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.

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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.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Groups that help register new voters in Texas are challenging the state's effort to remove noncitizens from voter rolls, claiming it's an attempt to intimidate people of color, a growing demographic in the state.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Almost 68 percent of voters in Texas voted straight ticket during the 2018 general election, according to a new report from the Austin Community College Center for Public Policy and Political Studies.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It’s been nearly two weeks since Texas officials released a list of 95,000 people on the state’s voter rolls who they suspect might not be citizens. Since then, election officials in Travis County have been vetting the state’s list. The process has been tedious and complicated – and there's no telling when it will end.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Consumer advocates and health insurers are pushing Texas lawmakers to address surprise medical bills during this year’s legislative session.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Julieta Garibay is one of almost 100,000 people on Texas' voter rolls who state officials recently said might not be citizens. Like many people on the list, though, the Austin resident recently became a U.S. citizen and has the right to vote.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Voting rights groups and local election officials say the state’s bungled effort to prove there are thousands of noncitizens on the state’s voter rolls is all about making voter registration harder in Texas before the 2020 election.

Salvador Castro for KUT

Despite accusations the state is violating voting rights, Gov. Greg Abbott did not call for the Texas Secretary of State to rescind an advisory he sent out last week that said his office found thousands of possible noncitizens on the state’s voter rolls.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas officials said they are working with local election officials to make sure no eligible voters are removed from the state’s voter rolls, as they work to identify noncitizens on the rolls.

Salvador Castro for KUT

A Latino civil rights organization filed a lawsuit in federal court today against Texas' effort to identify noncitizens who are registered to vote.

The lawsuit brought by the the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) argues state officials violated the Voting Rights Act when they advised local registrars to remove alleged noncitizens from their voter rolls.

As U.S. immigration enforcement becomes stricter under the Trump administration, more immigrant families are cutting ties with health care services and other critical government programs, according to child advocates who work with these families.

In Texas, researchers studying the issue say it's a major reason why more children are going without health insurance.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Kevin Drapela and his wife, Cori-Beth Tuite, found themselves at a food bank Wednesday – something they never expected.

The IRS employees from Taylor were among the federal workers who attended a resource fair hosted by the Central Texas Food Bank in response to the ongoing government shutdown.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A growing number of Texans are turning to a little-known state mediation program to deal with surprise hospital bills. However, the program is likely only addressing a fraction of the surprise medical bills Texans receive in the mail every year. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas health officials say they’re going to provide next month’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits early due to the federal government shutdown.

James Doyle / NPR

One of the 100 congressional freshmen starting work today is from Central Texas.

Republican Chip Roy is now representing the 21st Congressional District, which stretches from San Antonio to Austin and up into the Hill Country. Roy is replacing Republican Lamar Smith, who retired after holding the seat since 1987.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Soon after a federal judge ruled Friday that the Affordable Care Act was invalid, Gov. Greg Abbott told The Dallas Morning News that Texas would create its own health care system if the decision is upheld.

It won't be that simple. Here are some things you should know about Abbott’s plan:

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