Ben Philpott — Click for higher resolution staff photos

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

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Sell It Like It Is

Republican leaders in the Texas Legislature are insisting that it will be a no-new-taxes session. In response, one Democratic lawmaker is pushing to expand the definition of the word "taxes" to include fees. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports. Full Story 
Graphic by Todd Wiseman

The Efficiency Experts

"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. Full Story 
Graphic by Todd Wiseman

The Efficiency Experts

"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.

Full Story 
Illustration by Bob Daemmrich/Todd Wiseman

Emerging Trouble for Incentive Funds

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.

Full Story 
In a House Ethics Committee meeting Tuesday, state Rep. Chuck Hopson, R-Jacksonville, revealed that state Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, is the man behind an alleged threat that lawmakers who fail to support Speaker Joe Straus for re-election could face retribution through redistricting. Hopson named Phillips before the panel went into a closed executive session to discuss the allegation.

House Committee Can't Confirm Misconduct

Members of the Texas House General Investigating and Ethics Committee heard testimony today on whether or not a lawmaker used redistricting to threaten a member into supporting Speaker Joe Straus. Their conclusion: We can't tell.

Full Story 
Ben Philpott

Holding Steady

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. Full Story 
Graphic by Todd Wiseman

Removing the Roadblock

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. Full Story 
Graphic by Todd Wiseman

The Most Unpopular Fraction

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.

Full Story 
Bob Daemmrich

A Tsunami of GOP Bills

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.

Full Story 

Libertarians and Greens Win, Sort Of

The 2010 elections will be remembered for Republican victories and Democratic defeats, but as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, it was a notable year for two other political parties on the ballot. Full Story 
Marjorie Kamys Cotera

What Victor Carrillo Problem?

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. Full Story