There will be a runoff in the special election to fill the remainder of former Sen. Kip Averitt’s (R-Waco) term in Senate District 22. Republicans David Sibley and Brian Birdwell will meet in a runoff to be held on a date to be set by Gov. Rick Perry. Sibley led in the special election voting with 45 percent of the vote, followed by Birdwell, with 36.5 percent, Democrat Gayle Avant, with 13.3 percent, and Republican Darren Yancy, with 5.2 percent. The winner of the runoff will serve until January. Republican and Democratic Party county chairman from each of the counties in Senate District 22 will chose candidates to run for the seat in November.
House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) told members of his committee that he believes the budget shortfall facing the Texas Legislature next session is around $18 billion and could be even higher. This new estimate tops the $15 billion figure quoted the past few months. State sales tax revenues for the year are down 10.3 percent, or nearly $1.5 billion. Look for budget writers to find creative ways of dealing with this situation.