Tribpedia: William R. "Bill" Ratliff

William R. "Bill" Ratliff, R-Mt. Pleasant, is a retired Texas politician who served in the Texas Senate from 1989 to 2003. His Senate colleagues elected him lieutenant governor in 2001 after Rick Perry ascended to the governorship following the 2000 election of George W. Bush as president.

Ratliff, born in 1936, is a retired civil engineer. During his years in ...

In Some Cases, Government is All Relative

In a state capital where moving from the Legislature to the lobby — and, sometimes, the other way — is unremarkable, it’s also common to find the relatives of lawmakers lobbying the state government. It's legal, but the politics are tricky, and the lawmakers and lobbyists with relatives try to keep each other out of trouble.


Bill Ratliff in the Senate 2003
Bill Ratliff in the Senate 2003

Bill Ratliff, Free to Speak His Mind, Tackles Budget

Bill Ratliff, a former lieutenant governor and state senator, doesn't have to worry about how voters will react to what he says. And he's speaking out about the state's budget. He says state officials have dug a hole that will make the next budget even worse the current one. He also argues that more money should have been included for public education.

Will Smoking Cuts Add to Health Care Costs?

Finding ways to cut health care costs is all the rage under the Pink Dome — and curbing smoking is a proven way to do it. But both the House and Senate budget proposals slash tobacco cessation programs by more than 80 percent, or $20 million over the biennium. Health care advocates argue that the money, which comes from a multibillion dollar lawsuit settled with big tobacco companies, is supposed to be used for anti-smoking education.

Estimating How Much Texas Will Collect is a Dark Art

Lawmakers are waiting for Comptroller Susan Combs to forecast exactly how much money the state will collect between now and August 2013 so they can write a two-year budget that spends no more than that. It's not exactly like opening the envelopes at the Oscars, but the Capitol community will be hanging on her every word. If history is a guide, her estimate of revenues will be closer to the bull's eye than the Legislature's estimate of spending. But this is a dark art; accuracy can be elusive.