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

The Final Push: A Special Session Update

The House chamber below a mostly empty gallery during the final days of the special session on June 27, 2011.
The House chamber below a mostly empty gallery during the final days of the special session on June 27, 2011.

Lawmakers must wrap up the special session on Wednesday, with a few outstanding priorities left to tackle. Here's a rundown of where the Texas Legislature stands going into the second-to-last day of the special session.

Windstorm Insurance Deal Ready for Final Vote

State Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, speaking to the Senate after being appointed chairman of the conference committee on the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association on June 27, 2011.
State Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, speaking to the Senate after being appointed chairman of the conference committee on the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association on June 27, 2011.

State legislators say they've reached a compromise on reform of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, potentially averting a second special session this summer.

Next Time?

With rain pouring down outside the Senate chamber, State Sen. Jeff Wentworth (r), R-San Antonio, speaks with State Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, on May 20, 2011.
With rain pouring down outside the Senate chamber, State Sen. Jeff Wentworth (r), R-San Antonio, speaks with State Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, on May 20, 2011.

Now that lawmakers have drawn, approved and sent congressional redistricting maps to the governor for approval, the Senate voted to hand future mapmaking to a bipartisan, non-legislative commission.

A Legislative Vortex

Gov. Rick Perry speaking to reporters alongside House Speaker Joe Straus, center, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during a post-session press conference at the Texas Capitol on May 30, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry speaking to reporters alongside House Speaker Joe Straus, center, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during a post-session press conference at the Texas Capitol on May 30, 2011.

Gov. Rick Perry is promising to bring lawmakers back for another special session if they can't dig their way out of the TWIA hole.

Summer Reruns

The chamber of the Texas House
The chamber of the Texas House

The bill numbers have been changed to protect the innocent. If you had left Austin for a couple of weeks starting, say, right after the regular session, you'd have returned to find new congressional maps in place and little else to show for the special session.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

An Everybody-in-the-Pool effort on what's left to do in the special session, Ramshaw on a doozy of a congressional race shaping up, Aguilar on the debate over sanctuary cities and other immigration proposals, M. Smith on the state's used-up Rainy Day Fund, Grissom on efforts to kick the special interests out of an insurance fight, Dehn and Tan on whether the special session helps or hurts the governor's national ambitions, Galbraith and KUT Radio team up for a series on the long-term outlook for Central Texas water, Aaronson on government attempts to balance openness and privacy with data releases, yours truly on Amazon's run at a sales tax break, and Hamilton on an ethnic gap in higher education: The best of our best from June 20 to 24, 2011.

Updated: Williams vs. Williams?

Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.
Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.

There might be more than one Williams in the race for that new Arlington-based congressional district. Former Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, who had been after Kay Bailey Hutchison's Senate post, switched officially this morning. Now Roger Williams is looking at it.

The Circus is Coming

Brace yourselves. There's still a possibility it won't happen, but brace yourselves nevertheless, because in some ways it’s happening already.

For Big Three, Session Ends as It Started: It's Complicated

Texas' three leaders (l to r), House Speaker Joe Straus, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appear at the Texas Capitol for their traditional post-session press conference on May 31, 2011.
Texas' three leaders (l to r), House Speaker Joe Straus, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appear at the Texas Capitol for their traditional post-session press conference on May 31, 2011.

If you wanted to know where the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House would stand at the end of the legislative session, you could have seen it all months ago.

Unfinished Business, and Then Some

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, leaving the Senate chamber with colleagues Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, after a press conference on May 30, 2011.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, leaving the Senate chamber with colleagues Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, after a press conference on May 30, 2011.

Texas lawmakers are back for a special session that started the day after their 140-day regular session. That’s something like sprinting to the finish of a long race and having your coach yell, just as you break the tape, “One more lap.”