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

Dewhurst: Perry Called to "Lead in Dark Hours"

Governor Rick Perry, Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst after their first weekly breakfast meeting saying they will work together on the state budget.
Governor Rick Perry, Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst after their first weekly breakfast meeting saying they will work together on the state budget.

Gov. Rick Perry today made his first public appearance since news broke about his Saturday announcement. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the nonpartisan event didn't keep the governor and his supporters from dropping more hints.

With The Response Over, What's Next for Perry?

Governor Rick Perry closes "The Response" with a short prayer and thank you for people attending the prayer rally in Houston on August 6, 2011.
Governor Rick Perry closes "The Response" with a short prayer and thank you for people attending the prayer rally in Houston on August 6, 2011.

With Gov. Rick Perry's much-hyped — and highly attended — prayer event over, Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports that some say the governor's big announcement could come as soon as this week.

Day 6: Some Texans Will Lose Intellectual Disability Funding

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.
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DAY 6 of our 31-day series on the effects of new state laws and budget cuts: Mental health funding was spared draconian cuts, but some who rely on the state for intellectual disability aid will lose services.

 

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.