Ashley Lopez, KUT

Ashley Lopez moderates a panel on federal immigration policy in July 2018.
Credit Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Ashley Lopez joined KUT in January 2016. She covers politics and health care, and is part of the NPR-Kaiser Health News reporting collaborative. Previously she worked as a reporter at public radio stations in Louisville, Ky.; Miami and Fort Myers, Fla., where she won a National Edward R. Murrow Award.

Ashley was also part of NPR’s Political Reporting Partnership during the 2016 presidential election. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ways to Connect

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured women between the ages of 18 to 44, according to a new study from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

Spencer Selvidge for KUT

A surprise medical bill may be a thing of the past for many Texans. In a unanimous vote, the Texas House approved a Senate bill banning health care providers from sending steep medical bills to insured Texans in emergencies.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Immigration is likely to be a key issue in the 2020 presidential election, but so far Democratic candidates have largely shied away from the issue in their campaigns.

Julián Castro hasn't.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is refusing to cooperate with two separate congressional investigations, arguing Congress lacks the authority to investigate the state. It’s a move that constitutional law experts say is both unprecedented and is likely inspired by President Trump’s recent refusals to comply with congressional investigations.

Juan Figueroa for KUT

County judges and voting groups say they're concerned an update to a sweeping voting bill could reduce the number of countywide polling places in minority communities – particularly in larger metropolitan areas in Texas.

Callie Richmond/KHN

President Donald Trump announced ongoing bipartisan efforts in Congress to tackle surprise medical billing, during an event at the White House on Thursday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

“I don’t want to be a flash-in-a-pan candidate or someone who is hot for a month,” Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said during a stop in Austin on Wednesday.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Kindergarten and seventh-grade students in Texas have slightly lower vaccination rates this school year, according to a new report from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Gauze and other medical supplies on a tray in a hospital room.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday that his office filed a brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

The seal of the Republic of Texas on the floor of the Capitol rotunda
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A federal judge in San Antonio will hear arguments Thursday over whether Texas should have to clear its political maps with the federal government in 2021.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Unlike other voting rights lawsuits filed against Texas officials in the past decade, the challenge to the state’s noncitizen voter-removal effort was settled relatively quickly.

The audience listens during the She the People presidential forum at Texas Southern University in Houston on Wednesday.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Eight Democratic presidential candidates participated in the She the People presidential forum at Texas Southern University in Houston on Wednesday. The event was billed as the "first-ever presidential forum focused on women of color" – a key demographic within the Democratic Party.

After high turnout in last year's midterm elections propelled Democrats to a new House majority and big gains in the states, several Republican-controlled state legislatures are attempting to change voting-related rules in ways that might reduce future voter turnout.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The state Senate passed legislation Monday that increases criminal penalties for election-related crimes in Texas. Voting rights groups have said they worry the bill could criminalize honest mistakes, among other things.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

State lawmakers started this year’s legislative session with the intention of tackling bipartisan issues — namely, education and property taxes. Last week, though, abortion politics complicated that goal.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

During his official presidential campaign kickoff rally in El Paso over the weekend, Beto O’Rourke directly refuted President Trump’s view of the country’s Southern border.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

"This is our moment of truth and we cannot be found wanting," Beto O'Rourke told a crowd of cheering supporters as he officially kicked off his presidential campaign in El Paso on Saturday.

He said El Paso represents America "at its very best."

Julia Reihs / KUT

Beto O’Rourke is running for the Democratic presidential nomination among a field of candidates that includes six women and five people of color, so far.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A wide-ranging voting bill in the Texas Senate “would sharply escalate an ongoing campaign of voter suppression” in the state, voting rights advocates say.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Beto O’Rourke has begun the long process of introducing himself to potential voters in Iowa.

The former congressman from El Paso, who officially announced his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday, made several stops throughout the state over the past few days. Candidates often give Iowa special attention because it's the first state in the nation to hold a presidential-nominating contest.

Julia Reihs (left) and Montinique Monroe for KUT

With former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s announcement today, two Texas Democrats are now seeking the presidential nomination in 2020.

“It is surprising,” said longtime Democratic strategist Colin Strother. “It’s the first time, I believe, it’s happened in my lifetime.”

Beto O'Rourke addresses supporters in El Paso on election night in November.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Former Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke is running for president, he announced in a video with his wife, Amy.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Following the state’s effort to remove alleged noncitizens from voter rolls, recent polling shows many Texans believe noncitizens are voting – even though studies have shown that rarely happens.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Lloyd Doggett
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a visit to East Austin on Tuesday to promote sweeping voting legislation currently before Congress.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Almost two-thirds of Texans think state lawmakers should expand Medicaid to cover more low-income uninsured people, according to a survey funded by the Episcopal Health Foundation.

Spencer Selvidge for KUT

A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced plans to address surprise medical bills in way that would take the "burden" off Texans.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

The day after a federal judge in San Antonio criticized Texas Secretary of State David Whitley’s effort to remove alleged noncitizens from voter rolls, a state Senate committee approved his nomination.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

Beto O’Rourke says he will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2020, but signaled a possible run for president.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As the nomination of Texas Secretary of State David Whitley faces tough prospects in the Senate, two Republican senators filed bills raising the stakes for his effort to remove suspected noncitizens from voter rolls.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Twenty child advocacy groups and nonprofits called on Texas lawmakers this week to increase funding for a struggling program that helps more than 50,000 small children with disabilities and developmental delays in the state.

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