Jacob Kauffman

Reporter / Anchor

Jacob Kauffman is a reporter for KUAR. During the legislative session, he wrote the online column Capitol Access. He has worked with the Arkansas Legislative Digest and is currently on the board of the MacArthur Military History Museum. 


Local & Regional News
4:04 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Local Boy Scouts Pledge To Support National Group's Decision

Credit http://mytinyurl.com/d0xdxh4d5b

Next month leaders of the Boy Scouts of America plan to vote on a resolution lifting their ban on gay youth participation in scouts. The resolution would keep sexual orientation barriers in place for leadership and volunteer positions.

Assistant Scout Executive Christian Swaim represents the WestArk Area Council and believes the area supports the current ban.

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Local & Regional News
5:16 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Tar Sands Oil in Lake Conway?

Samples collected over the weekend by Opflex.
Credit https://www.facebook.com/OPFLEX?sk=wall&filter=1

Since the oil spill in Mayflower, official studies have shown an absence of tar sands oil in Lake Conway, but an independent study shows otherwise.

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Capitol Access
6:15 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Private Option Vote Divides Republicans

Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson
Credit www.arkleg.state.ar.us

Stopping the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been a centerpiece of Republican campaigning and an invigorating force for the Republican Party in Arkansas. The electorate seemingly validated this agenda by voting in Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. As a result, the fate of an important component of what has become colloquially known as Obamacare has largely rested in the hands of Republican legislators. Yesterday, the private option was passed 28-7.

The component of federal healthcare reform in question is the expansion of Medicaid to an additional 250,000 Arkansans. Arkansas legislators, rejecting the expansion of a federally run program, crafted a unique response, known as the private option. Essentially, those making up to 138% of the poverty level will be provided with private health insurance plans in place of Medicaid. In many respects this mirrors the Massachusetts health care law signed by Mitt Romney in 2006. The Republicans that crafted the Arkansas version of low-income insurance expansion argue they have saved Arkansas from the worst excesses and flaws of a bad federal law. Not all of their colleagues agree.

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Capitol Access
9:53 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Eminent Domain and License Plate Soup

Credit www.dfa.arkansas.gov

Eminent Domain

Legislation seeking to add federal protections to property owners and tenants faced with eminent domain failed to garner a majority of the 35 member Senate with a 15-13 vote this Thursday. SB 787 would result in higher compensation rates for property, travel, and relocation costs. The bill also extends compensation rights to tenants in Arkansas.

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Capitol Access
10:55 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Unemployment Divides Arkansas Senate

Senator David Burnett (D) of Osceola
Credit arkleg.state.ar.us

On Monday the Arkansas Senate voted up two pieces of legislation regulating unemployment insurance. Senator Jeremy Hutchinson (R) sponsored SB 38 which requires two random drug screenings of a sample population of recipients of unemployment benefits at the first and thirteenth week of payments. SB 875, sponsored by Bart Hester (R), lowered the average weekly wage received by those on unemployment by one hundred dollars.

Senator Hutchinson, of Benton, contended that the randomized nature of the drug screening will be a cost-efficient means of deterrence. Hutchinson estimated the legislation would cost the state $30,000 a year. On the floor he closed for his bill by stating, “If you can’t pass a drug test, then you aren’t actively seeking employment.”

The Democratic opposition remained silent on SB 38 but was prepared to make themselves heard two bills later when they picked up SB 875.

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Mayflower Oil Spill
10:37 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

Residents Express Concerns About Mayflower Oil Spill at Meeting

Allison Wallace, Group Facilitator
Lilyan Kauffman


A large group of community members gathered at the Faulkner County Library to air grievances and discuss what the future might entail for residents in Mayflower. KUAR's Jacob Kauffman was there and has this report.

UCA Professor Allisson Wallace, unaffiliated with any group, reserved access to the library for the organizational meeting.

Glen Hooks, of the Sierra Club, spoke at the beginning of the meeting and asked if representatives from Exxon were present to listen to the community,

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Capitol Access
6:56 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Undocumented Immigrants Ask for Education

Credit arkleg.state.ar.us

Yesterday, Senator Joyce Elliott (D) of Little Rock led an hour long hearing on the floor concerning legislation to allow undocumented immigrants, who have attended 3 years of high school in the state or obtained a G.E.D. in Arkansas, to pay in-state tuition rates for postsecondary education. Advocates testified for the Senate to invest in children who were brought to Arkansas and have succeeded in the school system. Republican legislators expressed concern that allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates would reward crime or tax the education system.

This hearing, a Committee of the Whole, effectively turns a regular floor session into a committee hearing replete with testimony from activists, business leaders, and educators. This maneuver results in a prolonged discussion on a pending piece of legislation. In effect, Elliott got a chance to showcase SB 915 and make her case with the help of some powerful testimony.

If Elliott sought to persuade Republican legislators, she may have been foiled by their conspicuous absence. Less than half of the Republican Senators were in the chamber throughout the duration of the testimony, while nearly every Democrat was seated.

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Capitol Access
4:09 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

No Big Affair: Gay Marriage and the Senate

Credit arkleg.state.ar.us

Last week, the House was witness to a multitude of displays of emotion and conviction regarding the Defense of Marriage Act. Today, the Senate picked up SR 29, which mirrors the House resolution’s language. The atmosphere in the Senate was noticeably different. The floor debate in the Senate, unlike the House, did not serve as a stage for grandstanding on the issue.

Senator Jason Rapert (R) of Conway sponsored the resolution defining marriage as the, “union between one man and one woman.” Throughout this year’s session Rapert has garnered a reputation as an outspoken leader for conservative Arkansans. His fiery rhetoric on religion and abortion has thrust him into national headlines.

But today, when given the chance to be the face of traditional marriage, Rapert chose a different route.

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Capitol Access
12:44 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

New Challenge for Ballot Initiatives

Credit http://arcompassion.com/

Legislation regulating canvassers working on ballot initiatives is making its way through the legislature this week. Advocates of the bill argue that steps need to be taken to ensure the integrity of the petition process. Opponents contend the legislation is designed to stifle the capacity of those seeking to put initiatives on the ballot.

The language of SB 821, sponsored by Keith Ingram (D), specifically calls into question the efforts of ballot initiative campaigns from the 2012 election cycle,

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Local & Regional News
5:04 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Department of Veterans Affairs Director Speaks on Women in the Military

Alicia (Cissy) Rucker

Only a few weeks ago, The Pentagon lifted its ban on women in front-line combat roles, in a historic step toward gender equality in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Issues regarding women in the military have been on the minds of Arkansans lately. At a recent town hall meeting with U.S. Congressman Tom Cotton of Arkansas, one veteran confronted the Congressman on how he plans to address sexual assaults in the military.

KUAR's Jacob Kauffman has this report on one Arkansas woman who has made an important contribution to improving the lives of women in the United States military.

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