CHICAGO - Cincinnati officials said this week they will be forced to lay off hundreds of employees to offset a budget shortfall after legal challenges have delayed a controversial plan to lease the city's parking system.

City attorneys made the argument Monday at a federal appeals court hearing during oral arguments over the parking plan. The case landed in the First District Court of Appeals after Cincinnati appealed a lower court's injunction that blocked implementation of the lease. Opponents are asking for a voter referendum on the deal.

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