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

Voters line up to cast ballots at Austin Community College's Highland Campus in 2016.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Almost 80 percent of county election websites in Texas are not secure ahead of the 2020 presidential primary, according to a report from the League of Women Voters of Texas.

Ambulances
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Texas Medical Board will no longer be writing the rules for a new law outlawing surprise medical bills for some Texans. The law goes into effect Jan. 1.

During a meeting Friday morning, the board decided to relinquish its rulemaking authority after consumer advocates accused it of undermining the law.

Former Austin Assistant City Manager Terrell Blodgett and others speak out against Texas' mobile voting ban.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Texas Secretary of State is being sued over a new law banning local governments from setting up temporary polling locations – or any polling location that isn’t open throughout all of early voting.

Texas Capitol
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas’ bipartisan effort to shield patients from surprise medical bills could be weaker than lawmakers intended when it takes effect Jan. 1.

Over the past few years, abortion providers in Texas have struggled to reopen clinics that had closed because of restrictive state laws.

There were more than 40 clinics providing abortion in Texas on July 12, 2013 — the day lawmakers approved tough new restrictions and rules for clinics.

Jan Lance and Rene Lara walk down a street in Southeast Austin
Julia Reihs / KUT

A group of about 20 people gathered in Southeast Austin on a chilly Saturday morning to knock on doors in nearby neighborhoods. The #SickOfItTX event was one of seven across the state aimed at organizing Texans around the state's uninsured rate, which is the highest in the country.  

Beto O'Rourke
Michael Minasi for KUT

Former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke has dropped out of the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential race.

Julie Gilberg helps with voter registration
Andrea Garcia for KUT

If counted accurately, the 2020 U.S. census is expected to show a boom in Texas’ Latino population. That’s why groups in the state say they plan to focus their efforts on making sure Latinos here fill out the form and get counted.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas saw a significant increase in the number of uninsured children in a two-year period, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A ruling on a Texas-led lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act is imminent. The suit is a Republican-backed effort to eliminate the entire law after Congress failed to do so in 2017.

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

Texans can start buying health insurance through the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act later this week. Open enrollment for the online marketplace, healthcare.gov, starts Friday Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15 this year.

City leaders will gather at City Hall Saturday at noon to recognize Intersex Awareness Day for the first time.
Julia Reihs / KUT

On Saturday, the City of Austin will officially recognize Intersex Awareness Day for the first time.

Main Street in Fredericksburg, Texas
Paul Arps via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Fredericksburg residents will be asked to weigh in on a city charter amendment banning the city from adding fluoride to the public water system.

Census 2020 sign
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The U.S. Census Bureau has opened offices in Austin and Leander ahead of the 2020 census, a constitutionally mandated count that happens every 10 years.

Protesters stand outside the Governor's Mansion at a rally in support of refugee resettlement services in November 2015.
Pu Ying Huang for KUT

Texas’ refugee resettlement programs are bracing for what could be a huge blow – one that stakeholders say could weaken the state's support system for years to come.

Julia Reihs / KUT

There are vast differences when it comes to life expectancies between neighborhoods in Austin, according to new research from the Episcopal Health Foundation.

UT Austin students line up to vote
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The next presidential election may be more than a year away, but groups working to get young people in the state civically engaged have been beefing up their operations for a while now.

One of those groups, MOVE Texas, has experienced a massive growth in staff, organizers and investments.

An ambulance in front of a hospital entrance.
Spencer Selvidge for KUT

Nearly 1 in 3 Texans in neighborhoods of color have medical debt, according to a new study from the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin.

KUT Austin

Former Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in a Travis County district court Wednesday challenging the city's effort to fund logistical services for low-income women obtaining abortions.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren
Julia Reihs / KUT

Despite the threat of a storm, thousands of people descended on Vic Mathias Shores on Tuesday for a rally for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of 20 Democrats vying for the presidential nomination in 2020.

Warren talked about child care, student loans, her tax plan and her anti-corruption plan, which she dubbed “the biggest since [anti-corruption laws enacted after] Watergate.”

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas House Redistricting Committee held its first public hearing Tuesday to gather input on how to draw the next round of political maps ahead of 2021.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

More than 5 million Texans didn’t have health insurance in 2018, according to figures released today from the U.S. Census Bureau. The year before, about 4.8 million Texans lacked coverage.

Beto O'Rourke and Julian Castro
Michael Minasi for KUT

Former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro, the only Latino seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, is struggling among likely Latinx voters in Texas.

Castro, the mayor of San Antonio from 2009-2014, had just short of 8% support among the voting bloc, according to a Texas Lyceum poll released Thursday.

Voters line up to cast ballots
Salvador Castro for KUT

Younger Texans are less likely to view democracy positively and more likely to want to significantly and structurally change American government, according to a Texas Lyceum poll released today.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Among the hundreds of new laws that took effect in Texas on Sunday, several are related to health. Here are a handful that took the legislative spotlight. 

Voting signs
Salvador Castro for KUT

Minorities and elderly voters will likely be the most affected by the elimination of straight-ticket voting in 2020, according to a new report from the Austin Community College Center for Public Policy and Political Studies.

The International High School in East Austin
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Large and small cities in Texas are becoming increasingly vulnerable to measles outbreaks as more parents exempt their children from required vaccinations, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Four Austin City Council members want the city to help low-income women obtain abortions – without the city actually paying for the procedure.

Hazel O'Neil for KUT

Until somewhat recently, being a Texas Democrat was kind of a bummer.  

Jason Stanford, a longtime Democratic operative in the state, says he got data on the scope of that political melancholy in 2006 while running a gubernatorial race.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Trump administration is closer to banning some low-income, legal immigrants who are relying on public services like food stamps from legally entering the United States.

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