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

Fewer Sex Offenders in the DPS Database?

There are more than 61,000 registered sex offenders in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s database. Some think the list includes people who aren’t a threat to society and that the stigma of being on it hurts them more than it helps the greater community. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune has this report. Full Story 

Slash and Learn

Last week's request for additional budget cuts of 10 percent is expected to have a dramatic effect on state services — and local ones, too. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on how a new round of slashing will affect school districts in particular. Full Story 

The Weekly Tribcast Episode 31

In this week's TribCast, Ross, Evan, Ben and Reeve discuss the summer political fundraising season, TxDOT's audit, how population projections will impact into redistricting and the politics of pollution.

Full Story 

Redrawing the Lines

Redistricting is a highly partisan exercise, but there's likely to be more at work than mere politics in 2011. Shifts in the state’s population and demographics will play a large part in shaping where new congressional and legislative boundaries are set. Full Story 

The Ditch: Do It Yourself

On Friday, state agencies were told to cut another 10 percent from their budgets as a way of closing what could be an $18 billion biennial shortfall. But those cuts will only scratch the surface of what's needed, so what to do next? Full Story 

Drop and Give 'Em 10

The governor, lieutenant governor and speaker directed all state agencies on Friday to cut their budgets by an additional 10 percent. Last week, those same agencies had their current budgets trimmed by a total of around $1.2 billion in an effort to close a projected $18 billion budget shortfall in the next legislative session. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports. Full Story 
Courtesy KUT News

Collared Greens

Texas has among the most restrictive ballot access laws of any state, which is why the Green Party hasn't put its candidates before voters here since 2002. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports that party activists hope to end the dry spell this year. Full Story 
Ben Philpott

Work in Progress

The latest employment numbers show that more Texans than ever before have jobs, but the state is still struggling with its highest unemployment rate since 1987. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on the good and bad news in the latest stats. Full Story 

Health Care, Conservatives and 2011

When they return to Austin for the next legislative session. lawmakers will confront, for the first time as a group, federal health care reform. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on how some conservative activists and politicians think Texas should respond. Full Story 

Nip and Tuck

In January, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker asked state agencies to cut 5 percent from their 2010 budgets. On Tuesday the three state leaders released a list of cuts — and revealed a few exemptions to their earlier order. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports. Full Story 
Katie Hayes

Unemployment Stimulus Still Available?

Rick Perry made national headlines last year when he announced Texas was turning down unemployment insurance benefits available as part of the federal stimulus package. Attempts by state lawmakers to get their hands on the money anyway ran out of time at the end of the Legislative session, but as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the $555 million is still there for the taking.

Full Story 
Caleb Bryant Miller

How's Tricks?

Staring down a shortfall of as much as $18 billion, lawmakers could employ a handful of accounting tricks to kick some payments down the road, saving several billion dollars. How exactly would that work? This dramatization demonstrates how similar tricks could be used to lower a restaurant bill. Full Story 

A Hostile Climate

The Obama administration's push to pass carbon control legislation got a boost yesterday with the release of a new version of the bill in the U.S. Senate. Here in Texas, as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the state's GOP leadership continues to fight back against what they view as an energy tax bill. Full Story 

In Too Deep

Lawmakers fishing for ideas on how to deal with a coming budget shortfall are going to need a bigger rod and reel: The newest projections show itl could be as much as $18 billion. Full Story 

A Crude Awakening

Officials of the companies involved in the oil spill in the Gulf spent time on Capitol Hill this week blaming each other for the environmental devastation it has caused. But what about the economic devastation? Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune posed that question to former U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. Full Story