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Bruno Warns of $2.5 Billion Deficit in Current Budget

By Mark Scott

Albany, NY – The state could end its current fiscal year in March with a budget gap of as much as $2.5 billion.

State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said the figure is worse than projected. He says revenue collections are off by as much as $800 million. He says there are few signs of a Wall Street resurgence that would cause a rise in revenues.

A report issued by Pataki's budget division in October said revenues for the current year were running a bit ahead of projections. But it did warn of dangers for the rest of the year.

The Senate is returning for a lame duck session in December to act on an anti- discrimination bill for gays. But Bruno said it's unlikely the Senate would act on any fiscal measures until the new session begins in January.

Bruno said the consequences of the recession and the fallout from 9/11 have not been fully realized.