State revenue forecast: $1.4 billion short

More budget cutting likely

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A new state revenue forecast projects the state will bring in $1.4 billion less than previously expected in the current budget cycle.

The figures released Thursday by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council set up another round of budget troubles for state lawmakers. A revenue projection from three months ago estimated that the state would have a $163 million buffer for the two-year budget cycle that started in July, so the new numbers indicate that lawmakers will now have a hole of about $1.2 billion.

The state's chief economist had initially projected some positive growth in the economy in the second half of this year, but he now is more pessimistic. Revenue collections through last week were already $40 million below initial projections.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has already state agencies to prepare for the possibility of additional budget cuts as high as 10 percent.