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The Empire

State budget report: $4.6 billion gap by 2015

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Despite a spike in tax collections, the governor's budget office today released a report that took the wind out of the sails of anyone hoping for an improvement in the state's fiscal situation.

"Positive operating results through June 2011 compared the Enacted Budget forecast are
believed to be timing-related and do not provide a basis for revising the annual estimates of receipts or disbursements at this time," the report said.

The good news is that things aren't getting any worse. The reports says budget projections remain on track, we have $2.6 billion more in the bank than this time last year, and our operating budget is nearly $2 billion better off than expected.

In the coming weeks the state's two biggest labor unions--Public Employee Federation and Civil Service Employees Association--that represent 60 percent of the state's workforce, are set to vote on contracts that are a big portion of the $450 million in savings that are being counted.