Ross Ramsey Executive Editor

Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune. Before joining the Tribune, Ross 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 and director of communications with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before that, he 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 its Austin bureau chief, and worked as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, writing for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ross got his start in journalism in broadcasting, covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas.

Recent Contributions

Crunch Time

Texas Weekly

You get the feeling that this legislative session is just like the last one, run in reverse. Instead of starting with a whimper and closing with a bang, it started with a bang. It shows no signs of ending with one.

Spending Theirs, Saving Ours

Texas Weekly

The Texas Senate approved a $182.2 billion budget that includes over $10 billion in federal stimulus money, avoids across-the-board cuts in state agencies, and leaves the state's $9.1 billion Rainy Day Fund untouched.

Cutting the Strings

Texas Weekly

Texas can get $556 million in federal stimulus money without any permanent changes in its unemployment insurance program, according to an advisory letter from the U.S. Department of Labor.

March Madness

Texas Weekly

Our bracket says Pitt will win the NCAA men's basketball championship. That doesn't mean it'll happen. And if it does happen, we won't be able to claim (honestly, anyway) that we knew it was gonna happen. We'll just have guessed right. [eds. note: After this was written, Pitt lost to Villanova, failed to make the Final Four, ruined our bracket, and painfully proved our point about predicting the future.]

Perry: We're Not Gonna Take It

Texas Weekly

Gov. Rick Perry says the state should turn down $555 million in federal stimulus money tied to unemployment insurance, because the requirements are too strict, prompting some lawmakers to say they'll push to get enough support for the program to go around him.

Up Next: The Ides of March

Texas Weekly

The "county fair" section of the legislative session — the part at the beginning that's taken up with glad-handing and rattlesnake roundup demonstrations and mariachis and pre-schoolers and city and county and association "days" at the Capitol — is coming to a close.

Brother, Can You Spare $556 Million?

Texas Weekly

You're really out in the weeds when you find yourself listening to arguments about reform provisions for unemployment insurance, but that's the first of what might be a series of firefights over the federal stimulus money available to the state.

One Decade at a Time

Texas Weekly

That noise you hear in the Senate and the House isn't just partisan barking — it's the early signal that, in two years, those lawmakers will be drawing political maps and spilling political blood.

Now It Starts

Texas Weekly

The new speaker's first bit of danger is out of the way, with House members on their way home for a long weekend to mull their committee assignments and to consider the difference between what they hoped for and what they got.

The Order of Things

Texas Weekly

The conversation in the halls is mostly about House committee assignments and who'll get what. The underlying political tension is between Democrats who think Speaker Joe Straus should reward them for making up 80 percent of the vote that put him in the corner office, and Republicans who think he needs to consolidate power within his own party in the closely divided chamber to have any chance of hanging on to the controls.

Waiting

Texas Weekly

The House has its rules in place after a long day of warbling and negotiating, and the one that sticks out is the rule that lets the House depose a speaker with only 76 votes — a simple majority. The speaker no longer has the power to ignore privileged motions, including motions to "vacate the chair." And an effort to raise the bar — to require 90 votes, or 100, to unseat a speaker fell short. It's 76: If it were a rear-view mirror on the Speaker's dais, it'd have words on it: "Warning! Hostile representatives in mirror are closer than they appear."