Morgan Smith Reporter

Morgan Smith reports on politics and education for the Tribune, which she joined in November 2009. She writes about the effects of the state budget, school finance reform, accountability and testing in Texas public schools. Her political coverage has included congressional and legislative races, as well as Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign, which she followed to Iowa and New Hampshire. In 2013, she received a National Education Writers Association award for "Death of a District," a series on school closures. After earning a bachelor's degree in English from Wellesley College, she moved to Austin in 2008 to enter law school at the University of Texas. A San Antonio native, her work has also appeared in Slate, where she spent a year as an editorial intern in Washington D.C.

Recent Contributions

Despite Legal Woes, Paxton Emerges as Culture Warrior

TX Attorney General Ken Paxton, speaks to media following remarks at event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan on June 22, 2015
TX Attorney General Ken Paxton, speaks to media following remarks at event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan on June 22, 2015

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, under scrutiny for his financial dealings, stayed out of sight and coasted into office last fall as part of the new Republican leadership. Now his legal troubles are back, just as he's emerging as the hero for social conservatives who fueled his candidacy.

Campus Carry Bill Heads to Gov. Abbott

State Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, during gun bills debates on April 17, 2015.
State Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, during gun bills debates on April 17, 2015.

Legislation requiring the state’s public universities to allow handguns in dorms, classrooms and campus buildings is now one step away from becoming law after a final vote to approve it in the Texas House on Sunday.

Campus Carry Gets Final Approval in Texas Senate

State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, during a debate over his campus carry bill, SB 11, on March 18, 2015.
State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, during a debate over his campus carry bill, SB 11, on March 18, 2015.

The Texas Senate took a final vote Saturday to approve legislation requiring the state’s public universities to allow handguns in dorms, classrooms and campus buildings. The House is scheduled to vote on the issue on Sunday. 

 

"Cop-Stop" Language Stripped From Open Carry Bill

Don Huffines, candidate for Texas Senate, hosts a reception at the Omni Hotel at Republican Party of Texas Convention June 5, 2014.
Don Huffines, candidate for Texas Senate, hosts a reception at the Omni Hotel at Republican Party of Texas Convention June 5, 2014.

A controversial provision, which law enforcement officials have said would allow criminals to carry firearms without repercussions, has been removed from a key gun bill, lawmakers confirmed Thursday.

Campus Carry Headed to Conference Committee

State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, during a debate over his campus carry bill, SB 11, on March 18, 2015.
State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, during a debate over his campus carry bill, SB 11, on March 18, 2015.

Significant changes limiting the reach of legislation requiring Texas universities to allow concealed handguns on campus may be in danger as House and Senate lawmakers work out their differences on the bill.