Jacob Kauffman

Anchor & Reporter

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. 

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Local & Regional News
4:58 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

The Farm Bill, Winter Weather, and Propane

Gov. Mike Beebe
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Winter storms are revealing a degree of vulnerability facing some of Arkansas's farms. Changes and support structures in the long-contested farm bill signed into law Friday by President Barack Obama may have a big impact in Arkansas where one in six jobs is tied to the state's largest industry – agriculture.

In his weekly radio address Governor Mike Beebe talked about some of the major challenges facing farmers in Arkansas.

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Local & Regional News
6:52 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner Faces New Charges

Martha Shoffner (D)
Credit Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

Former state Treasurer Martha Shoffner, who resigned last year after an FBI investigation alleged she had been accepting bribes, was presented with new charges late Thursday afternoon. A federal grand jury is charging Shoffner with ten counts of mail fraud related to the misuse of campaign funds. 

These latest allegations are in addition to six counts of extortion, one count of attempted extortion, and seven counts of receiving bribes - contained in pie boxes.

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Local & Regional News
4:54 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Parole Reform and the Private Option

Credit wikimedia.org

After changes made last year to the state's parole system county jails have seen an influx of inmates. Sheriffs are reporting overcrowding and Governor Mike Beebe has proposed additional funds.

In his weekly radio address Beebe linked the fate of the private option Medicaid expansion to prisons.

“I explained to the sheriffs that if the private option fails the additional funds to ease overcrowding and ensure payment for housing state inmates will be much harder to find. Without the private option, there will be an $89 million hole in the proposed budget,” said Beebe.

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Local & Regional News
6:39 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

What Happens When Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr Resigns?

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr leaving the Arkansas Ethics Commission hearing in December.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

After months of investigations into Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr’s use of campaign and state funds the first term Republican is expected to resign Saturday. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman looked into what Darr’s resignation means for Arkansas.

Kauffman: There are a number of questions surrounding Darr’s planned resignation that don’t deal with his ethics violations but rather what happens to the soon to be vacant Lieutenant Governor’s office. UALR Political Science Professor Art English joins us today to discuss the issue. Art, thank you for joining us.

English: Happy to be here.

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Local & Regional News
10:12 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Arkansas's Private Option Meeting Projections But Hang-Ups Persist

Joint Meeting of the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committees
Credit KUAR

Members of the Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committees met to get the most recent updates on the insurance program designed to provide coverage to nearly 250,000 low-income residents. These updates and continued questions are being pursued in the lead up to the legislature’s decision next month on whether or not to reauthorize funds for the private option.

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Local & Regional News
5:50 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Rapid Tax Refunds Could Mean Exorbitant Interest Rates

Seal of the Arkansas Attorney General
Credit ag.arkansas.gov

The attorney general's office is cautioning residents this tax season to watch out for rapid tax loans or rapid refunds. Sarah Tucker, the Senior Assistant Attorney General said consumers should be aware of bad deals getting refunds from some services.

“Rapid refunds might sound very attractive but if you obtain a rapid refund, whether it's through a refund anticipation check or perhaps your tax preparer is going to give you a debit card, you actually are going to be paying a lot of fees that you wouldn't otherwise pay and you're just borrowing your own money,” said Tucker.

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Local & Regional News
5:13 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

Beebe Highlights the Big Issues in the Upcoming Fiscal Session

Inside the Capitol
Credit Flickr.com

High profile issues will be dominating much of the the Arkansas Legislature's agenda next month. They're expected to address a special election to replace the resigning Republican Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr, craft a long-term fix to public school employee insurance hikes, consider expanding jails in the wake of probation problems and reforms, and the future of the Private Option.

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Local & Regional News
10:40 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

The Future Of Arkansas's Private Option

John Selig, Michael Leavitt, Andy Allison (Left to Right)
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

State lawmakers met Thursday afternoon to discuss the development and future of Arkansas’s Private Option. The joint meeting of the Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committees did not make any formal legislative actions but the discussion is significant as the February 10th Fiscal Session approaches.

Legislators will have to decide then whether or not to re-authorize funds for the program. The plan uses expanded eligibility and funds from the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to purchase private insurance for nearly 250,000 low income Arkansans.

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Local & Regional News
6:04 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Beebe Advocates Doubling College Degrees By 2025

Credit Governor's office

Governor Mike Beebe linked the future economic well being of Arkansans with attainment of higher education in his weekly radio address. Arkansas is near the bottom of the list of states in adults with college degrees, ranking 49th.

Governor Beebe voiced a timeline for improvement in his address.

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Local & Regional News
5:27 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Tom Cotton Opens Arkansas Headquarters for Senate Run

Tom Cotton Addressing Onlookers at Campaign HQ
Credit Ryan Saylor / Talk Business Arkansas

Representative Tom Cotton opened his Senatorial campaign headquarters in Little Rock Saturday in the presence of about 75 supporters and onlookers.

Ryan Saylor with Talk Business Arkansas covered the opening as the Republican challenger to Mark Pryor laid out his case to Arkansans.

“Do we send a new conservative leader to Washington D.C. from Arkansas who will be there to represent our conservative views and our conservative values?” asked Cotton.

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