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Watchdog: Massachusetts could face $1.5B budget gap, higher than administration's estimate


BOSTON — A taxpayers watchdog groups says Massachusetts' budget shortfall could be as high as $1.5 billion, nearly twice what the administration is estimating.

The president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation told organizations that rely on state funding to "Brace yourselves for a new reality."

The foundation's projected shortfall assumes funding for programs considered discretionary, from public safety to aid to municipalities, stays level.

Gov. Charlie Baker's administration has projected a $768 million shortfall. Earlier this month he outlined more than $500 million in spending cuts to help close the gap. Has said he will not raise taxes.

Kristen Lepore, Baker's budget chief, tells The Boston Globe ( ) that state spending is growing at almost twice the rate of tax revenue, which she calls "unsustainable."

Information from: The Boston Globe,

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