Paul Burka

The dean of the Capitol press corps, senior executive editor Paul Burka joined the staff of Texas Monthly one year after the magazine’s founding, in 1973. For nearly forty years he has led the magazine’s political coverage and spearheaded its storied roundup of the Best and Worst Legislators each biennium. A lifelong Texan, he was born in Galveston, graduated from Rice University with a B.A. in history, and received a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.

Burka is a member of the State Bar of Texas and spent five years as an attorney with the Texas Legislature, where he served as counsel to the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

Burka won a National Magazine Award for reporting excellence in 1985 and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and teaches at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a frequent guest discussing politics on national news programs on MSNBC, Fox, NBC, and CNN.


The High Cost of Ideology

States that decline to expand Medicaid could simply be passing the costs on to employers, according to a new report.

The Politics of Medicaid Expansion

Of all the big issues to be resolved by the 83rd Legislature, none is bigger than Medicaid expansion.

Eltife Proposes Sales Tax Increase

The Tyler Senator’s proposal really puts the screws to his fellow Republicans.

Governor for Life

Has Rick Perry repaired his standing with the tea party and Republicans in general? A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll suggests so.

Water Plan: Son of CPRIT?

The proposal by Senator Troy Fraser to change the governance of the Texas Water Development Board is scary stuff.

Senator Sylvia Garcia

The former Harris County commissioner beat State Rep. Carol Alvarado in a run-off election to replace the late Mario Gallegos.

About That Fiscal Conservatism

With state debt hitting $40.9 billion, can Texas really be considered fiscally conservative?

Patrick Bill Would Place Restrictions on the Use of Mifepristone; TMA has Reservations

Sen. Dan Patrick’s bill, which would require doctors to personally administer the two doses of the medication that induces abortion, is a dagger to the heart of the Republican party.

Should the Gas Tax Be Increased?

Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) has proposed paying for highway construction by increasing the gasoline tax. Empower Texans’ Michael Quinn Sullivan has slammed that idea, but he should explain why he believes is better to build highways with bonds than with taxes.

The State of Taxes

Texas won’t get its financial house in order until lawmakers have a thoughtful conversation about the T-word. Don’t hold your breath.