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

Lawmakers Look to Cut Texas Education Budget

"Efficiency" is the buzzword heading into the 2011 legislative session. Lawmakers say they want to make sure the dollars spent on K-12 education are being spent as efficiently as possible — and that anything deemed inefficient could end up the chopping block. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

TX Lawmakers Look to Trim or Eliminate Incentives

Governor Rick Perry’s office has asked a member of the Emerging Technology Fund’s advisory committee to consider resigning over a recent investigation by the Texas Rangers. This is just the latest dust up over this fund and the Texas Enterprise Fund. Ben Philpott of KUT and The Texas Tribune reports on what could happen to the funds in the next Legislative session.

Texas Unemployment Rate Stays Flat in October

More jobs in Texas...but more people looking too.
More jobs in Texas...but more people looking too.
Texas added almost 48,000 jobs from September to October this year according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Ben Philpott reports for KUT News and the Texas Tribune on the numbers below the job gains.

TX GOP works to remove Senate 2/3rds rule

Last week's election left the Republican Party, already in the majority, with an unprecedented advantage in the Texas House. But as Ben Philpott reports for KUT News and the Texas Tribune, even that new advantage isn't enough to guarantee passage of key legislation.

Texas GOP Works to Remove Senate's Two-Thirds Rule

Whatever the size of their majority in the Texas House, Republicans in the Texas Senate have to contend with the rule requiring two-thirds of members to agree to bring a bill up for vote. That's 21 out of 31 — and there are only 19 Republicans in the upper chamber. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, some in the GOP want the rule changed.

Texas Republicans File Bills for 2011 Session

Monday was the first day that state lawmakers could file bills for the 2011 session. As Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the substance of the legislation is a reflection of conservative success on Election Day.

Hispanic Republicans Win Seats in the Texas House

The group Hispanic Republicans of Texas at a news conference Nov. 3, 2010.
The group Hispanic Republicans of Texas at a news conference Nov. 3, 2010.
Republican victories in Texas House races included several by Hispanic Republicans. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, those freshman members may have to perform a bit of a balancing act in a party that seems likely to push hard-line immigration legislation.

Despite Wins, Straus, Chisum Will Vie for Speaker

Tuesday's elections gave Republicans a nearly two-thirds majority in the Texas House — and, with it, the power to do just about whatever they want in the next legislative session. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the party faithful are battling over who should lead the lower chamber.