Last month, state economists projected a $141 million deficit at the end of the current budget year. If left unchecked, that could blossom to $1 billion by the end of the next budget year.
There's seems to be no single solution and the alternatives are limited: reduce state services, find new revenue sources, raise taxes, suspend planned tax cuts or some combination.
That's in sharp contrast to when legislators ended their session in May and went home believing the current budget would have a $121 million surplus.
But revenues for the previous budget year that ended June 30 were $41 million less than expected. Forecasters said current budget revenues are expected to fall some $211 million below original estimates.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)