jeff Colyer signed the Kansas budget into law Tuesday, but in the process he knocked out a provision aimed at curbing his administration’s revamp of the state’s privatized Medicaid program, KanCare.

Colyer and his predecessor, former-Gov. Sam Brownback, have been working to overhaul KanCare and get federal permission to extend the program for several more years.

Richard Jones spent 17 years in a Kansas prison for a robbery committed by his doppelganger. When he was exonerated and released last June, he had little to his name other than what had been donated by members of the public who had heard his story.

Josh Svaty picked a political no-name to team with in his run for governor.

But the pick is someone who checks off boxes that Svaty can’t with voters in the Democratic primary and, if things play out right for him, in the general election.

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Oklahoma's Mary Fallin has been much in the news over the past week, as the governor signed one controversial piece of legislation and vetoed another.

As CBS news reports, late last week Fallin vetoed a bill that would have allowed Oklahoma residents to carry firearms without any type of license or certification. This so-called “Constitutional Carry” bill sailed through both houses of the Oklahoma Legislature with only opposition from some Democrats.

Though it’s not yet clear which highly processed ingredients will be labeled as genetically modified foods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released possible designs for those labels.

The labels fulfill a law passed in 2016 that gives food companies three options to disclose GMO ingredients: a line of text, a scannable QR code, or a symbol. It is meant to be an impartial notice to shoppers, and the labels avoid the polarizing term “GMO.”

Yet, one of the label designs released this month is a smiling orange and green sun with the letters “b-e” standing for “bioengineered,” which is the word used in the law.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer says the state’s government will be more transparent with the new rules for releasing information he signed into law Thursday.

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Beto O'Rourke, the young West Texas congressman who is challenging Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, will be in Amarillo this weekend as his campaign gears up for the final six months before the election.

As KFDA reports, the Democrat will host a town hall meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. this Sunday evening. The event will be held at In This Moment, at 3941 N. Western in Amarillo.

Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita suspended his campaign for governor on Wednesday.

Ward will instead focus on being re-elected to the House.

ballotpedia.org

Motivated by the rise of Donald Trump, a plethora of first-time candidates have added their names to ballots in Texas--and many of them are women.

As The Guardian reports, these candidates are hoping to ride to victory on what many political observers are predicting will be a blue wave of Democratic voters this November in the Lone Star State.

A federal judge will now review whether it’s reasonable for an ACLU legal team to charge Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach $52,000 for the time it spent asking a court to hold him in contempt.

The bill for attorneys fees and related expenses came Monday after the ACLU team won that contempt finding last month.

In an election year with a state Supreme Court ruling hanging over their heads, Kansas lawmakers wrestled over school spending, taxes and guns.

They fought among themselves and often split ways from legislators they’d chosen as leaders.

In the end, they decided not to throw a tax cut to voters. It would have partly reversed tough political choices they made a year before to salvage state government’s troubled financial ledger.

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Oklahoma Gov, Mary Fallin has vetoed a measure that would have moved “Native American Day” in Oklahoma from its current date in November to Oct. 8, which is currently Columbus Day.

As The Tulsa World reports, House Bill 2661 had already passed the state House and Senate by wide margins. The bill was authored by Rep. Chuck Hoskin and Sen. John Sparks, both members of the Cherokee Nation. Hoskins called Fallin’s veto “a slap in the face to the 38 federally recognized tribal governments in Oklahoma.”

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You might remember how, three years ago, Texas Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas State Guard to monitor federal military training operations in West Texas. The military exercise was known as “Jade Helm,” and Gov. Abbott insisted he wanted to keep an eye on federal troops in case the training exercise was actually part of a secret plot President Obama was planning, to use the military to round up his political enemies.

The Kansas House killed a tax cut bill on its way out the door Friday, ending the 2018 session with yet another signal that this isn’t the same conservative-dominated body of just two years ago.

This is the Legislature that voted last year to expand Medicaid and end then-Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature 2012 tax cuts with a two-year, $1.2 billion tax hike.

Kansas lawmakers voted to inject money into state services, pensions and higher education just hours before debating legislation to send millions of dollars back to taxpayers.

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The Oklahoma State Senate has approved a measure that would allow citizens to carry firearms without any kind of permit.

As the online politics journal The Hill reports, the measure passed on a vote of 33 to nine late Wednesday night, after being added to the agenda at the last minute.

House and Senate negotiators struck a tentative deal Wednesday to prevent changes in federal tax law from ratcheting up state taxes for Kansans.

The Senate wanted broader tax cuts in the same bill, but couldn’t coax the House team to go along.

Rep. Steve Johnson, who chairs the House tax committee, said his chamber didn’t want to go beyond addressing the federal impact in ways that would produce deeper cuts to state government revenue.

“It’s all of the tax cuts and these targeted tax cuts that have given us heartburn,” he said.

Texas And 6 Other States Sue To End DACA

May 3, 2018

Following through on a months-old promise, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, leading a seven-state coalition against an Obama-era immigration measure that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants nationwide from deportation, including more than 120,000 in Texas.

Kansas lawmakers have struck a deal to end their session-long battle over Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer's plan to tighten eligibility for KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

The compromise, detailed in the final budget bill of the 2018 session, blocks Colyer from implementing a work requirement and lifetime benefit cap as part of his planned “KanCare 2.0” makeover of the program. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Robin Jerstad: Cruz / The Texas Tribune

 "A debate in Spanish would not be very good because my Spanish isn’t good enough," U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said at a campaign event Tuesday afternoon, "but I look forward to debating Congressman O’Rourke."

From The Texas Tribune:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has asked a court to stop the federal government from issuing or renewing DACA permits while a lawsuit Texas filed yesterday with six other states is pending.

Gov. Jeff Colyer signed an executive order Wednesday supporting the "Ban the Box" initiative.

The new order requires state agencies to remove a checkbox from their job applications that asks whether someone has a criminal record.

In the small city of Fort Morgan, Colorado, 33-year-old Verónica delicately stacks cans of food into her mini shopping cart, strolling the narrow aisles of the Rising Up food pantry to gather eggs, milk, apples and an extra-large box of cereal.

The farm bill traditionally is a bipartisan effort, but House Republicans’ proposed changes to the main federal food-aid program in this year’s version have struck a nerve. To move it through efficiently, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says he’ll appeal to President Donald Trump.

From Texas Standard:

Texas is back in federal court making the case before a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals over the state's foster care system.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack ordered sweeping changes to Texas foster care, which at one time she declared to be unconstitutionally endangering young Texans.  Since then, the judge has called state lawmakers' efforts to improve foster care "admirable" but insufficient.

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