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.
There aren't any real surprises on Gov. Rick Perry's agenda for the special session starting next week, and not much controversy, either: He clearly wants to get lawmakers through this thing in a hurry.
It's down to fixing the differences between House bills and Senate bills and getting final sign-offs and sending them to the governor for signatures, vetoes, or approval without fingerprints (unsigned bills go into law automatically).
Remember the cartoons where the sheepdog and the coyote would meet at the time clock every morning, say hello, ask about the families, punch in, harass each other all day, then greet each other pleasantly as they punched out for the evening?
You get the feeling that this legislative session is just like the last one, run in reverse. Instead of starting with a whimper and closing with a bang, it started with a bang. It shows no signs of ending with one.
The Texas Senate approved a $182.2 billion budget that includes over $10 billion in federal stimulus money, avoids across-the-board cuts in state agencies, and leaves the state's $9.1 billion Rainy Day Fund untouched.
Our bracket says Pitt will win the NCAA men's basketball championship. That doesn't mean it'll happen. And if it does happen, we won't be able to claim (honestly, anyway) that we knew it was gonna happen. We'll just have guessed right. [eds. note: After this was written, Pitt lost to Villanova, failed to make the Final Four, ruined our bracket, and painfully proved our point about predicting the future.]