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Dec 17, 6:58 PM EST

Group pegs Massachusetts budget deficit at $1 billion, far above current estimates


BOSTON (AP) -- An independent analysis pegs the state budget deficit at $1 billion in the current fiscal year - more than three times the previous estimate of state officials.

The analysis released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation forecasts a $288 million shortfall in revenue and $525 million in spending obligations not included in the budget which runs through June 30. The organization also said the state faces at least $180 million in temporary Medicaid costs resulting from a breakdown of the state's health insurance exchange.

Gov. Deval Patrick's administration estimates the deficit is $329 million and disputes the foundation's analysis.

Gov.-elect Charlie Baker is promising to make his own assessment of the shortfall after taking office on Jan. 8. He has ruled out new taxes or cuts in local aid.

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