Ben Philpott

State Reporter

Ben Philpott covers politics and policy for KUT 90.5 FM. He has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002. He's been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and twice by the Houston Press Club as Radio Journalist of the Year. 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.

Pages

Politics
5:30 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Agenda Texas: Bill Kill, Vol. 1

Just a few days left in the 2013 session
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Read more
Politics
7:00 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Obama in Austin: 'Folks Around Here Are Doing Something Right'

President Obama spoke to crowds at Austin's Applied Materials yesterday.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

President Barack Obama spent about six hours in Austin yesterday touring around the city on the first stop of what the White House is calling a “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour.

After landing mid-day in Austin, the President headed to Manor New Technology high school. The school is what’s called a STEM academy – focusing on science, technology, engineering and math.

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Agenda Texas: What's the Battle in Texas?

President Obama speaking in Austin last year.
Filipa Rodrigues

President Barack Obama's trip to a high school and technology company in Austin today was, on the surface, all about creating jobs. But his visit was also an morale boost for Texas Democrats still looking for any statewide win to turn its fortunes around in the state.

Read more
Politics
5:45 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Agenda Texas: An Update on the Texas Miracle

Gov. Perry hopes tax cuts will keep the state's economy running strong.
Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune

President Barack Obama will be in Austin tomorrow. The stop is part of his "Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour.”

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Agenda Texas: What's Left To Do?

Lots to do...with little time left in the Legislature
KUT News

When the Texas legislative session started in January, lawmakers came to Austin with money to spend and a specific set of priorities. House Speaker Joe Straus laid out those goals during an opening press conference with Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Agenda Texas: Deadline Week in the Texas House

flickr.com/tslac

It’s so close folks: There's just three weeks until the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature comes to an end.

But for many lawmakers, this week is the real end of all the work to turn campaign promises into legislation. Because for most bills that originated in the Texas House, it’s pass or pass away Thursday night at midnight.

Read more
Politics
5:33 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Agenda Texas: Tea Party Power

The Tea Party is having a tough legislative session.
photo by KUT News

It’s been a tumultuous week in the Texas Capitol. A House bill that would have spent $2 billion from the state’s rainy day fund on water infrastructure projects was sunk Monday night on a procedural point of order.

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Agenda Texas: Saturday is Gun Day in the Texas House

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Texas is a gun-friendly state. I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know. That fact is easy to see during any given legislative session, when bills are often filed expanding where people can carry in the state.

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Agenda Texas: What's a Point of Order?

Separate from the Supreme Court's recent decision, a federal court will decide on the constitutionality of Texas redistricting.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/fabliaux

Alright class: get out your pencils, it’s quiz time. 

True or False: If a bill is brought up for debate in the Texas House, and a majority of lawmakers support the bill, nothing can defeat it.

Time’s up.

Who said True? O.k. none of you get pudding after dinner.

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Agenda Texas: Tanking the Water Bill

As Texas faces one of the driest years on record, a team of people with a stake in water from the Highland Lakes have agreed on a plan for Lower Colorado River Authority's water management over the next 10 years.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

You might have heard a major effort to pay for water projects went down in flames last night in the Texas House. House Bill 11 would have spent $2 billion out of the state’s rainy day account to finally fund the state’s 50-year water plan.

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Agenda Texas: Gov. Perry Joins the Fight

Lawmakers can raise money for their campaigns until 30 days before the Legislature convenes.
KUT News

Only four weeks until the end of the 83rd Legislative session. As the days wind down, we’ll see more and more bills hitting the House and Senate floors.

Budget, Budget Everywhere...

The only must-pass bill, the state budget for the next two years, will garner much of the attention this week, even though that bill has already passed the House and Senate.

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Agenda Texas: The Influence of Presidential Libraries

Former President George W. Bush speaking at the dedication of the Bush Presidential Center
Filipa Rodrigues

Yesterday we talked about how the opening of the Bush Museum and Library in Dallas begins the rehabilitation of the former President’s political past. Today, let’s look at how the Bush Institute, the policy think-tank section of the Bush Center might affect the country’s political future. 

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Agenda Texas: The Rehabilitation of Bush's Legacy

Former President George W. Bush and Former First Lady Laura Bush in front of the Bush Center in Dallas
Filipa Rodrigues

You've probably heard there was a little ceremony in Dallas today to dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The event included speeches by all the living U.S. Presidents, to officially open the 43rd President’s library, museum and policy think-tank.

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Agenda Texas: The Legacy of Governor George W. Bush

An exhibit at the George W. Bush Presidential Library
Filipa Rodrigues

The George W. Bush Presidential Center will be officially dedicated tomorrow on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. Dignitaries from across the political world will be on hand to get a peek at the 13th official Presidential library.

Read more
Politics
5:30 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Photos: Inside the George W. Bush Presidential Center

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

The George W. Bush Presidential Library has its dedication Thursday at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Former first lady Laura Bush says one of the most emotionally moving museum exhibits focuses on the 9/11 attacks.

Read more

Pages