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

Cliffhanger

Texas Weekly

The media (and we do include ourselves, thanks) loves the sort of legislative or political story line that goes like a cliffhanger episode of a TV show. And the Lege always seems to provide at least one during the session. Will they finish in time? Will they fail and go into overtime?

Rick Perry's Un-Campaign for President

Gov. Rick Perry (c) speaks with reporters outside the Senate Chamber on May 5, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry (c) speaks with reporters outside the Senate Chamber on May 5, 2011.

Gov. Rick Perry is in a great position in the race for president. His name is in the conversation. He’s in place if there’s a draft, but not at risk of an embarrassing loss. How can you lose a race you’re not running?

Budget Leaders: It's Up to the Texas House

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaking to the press about budget and education matters on May 17, 2011.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaking to the press about budget and education matters on May 17, 2011.

If the House doesn't pass legislation that adds $2.6 billion to state revenue with a mix of delayed payments, increased penalties, government efficiencies and the like, the state budget won't balance and a special session will probably be required, House and Senate leaders said today.

Update: Texas Senate Approves Redistricting Maps

Sen. Kel Seliger (l), R-Amarillo, ponders the comments of Sen. Wendy Davis during redistricting debate on May 17, 2011.
Sen. Kel Seliger (l), R-Amarillo, ponders the comments of Sen. Wendy Davis during redistricting debate on May 17, 2011.

The Texas Senate approved new political districts that protect all of the Republicans and all but one of the Democratic incumbents in that body and, after a delay, gave tentative approval to a House map already approved by the House.

Senate Votes $4 Billion From Rainy Day Fund for Deficit

Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, ponders Democratic speeches before the vote on the Senate budget bill May 4, 2011.
Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, ponders Democratic speeches before the vote on the Senate budget bill May 4, 2011.

The Texas Senate approved a $3.97 billion draw on the state's Rainy Day Fund to cover a deficit of the same size in the current budget, but not before rejecting efforts to add on a larger amount to help balance the 2012-13 budget.

Bills Die as Texas Legislative Session Winds Down

State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Southlake,  debates from the back microphone in the Texas House on May 13, 2011.
State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Southlake, debates from the back microphone in the Texas House on May 13, 2011.

It’s easier to spike legislation than to pass it, and timing is important. Nothing is dead for certain until the session ends, but lots of important things are not done, and the regular session ends on Memorial Day.

Situation Normal

Texas Weekly

The House has blown its stack and made up again a couple of times since our last conversation, all within the rules, and all — if you take a long view of things —right on schedule. Senators, who had a group conniption fit last week, have remained clear to partly cloudy and calm.

Instant Maps

Texas Weekly

Kel Seliger decided to run the redistricting marathon by saving up his energy until the end and then running a sprint. The Amarillo Republican's Senate Redistricting Committee met less than three weeks before end of the session to consider Senate district maps that had at that point been public for less than 24 hours. He told members — this was on Thursday — that they had until 5 p.m. to get their amendments to him and to make sure they were legally vetted and so on. And he said he planned to vote on the plan, along with a House plan already approved on the other side of the rotunda, on Friday. That sets up a full Senate vote for as early as next week.