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Crist sees 'glimmer of hope' in smaller shortfall

Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday said he was encouraged by an update in the state's revenue projection that shows next year's budget shortfall is now pegged at about $2.5-million, down from an earlier projection of a $6-billion gap. The new number reflects modest improvement in sales tax collections.

"A glimmer of hope," Crist said. "That can only be attributable to a little bit better economic revenue coming in and us being frugal with the taxpayers' money."

Crist noted that the latest projection does not fully take into account the lost sales tax revenue from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

The state's chief economist, Amy Baker, will brief members of the Legislative Budget Commission on the new numbers later Tuesday. The 14-member LBC has the responsibility of making mid-year adjustments to the state budget.

- Steve Bousquet

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