is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, where he writes regular columns on politics, government and public policy. Before joining the Tribune, Ross was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly. 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.
The state's top three leaders bet everything on public education and property taxes this year, but they can't get where they're going — especially if they want to cut property taxes — without bringing some Democrats to their side.
Tax policy and state policy get mixed in unexpected ways in the Texas Legislature. Lawmakers are considering tax bills that would regulate vaping and trying to work out the social policy kinks in what could be the largest tax proposal of this legislative session.
Texas lawmakers pass resolutions all the time. They can make the folks back home happy and commemorate people, places and things. And resolutions can serve — as one did for Senate Republicans this week — as a form of political advertising.
The Texas House sent a $250 billion budget over to the Senate with a unanimous vote after a debate that had remarkably few tense moments. With school finance, property taxes and revisions to that budget still ahead, will the comity hold?
Halfway through the session, the Capitol's hallways are full of talk of a special session on school finance and property taxes. That won't happen — unless the Legislature makes a mess of the time it's got left.