Jay Root Reporter

Jay Root is a native of Liberty. He never knew any reporters growing up, and he has never taken a journalism class in his life. But somehow he got hooked on the news business. It all started when Root walked into the offices of The Daily Texan, his college newspaper, during his last year at the University of Texas in 1987. He couldn't resist the draw: it was the biggest collection of misfits ever assembled. After graduating, he took a job at a Houston chemical company and soon realized it wasn't for him. Root applied for an unpaid internship at the Houston Post in 1990, and it turned into a full-time job that same year. He has been a reporter ever since. Root has covered natural disasters, live music and Texas politics — not necessarily in that order. He was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a dozen years, most of them good. He also covered politics and the Legislature for The Associated Press before joining the staff of the Tribune.Root is the author of “Oops! A Diary From The 2012 Campaign Trail,” an insider’s account of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s dramatic collapse in the 2012 presidential race. The book was released in September, 2012.

Recent Contributions

Government Contract Disclosure Bill Advances

Rep. Giovanni Capriglione R-Soutlake waits to testify during a March 14th House Homeland Security & Public Safety committee hearing.
Rep. Giovanni Capriglione R-Soutlake waits to testify during a March 14th House Homeland Security & Public Safety committee hearing.

A bill that would require Texas elected officials to reveal contracts they have with governmental entities — one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s major priorities this year — was overwhelmingly approved by the Texas House on Wednesday.

Double Dipping Ban Passes House, Sort Of

State Rep. Chris Turner, left, on the House floor during a budget debate on March 31, 2015.
State Rep. Chris Turner, left, on the House floor during a budget debate on March 31, 2015.

The Texas House voted overwhelmingly Monday to end the controversial practice of double dipping by longtime politicians who draw state pensions and paychecks at the same time. But a last-minute change clouded exactly to whom the bill would apply. 

Senate Bill Makes It Harder to Sue Insurers

State Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, speaks during the "House vs. Senate" panel at The Texas Tribune's "On the Road: A Symposium Previewing the 84th Legislature" event on Dec. 5, 2014. Taylor is the chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
State Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, speaks during the "House vs. Senate" panel at The Texas Tribune's "On the Road: A Symposium Previewing the 84th Legislature" event on Dec. 5, 2014. Taylor is the chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

A controversial bill that would make it harder for homeowners and companies to recover certain damages from their insurance companies — cheered by the insurance industry and criticized by liberal groups and some businesses — cleared the Texas Senate on Thursday.

The Ticket: Rand Paul and Matthew Dowd

In this week's episode of The Ticket, a co-production of the Tribune and KUT, Jay and Ben break down the presidential campaign announcement speech of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and talk with Mathew Dowd, who directed George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.

Senate Strengthens and Passes Ethics Bill

State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, at a Tribune event on Dec. 11, 2014.
State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, at a Tribune event on Dec. 11, 2014.

The Senate voted in often odd coalitions to reveal more about the money members make, prohibit themselves from immediately becoming lobbyists, post their financial statements online and even subject themselves and other elected officials to drug testing.

Wining and Dining Disclosure Bills Advance

Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015

Bills designed to shed more light on wining and dining of politicians by lobbyists and contractors advanced in the Texas Legislature on Monday.