Ben Philpott Reporter

Ben Philpott is a senior reporter for KUT-FM, Austin's National Public Radio affiliate. He has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002, during which time he has been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Houston Press Club and the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. 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.

Recent Contributions

At Texas Mental Health Center, Smaller Cuts Still Sting

Karen Godfrey and her two sons Timothy Godfrey, and Zachary Munn draw and play together with Ishele Graves and her daughter Mikaela Massey at Bluebonnet Trails Community Services in Round Rock, TX.
Karen Godfrey and her two sons Timothy Godfrey, and Zachary Munn draw and play together with Ishele Graves and her daughter Mikaela Massey at Bluebonnet Trails Community Services in Round Rock, TX.

Mental health service provider Bluebonnet Trails escaped budget cuts that would have shut off services to more than 2,000 people. That number turned out to be less than 500, but as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the cuts still hurt.

Perry, in Austin, Previews National Campaign Message

Gov. Rick Perry walks in front of a projection screen at BioWare Corp. EA Games after making an economic development announcement on July 18, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry walks in front of a projection screen at BioWare Corp. EA Games after making an economic development announcement on July 18, 2011.

Gov. Rick Perry made three stops around Austin on Monday. And as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the governor didn't look like someone who hasn't decided whether he's running for president.

Imperiled Doggett "Ready to Battle" New Texas Maps

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett shows state district map.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett shows state district map.

Under a new congressional redistricting map, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, would lose 60,000 constituents who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune talked with Doggett about the proposal, which the congressman said "plunged a dagger into the heart" of Travis County.

For Texas Lege, Special Session Still Up in the Air

Rep. Sylvester Turner D-Houston, speaks with Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during finance committee hearing on May 23rd, 2011
Rep. Sylvester Turner D-Houston, speaks with Sen. Steve Ogden R-Bryan during finance committee hearing on May 23rd, 2011

The Legislature has just a few days to get the state budget, the most important bill of the session, passed and to the governor's desk. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on the final items needed to send lawmakers home on time.

Wildfire Politics Grip State as Disasters Hit Elsewhere

Gov. Rick Perry (l) gestures toward Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, during his visit to the Senate floor on May 5, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry (l) gestures toward Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, during his visit to the Senate floor on May 5, 2011.

Gov. Rick Perry has unsuccessfully tried to get a meeting with President Barack Obama, who will be visiting Texas today, to discuss the federal government's denial of a wildfire disaster declaration in Texas, as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

Texas Comptroller Takes Responsibility for Breach

Comptroller Susan Combs giving a biennial revenue estimate in Austin on Jan. 10, 2011.
Comptroller Susan Combs giving a biennial revenue estimate in Austin on Jan. 10, 2011.

Comptroller Susan Combs now says she takes full responsibility for the data exposure. Some of her initial comments criticized the agencies that sent the data to her office. Today she says, "We're the last door. We're it. And as head of the agency, I am responsible."