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

Never Say Always

Texas Weekly

It's usually true that the Lege is a slow-moving machine, but not always. Look at the moves to jump around constitutional constraints on increased state spending: Mired two weeks ago, coupled with a tax break for elderly homeowners one week ago, and now out of the Senate, out of the House Appropriations Committee and on its way to a floor vote next week.

Need to Hide Something Big?

Texas Weekly

Ask Gov. Rick Perry for advice. He managed to bury headline-grabbing proposals for the sale of the state lottery, a $3 billion war on cancer, $100 million for border security, a $2.5 billion tax rebate, and health care for up to two million of the state's working poor behind a vaccine for pre-teen girls against a sexually transmitted disease.

Real Soon Now

Texas Weekly

The last act, usually, of the "fixin' to fixin' to" phase of every legislative session is the governor's State of the State speech. They're hard to remember, for the most part, because the Legislature has a tradition of listening politely, clapping a lot, and then ignoring some or all of the items on a given governor's wish list. But some of it gets into the wiring, and into the ears of lawmakers and even, sometimes, the public.

Big Mo and Little Mo

Texas Weekly

Gov. Rick Perry's appraisal reforms don't have nearly the momentum of last year's school finance package, though both came out of task forces headed by political figures and comprised of business folks. School finance was hard to crack, but the Legislature wasn't split on the need to do something. This time, you'll find disagreement on the nature of the problem and the proposed solutions. This package will be harder to pass.

Government, On the Rocks

Texas Weekly

It probably tickles the Yankees when a little ice shuts down the Texas government this way, but until the cabin fever set in, it offered a nice break from the head-banging that went on during the first week of the legislative session.

Setting Sail

Texas Weekly

Gov. Rick Perry starts the session with higher education, health care, border security, appraisals and the state budget on his list of things to do. The governor, who'll be sworn in for his second full four-year term next week, lived through a day of serial interviews with reporters, taking small bunches for a half-hour at a time. You'll see varied reports depending on what he said to which group and what they thought was important. Some high points from our interview:

About that Fence

Texas Weekly

While business groups were trying to temper efforts to seal the border between the U.S. and Mexico this week, and Gov. Rick Perry was puncturing anti-immigrant proposals from the Legislature, the state's chief financial officer was saying undocumented immigrants are a pretty good deal for Texas.

It's Only Money

Texas Weekly

It often happens in races for the Texas House and the Texas Senate: Losers spend more than winners in tight races. Not always, but often enough to make this exercise interesting.

The Agony of Relief

Texas Weekly

State spending on school tax relief could force legislators to trample constitutional limits on budget growth next year, vexing conservatives who want both tax relief and limits on government growth.

The Eye of the Storm

Texas Weekly

The blue wave that swept the country on Election Day wasn't as obvious in Texas, where Republicans won all of the statewide offices on the ballot and held all but a couple of seats in the congressional delegation and the state Senate.

The Last Lap

Texas Weekly

Face it: This is a political off year. There's one race at the top of the ballot, and the polls, if they're right, have been remarkably stagnant for a long time. There's movement back there in the race for second, but the overall outlook is a lot like it was months ago. There's one race in the Legislature that could change how things operate — it's in the Senate — and a handful of races in the House that look to change the partisan makeup only slightly. Most of the statewide races are yawners, though it's a nervous time for Republicans at the low end of the statewide ballot.

The Mighty Quinn

Texas Weekly

Without Houston lawyer John O'Quinn, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell wouldn't be on television during the last three weeks of this election cycle.