Jacob Kauffman

Reporter / Anchor

Jacob Kauffman is a reporter and anchor for KUAR. He primarily covers the state legislature and politics beat while juggling anchoring All Things Considered Monday through Friday afternoons. 

Jacob is a long-time Little Rock resident who started out working with Hendrix College's KHDX and the Arkansas Legislative Digest. His work (or portions of it) has appeared on NPR, our other wonderful public radio stations across Arkansas, PBS News Hour, TalkBusiness.net, Arkansas Money & Politics Magazine, ArkansasBlog.com, and the Nashville News.

He regularly appears on Arkansas Educational Television Network's (AETN) weekly roundtable politics program Arkansas Week. Jacob also serves on the board of the MacArthur Military History Museum. If you see him you should ask him about the experience of German-Arkansans during World War I.

Phone: 501-683-7393

Ways To Connect

Unemployment Rate By State, Feb. 2015.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics / U.S. Department of Labor

Arkansas’s unemployment rate dropped for another month, standing at 5.6 percent for February, in a report released Friday by the Department of Workforce Services. The state lags one-tenth of a percent behind the U.S. unemployment rate.

DWS spokesperson Becky Heflin says the 5,800 person drop in the ranks of the jobless is a continuation of positive jobs reports.

HRC Arkansas Director Kendra Johnson, HRC President Chad Griffin speaking at the Capitol next to an ad the organization is running.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

A number of high-profile business figures are calling on Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) to veto a bill supporters describe as a "religious freedom" measure that on Friday passed the Arkansas Senate. Opponents say it allows religious belief to be used as a defense for discriminating against LGBT people in housing, employment, and both public and private accommodations and services.

Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out this tweet:

Chad Causey with Catfish Farmers of America (left) and state Rep. Michael John Gray (D-Augusta) speaking to committee members.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

More descriptive labels may be coming to catfish products in stores and restaurants after a voice vote in the House Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday easily advanced a bill to the House floor. 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) speaking at ribbon cutting for MISO.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

West Little Rock is now the home of a $22 million electric-grid operations center for parts of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The new building for Midcontinent Independent System Operator – or MISO – is linked to others as far north as Manitoba.

MISO President John Bear told nearly 200 onlookers that the city met the company’s needs.

State Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock)
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

More than $100 million in individual income tax cuts have been handed down by the Arkansas Legislature this year but the lowest paid Arkansans are not among the beneficiaries. 

State Rep. Jim Sorvillo (R-Little Rock)
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Commercial dog breeding would be subject to inspections and require a license under a bill to be taken up Friday morning in the state House Agriculture committee.

Republican Representative Jim Sorvillo sponsored the bill and said the measure will help bring Arkansas’s protections up to par with neighboring states.

“What we don’t want is an animal that stays in a cage confined from six months to eight or ten years and that’s all they do,” said Sorvillo.

State Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville)
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas is the only state to not require rental properties to meet health and safety standards. On Wednesday the House Insurance and Commerce Committee declined to advance a bill guaranteeing habitability.

Republican Representative Robin Lundstrum was in the majority casting votes against the legislation.

  Actions came from both the governor’s office and a state House committee Tuesday to address controversy over Representative Justin Harris “rehoming” two of his adopted daughters without state oversight to a non-relative. 

A community forum held January 26th on possible state intervention.
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

State-control of the Little Rock School District or any district whose school board has been dissolved could look very different under a bill in the Arkansas Legislature. Still in its beginning stages, the legislation authorizes state-run districts to be administered by non-profit, private education companies.

The issue of "rehoming," or allowing parents to place adopted children with non-relatives, has surfaced in a dramatic way this week. Republican Representative Justin Harris, who owns a religious daycare, was found by Benji Hardy of the Arkansas Times to have sent three adopted daughters out of his home. Two of the daughters went to a daycare employee who is now serving 40 years in prison for sexually abusing one of the girls.