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Budget, tax news solid. And bleak.

Time for the good news bad news out of the roundtable of economists.

Good news: The economists in December probably got their tax-collection estimates spot on. This year, they upped the general-revenue estimate by $25.3 million and $56.1 million next year.

"Underlying the forecast is the assumption that the extreme financial and economic stress that began over a year ago has reached its bottom," said Amy Baker, the Legislature's chief economist.

Bad news: Next year's budget shortfall remains therefore unchanged: About $3.2 billion.


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