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

The number of Arkansans deemed eligible for health care coverage through the state’s expansion of Medicaid – known as the private option – continues to tick up, rising to 259,335 in June. That’s up 4,586 people from May according to information released by the state Department of Human Services on Monday.

Fort Smith Southside High School's mascot Johnny Reb.
fortsmithschools.org

UPDATE: The school board in Fort Smith voted unanimously on Monday night to end or phase out the use of Confederate-linked themes at Southside High School. Around 200 people attended the meeting to lend input to the decision.

Mike Huckabee (right) talks with Arkansas's GOP Chair Doyle Webb (left) at the tail end of the 2014 election cycle.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Nearly a dozen Arkansas lawmakers are in San Diego this week at an annual national convention of conservative state legislators hosted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. The organization, which has strong funding ties to energy magnates David and Charles Koch produces model legislation on a slate of issues for lawmakers to take back to statehouses.

This week the KUAR news staff discusses a couple of new state laws. One bans cities and counties from enforcing ordinances like anti-discrimination measures on sexual orientation or gender identity. Another makes "rehoming" a felony. Task forces looking into Common Core standards and computer science in public schools are making progress. And a look at monuments to the Confederacy in Arkansas.

The Confederate soldiers monument has a soldier holding a Confederate battle flag.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

In recent weeks, the battle over Confederate imagery has focused mainly on a flag, but for some the debate naturally extends to other symbols they see as offensive. As Arkansas, like many Southern states, continues to grapple with emblems of its past, the question arises: To what extent are monuments in public places an issue?

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

Changes went into effect Wednesday to the previously legal practice of giving away one’s adopted children to non-relatives without state involvement. The practice known as rehoming is now a felony.

The measure, sponsored by State Representative David Meeks (R-Greenbrier) was passed in the final days of the 2015 regular session of the Arkansas Legislature. The legislation followed reports in the Arkansas Times of Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) rehoming his daughters to a family friend and employee who was later convicted of raping multiple minors.

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

Changes went into effect Wednesday to the previously legal practice of giving away one’s adopted children to non-relatives without state involvement. The practice known as rehoming is now a felony.

The measure, sponsored by State Representative David Meeks (R-Greenbrier) was passed in the final days of the 2015 regular session of the Arkansas Legislature. The legislation followed reports in the Arkansas Times of Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) rehoming his daughters to a family friend and employee who was later convicted of raping multiple minors.

On this week's edition, we'll have a look at what a much anticipated report on the foster care system offers to those children forced to sleep in DHS offices. As Arkansas continues to grapple with a healthcare overhaul, what steps is the state considering? And as expected, Arkansas's Congressional delegation has no love for the President's nuclear deal with Iran. 

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to receive automatic updates.

Health Care Task Force Chair, Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren (R-Gravette) during a break in the meeting.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Investing in better case management and healthcare coordination for Arkansas’s high cost patient populations is an important step if Arkansas wants to lower overall healthcare spending. That’s according to a report presented Wednesday to the Health Care Task Force by its consultant the Stephen Group.

Managing Partner John Stephen told lawmakers Arkansas’s investment falls short.

The nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers announced on Tuesday has been met with condemnation from Arkansas’s Congressional delegation. The six Republicans argue nothing less than an entirely nuclear free Iran is acceptable and that the deal won’t keep Iran from acquiring nuclear arms capabilities. 

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