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April 24, 2014

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Budget crisis figures get worse

The state's fiscal projections -- and the shortfall that the Legislature will deal with in Monday's special session -- will be worse than previously expected.

Sources say that the state's budget office is working on new projections that will show the fiscal 2009 shortfall will be "north of $100 million."

Previously, the estimated short-term shortfall was put at $60 million. On Friday, Andrew Clinger, Gov. Jim Gibbons' budget director, sent a memo asking for 2 percent cuts.

This afternoon, the office asked departments to prepare 3 percent and 4 percent cuts, according to one source. (Each percentage point cut saves about $32 million a year.)

This all plays into Gibbons calling for a special meeting of the Economic Forum on Friday. (Read the executive order on Jon Ralston's blog.)

The governor's staff likely will have their projections out by tomorrow. It's possible that the Legislature's staff will have different projections.

Each side will take its proposal to the Economic Forum on Friday and come out with numbers that, presumably, both sides can work with. Therefore, the Legislature won't spend time arguing about how big the problem is, only on how to fix it.

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