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.
On this week’s TribCast, Ross talks to Alex, Aliyya and Patrick about the inaugurations of Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick, proposed state budgets with big money for schools and the first Texan to enter the 2020 presidential race.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been the biggest agenda-setter in state leadership in recent legislative sessions. With a narrower majority in the Senate, a closer result in his last election and a new House speaker in place, he's a bit quieter.
Lawmakers are taking on school finance and property tax reform — gnarly policy issues that are expensive to tackle even if the state decides enough money is already being spent on public education in Texas.
An investigation of a state senator accused of sending lewd texts to a college student ended without proving his guilt or his innocence, leaving some tough questions unresolved as the Texas Legislature starts its 2019 regular session.
Beto O'Rourke, the Texas Democrat who got most of the attention in this year's general election, got more votes than any other Democrat on the statewide ticket. But one of them out-performed O'Rourke in 171 counties.
Changing the way public schools are funded is hard even when everyone agrees on the problem. But Texas lawmakers will first have to figure out if they're aiming to lower property taxes, increase spending on public education — or just change how the money is distributed.
The faraway 2020 presidential election is already underway, and it's got a distinct Texas air to it, with Democratic Party rising stars Julián Castro of San Antonio and Beto O'Rourke of El Paso deciding whether to run.