BRADENTON, Fla. - After reviewing general revenue income projections for the state's fiscal 2009 budget, Florida economists on Friday said preliminary figures indicate a potential deficit of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion as the state's economy continues to plunge and home foreclosures soar.

Anticipating the bad news, Gov. Charlie Crist Thursday ordered state agencies to accelerate nearly $8 billion of construction projects - portions of which will be funded with debt - as part of an economic stimulus plan he called "Accelerate Florida: Extending Florida's Economic Horizons."

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