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.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has put the clock to his advantage. With a week to go in the regular legislative session, his threat of pushing lawmakers into overtime if he doesn’t get his way on pet issues is paying off.
Amid rumors of a special session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick put out a short list of bills he wants the House to pass if he's going to let the Senate advance must-pass legislation. And he appears to have the upper hand in the last days of the session.
Rumors of a special session are a normal feature in the last days of a regular session. There's no emergency that would force a special session, but don't discount the Texas Legislature's ability to force one by failing to finish its work.
In a legislative process where so many issues die quietly in committees and parliamentary actions, making politicians attach their names to their positions can be a powerful thing. The "sanctuary cities" bill tested that theory.
As the Legislature grinds its way through the final three weeks of the regular session, the state's top three leaders are pushing and shoving, figuratively speaking, to the finale and beyond — to the 2018 elections.
Texas legislators — along with everyone watching them — expected to lock horns over transgender Texans and the bathroom bill. But the raw debate over sanctuary cities legislation could be the hallmark of this 85th Legislature.