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

Why Put These Issues on the Emergency List?

Gov. Rick Perry as the keynote speaker at The Annual Texas Rally for Life at the Capitol on  January 22, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry as the keynote speaker at The Annual Texas Rally for Life at the Capitol on January 22, 2011.

Abortion politics is back on center stage, with Gov. Rick Perry putting it, voter photo ID, state support for a balanced federal budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, eminent domain and a ban on sanctuary cities at the top of his list of priorities. Why?

Counting Noses

Texas Weekly

When San Antonio Sen. Gregory Luna, a Democrat, was dying in 1999, he got the lieutenant governor at the time — Rick Perry — to agree to give him 24 hours notice before any Senate vote on a public school voucher bill Luna opposed. He would get to Austin, he said then, to be the deciding vote against that legislation.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Jan. 24, 2011

Grissom on what happens — and doesn't — when police don't analyze evidence taken from rape victims, Dehn with video highlights of the Senate debate over photo voter ID, Aguilar on the more than three dozen immigration-related bills waiting for attention in the Legislature, M. Smith on what to do with empty school buildings, Ramshaw on what will happen to hospitals if Medicaid managed care is expanded, C. Smith on how the state's budget cuts could affect churches and other faith-based organizations, Philpott's report for the Trib and KUT News on how the tight state budget could affect mental health care, yours truly on why the initial budget proposal isn't really a plan for state spending, Stiles with a searchable database of the latest campaign finance reports, and Galbraith on the rising use of coal and wind to generate electricity in Texas: The best of our best from January 24 to 28, 2011.

More a Call to Arms Than a Budget

State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, lays out House Bill 1.
State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, lays out House Bill 1.

Whatever budget lawmakers eventually approve will serve as the working blueprint for the state for the two years starting in September. But the budget released last week isn’t a blueprint — it’s a political document. It marks the shift from the theoretical rhetoric of the campaigns to the reality of government.

Pick Your Poison

Texas Weekly

In the House, it's the nastiest, ugliest budget anybody's seen in a zillion years. In the Senate, they'll start on Monday with voter ID, the issue that froze the Legislature two years ago.

Oh, Kay!

Texas Weekly

Kay Bailey Hutchison pulled the trigger, announcing in a letter to her supporters that she won't seek reelection in 2012.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Jan. 10, 2011

The Trib staff on the opening of the Texas legislative session, Hu on what actually happened on day one, C. Miller's time-lapse photo essay, M. Smith on public school kids in the criminal justice system, Stiles and Chang interactively map legislative offices, Grissom interviews the chronicler of drug war killings in Juárez, yours truly on security at the Capitol, Galbraith on efforts by industrial plants to duck the battle between state and federal environmental regulators, Ramshaw on 25-year-olds cut out of federally mandated state health insurance, E. Smith's news-making interview with House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts and our guide to some of the people who might — and might not — run for Kay Bailey Hutchison's seat in the U.S. Senate: The best of our best from January 10 to 15, 2011.

Secure the Texas Capitol, Make it Less Accessible

Capitol visitors pass through metal detectors.
Capitol visitors pass through metal detectors.

When Andrew Cuomo took office as governor of New York earlier this month, he ordered the removal of the security barricades limiting access to his state’s Capitol. “This Capitol has become a physical metaphor for the isolation and alienation of our people,” he said in his inauguration speech. He could easily have been talking about Texas.

Texas Legislature Returns to Austin

House Speaker Joe  Straus, R-Alamo Heights, in January 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus, R-Alamo Heights, in January 2011.

The Texas Legislature today starts its 140-day effort to puzzle out a massive budget deficit, political redistricting, immigration and a slew of other gnarly problems. The budget issues came into focus Monday with new numbers from the comptroller, who says the state is recovering, slowly, from the recession. But first, legislators will get organized, voting on new rules, a new Speaker, and getting sworn in.

And a One, and a Two, and a...

Texas Weekly

Here's the layout for next week, in 100 words or less: Comptroller's release of her estimate of how much revenue the state will bring in by the end of August 2013; Tea Party rallies; GOP caucus vote on whether to show a preference for a speaker followed, maybe, by said vote; opening day with swearings-in of members (most statewides are already sworn in, with the exception of the top two, who get the treatment a week after the session starts), the official vote for speaker, and adoption of rules by the House and the Senate; and budgeteers' release of the proposed budget for 2012-13.