Ross Ramsey Executive Editor

Ross Ramsey Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune. Before joining the Tribune, Ramsey was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly for 15 years. He did a 28-month stint in government as associate deputy comptroller for policy with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the agency’s director of communications. Before that, Ramsey reported for the Houston Chronicle from its Austin bureau and for the Dallas Times Herald, first on the business desk in Dallas and later as the paper’s Austin bureau chief, and worked as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, writing for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ramsey got his start in journalism in broadcasting, working for almost seven years covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas.

Recent Contributions

Where It Stops, Nobody Knows

Texas Weekly

One way to attract attention: Start chattering about the governor's inclination to break his 82-bill veto record. That's the signal watchers in the press and lobby are getting from Gov. Rick Perry, and it has bred a mini-industry of speculation about what might be and might not be on the chopping block. We've heard talk — thoroughly unsubstantiated and mentioned here only to illustrate the point about speculation — that Perry might whack the legislation fixing problems and making adjustments to the state's new business tax. So-called "special items" for colleges and universities in the state budget — that's where they make appropriations for specific projects and programs outside the regular operations of the schools — are on the gossip channel. And the governor has yet to sign a watered-down highway bill that went to him after he vetoed a stronger version in the final days of the session.

Survivor: Austin

Texas Weekly

House Speaker Tom Craddick had the tenacity to withstand a three-day siege at the end of the legislative session, but it cost him some of his own supporters in the House. The question now is whether the next elections will replace enough of the rebels for him to hold on for a fourth term.

Tenacious C

Texas Weekly

A lawyer we know was out drinking with a lobster the other night and saw a group of the House's anti-Tom Craddick rebels sitting at a big table having a good time. Nothing wrong with that, he said, except that he was guessing Craddick was sitting next to a telephone somewhere, writing notes in his tiny scrawl on a legal pad, talking to people, working.

All Fall Down

Texas Weekly

He's still the lead gorilla, but House Speaker Tom Craddick is no longer a 900-pounder. More like 300. And the adage about 900-pound gorillas sleeping "wherever they want to" applies here, too. A 300-pounder has to pick his way through the band, lest one of his 250-pound colleagues turn into an open rival.

The Briar Patch

Texas Weekly

It's hard to explain just how things in the Senate got the way they are, but you can mark the beginning. Last Spring, senators figured out how to maneuver around Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst while they were passing a new business tax bill and approving legislation to replace local property tax money in public schools with state money.

Catch and Release

Texas Weekly

Corrections to a tax bill could save thousands of small businesses in Texas from the gross receipts tax approved by lawmakers a year ago. Lawmakers might raise the minimum revenue requirements, letting more companies escape the new levy.

Crunch City

Texas Weekly

When this last break of the legislative session is over next week, there will be seven weeks left in the 80th regular session of the Texas Legislature. And you know, even if you're new to this, that the rules start killing things before the last day.

Spending Time

Texas Weekly

The House kicked out its budget early Friday morning after 18 hours of debate; the Senate Finance Committee planned to send its version to the printers a few hours later. Put the Senate plan in play the week after the Easter break, and the conference committee that really writes the budget will get started.

Record Spending, Record Restraint

Texas Weekly

A $150.1 billion state budget is on its way to the full House, which already approved another $14.2 billion spending plan for school finance. Those bills, along with a "supplement" appropriations bill to patch thin spots in the current budget, would bring state spending for the next two years to about $164.3 billion, up from $144.6 billion in the current budget.

Bummer, Dude

Texas Weekly

Pity Tom Pauken. The Dallas lawyer tapped to head a task force on property tax reform turned in his report in January, with plenty of time for lawmakers to work on it. The governor listed property tax reform as a priority in all of his pre-session interviews with reporters. The Guv mentioned it again in his state of the state speech.

Wanna Bet?

Texas Weekly

Legislation that would expand legal gambling on two fronts while also funding a quarter of a million college scholarships could go to voters if two-thirds of the Texas Legislature approves.

Push Back

Texas Weekly

Rick Perry and George W. Bush are the only recent governors to stay in office long enough to name every member of every board and commission — every appointed official. It takes six straight years in office to go all the way through the batting order, and when a governor is done, it all belongs, for better or for worse, to that governor.