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Jun 14, 2010 6:55 PM

Senate to account for third deficit in budget

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) The state doesn't officially have a third budget deficit this year, but senators say they will rebalance the budget to account for economists' predictions the state will have less money than estimated.

Economists last week projected the state will end this year with at least a $260 million deficit. But House Speaker Jim Tucker refused to boost the current year deficit projection officially from $319 million to more than $580 million, saying that move would be premature.

Senate Finance Chairman Mike Michot says even without the formal revision, his committee will work to rebalance this year's budget under the assumption of a $580 million deficit, rather than the lower figure.

The Senate committee is scheduled to release its budget plans Tuesday.

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