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

Senate Panel Approves $176.5 Billion Budget

A lemon is left on the desk by a protester as the Senate Finance Committee voted to use the rainy day fund to balance the state budget on April 21, 2011.
A lemon is left on the desk by a protester as the Senate Finance Committee voted to use the rainy day fund to balance the state budget on April 21, 2011.

A $176.5 billion budget for the 2012-13 biennium — 5.9 percent smaller than the current budget but almost $12 billion larger than the version passed earlier by the House — won approval from the Senate Finance Committee Thursday.

Senators Look for Money Without Saying "Taxes"

Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Steve Ogden and Sen. John Whitmire listen during committee meeting on April 19th, 2011
Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Steve Ogden and Sen. John Whitmire listen during committee meeting on April 19th, 2011

State senators have unveiled a list of almost $5 billion in cash-flow tricks, property sales and fees that could be used to ease cuts in the state budget, but it's not enough to completely close the gap between what they have available and what they hope to spend.

A Texas-Sized Budget Problem Deferred — to Now

Carol Strayhorn announces for governor, June, 2005.
Carol Strayhorn announces for governor, June, 2005.

The 2006 tax swap — lowering local school property taxes and creating a new business tax to make up the difference — is at the center of Texas' current budget troubles. The architects are still pointing fingers over what and whom to blame for the state's “structural deficit.”

Solomons' Map

Texas Weekly

Now there are maps, and the chairman of the House Redistricting Committee, Burt Solomons, appears to be in a hurry. He unveiled his proposed House map on Wednesday and could ask his committee to vote as early as Monday after hearings over the weekend.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr. 18, 2011

Hamilton on Victoria's efforts to divorce the University of Houston, Ramshaw on a disagreement between right-to-life groups over laws governing when life ends, E. Smith's TribLive interview with Sen. Kel Seliger and Rep. Burt Solomons on redistricting, Aguilar's interview with the mayor of Juárez, Tan on the continuing hunt for money to buy down budget cuts, Grissom on a psychologist who found more than a dozen inmates mentally competent to face the death penalty, Stiles and yours truly on the House redistricting maps and Galbraith on cutting or killing a tax break for high-cost natural gas producers: The best of our best content from April 11 to 15, 2011.

Interview: Speaker Joe Straus on the Budget and Session

House Speaker Joe Straus
House Speaker Joe Straus

House Speaker Joe Straus was interviewed eariler this week by Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, government prof and half of the Tribune's polling team, about the session so far, the budget, gambling, rewriting state taxes, federal stimulus money and what he thinks about the tempest over research and teaching at the state's top universities.

Senate List of $5.5 Billion in Revenue Proposals Leaked

A copy of HB1 and its amendments sits on the desk of State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, on April 1, 2011
A copy of HB1 and its amendments sits on the desk of State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, on April 1, 2011

Texas senators scratching for new state revenue canceled a meeting to talk about their options today, but a copy of their list got loose — and it includes $5.5 billion in taxes, fees, asset sales and accounting tricks that could be used to ease their budget problems.