BRADENTON, Fla. - Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin is asking Congress for help with debt issuance, as the city is under pressure to make budget cuts after seeing revenues decline 12.5% in the first quarter of its fiscal year.

Responding to a projected $50 million to $60 million budget shortfall, Franklin late Wednesday said she would propose an immediate hiring freeze in all general fund departments and a four-hour weekly furlough for all 4,600 employees beginning next month through the end of the fiscal year. She also is recommending using $12 million from budget reserves.

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