Ben Philpott, KUT News

Ben Philpott hosts Agenda Texas for KUT-FM. He has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002. He's been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and twice by the Houston Press Club as Radio Journalist of the Year. Before moving to Texas, he worked in public radio in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and at several television stations in Alabama and Tennessee. Born in New York City and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., Philpott graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Pages

Texas Legislature
9:38 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Agenda Texas: Looming Legislative Deadlines

Calendar by Texas Legislative Council

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 5:31 pm

Over 6,000 bills were filed in the 2013 legislative session. And historically speaking, only about 20 percent of them will be signed into law.

Read more
Texas Legislature
9:40 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Agenda Texas: Freshman Rep. Donna Campbell Reflects On The Session So Far

Ben Philpott

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 9:00 pm

Have you ever watched a debate at the Texas Capitol? It’s not always the easiest thing to follow. With all the speakers and amendments and votes that it takes for just one bill to pass, it’s not hard to get lost.

Well what if you were one of the lawmakers, trying to navigate these legislative waters for the first time?

Read more
Texas Legislature
9:02 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Agenda Texas: The Week Ahead

Filipa Rodrigues

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:42 am

It’ll be another busy week for the Texas Legislature. With a take on what to watch for this week, here's Texas Tribune executive editor, Ross Ramsey.

Read more
Texas Legislature
12:29 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Agenda Texas: Homeschoolers Take To The Capitol To Learn/Participate

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 10:15 am

There’s a perception, not unjustified, that it takes a high-priced high-powered lobbyist to get a bill passed in the Texas Legislature. But people still try to get something done with an army of volunteers. Some who are still in elementary school.

Around 100 kids from across the state came to Austin for the Texas Home School Coalition's rally day. The kids spent the day learning about the legislative process, yes they got school credit for participating, and to help support home school legislative efforts.

Read more
Texas Education
10:09 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Agenda Texas: Will Safety Bills Make Schools Safer?

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 5:31 pm

The December school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut left the nation stunned and  grief-stricken – and scared it could happen again.

Texas lawmakers have filed a handful of bills they say could increase security for students and peace of mind for parents. But some say those bills are more show than substance.

"A couple of bills are obviously just designed to appeal to the NRA while making it appear that they’re trying to make schools safer, when in fact they wouldn’t," says Texas State Teachers Association spokesman Clay Robison.

Read more
Texas Education
6:36 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Martinez Fischer Pushes Legislature To Restore Education Cuts

Ben Philpott/KUT News

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:35 pm

The Texas legislature cut more than $5 billion from public education in 2011 to help balance the state budget. Then last month lawmakers were told previous revenue estimates were wrong – and that they had more than $8 billion left to spend on that budget.

Spending That Money

Read more
Texas School Safety
9:11 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Creating Marshals to Watch Over Schools

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:22 am

Texas lawmakers have rallied around the idea of making elementary schools safer. There have been calls to allow anyone with a concealed handgun license to bring guns onto public school campuses. Or for teachers to get concealed carry licenses.

The latest idea comes from a bill filed by State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas). He wanted to know what schools and professional school security organizations wanted.

Read more
Texas Legislature
3:25 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Lobbying Your Legislator: Make Your Voice Heard

KUT News

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:19 pm

With the Texas Legislature back in Austin, lobbyists from across the state have descended to advocate for and against the thousands of bills that will be filed.

So what if you’re just a regular Texans with an opinion? Do lawmakers want to hear from you? Do they care what you think?

Read more
Texas Legislature
10:15 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Education Budget-Building Begins For Legislature

Lizzie Chen/KUT News

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:06 am

When the House and Senate filed base budgets last week, advocates for programs that were cut in 2011, including public education, were upset the budgets didn’t restore funding. Lawmakers countered that the budget was expected to grow.

Read more

Pages