Wash. economists say faces nearly $1.4B deficit

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The state's chief economist says that the state has taken in $12 million less than expected since September, and that revenues are projected to drop by $122 million over the next two years.

In his latest revenue forecast Thursday, Arun Raha said that if $91 million in reserves are used, the state will face a nearly $1.4 billion deficit, up from the previously projected $1.3 billion. If those reserves aren't used, that deficit climbs to $1.6 billion. Problems in Europe could the problem worse, he said.

State lawmakers return to the Capitol on Nov. 28 to consider approximately $2 billion in cuts to state programs for the budget through 2013. Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to release her budget proposal on Monday suggesting cuts, as well as a revenue package.