Baker confirms $765M shortfall in state finances

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker says the state is facing a $765 million budget deficit.

The Republican governor is expected to announce what steps he hopes to take to close a deficit he has blamed on excessive spending.

Baker met with senior staff in his office on Tuesday.

Former Gov. Deval Patrick, before leaving office, estimated the shortfall at $329 million. The Democrat ordered $200 million in budget cuts to agencies under his direct control, and asked the Legislature to take other steps including a cut in state aid to cities and towns — something Baker and legislative leaders have ruled out.

Baker previously said he expected the deficit to exceed $500 million.

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