DALLAS - Louisiana must cut its current state budget by $341 million this year while looking to a $2 billion shortfall in fiscal 2010, according gloomy projections released Monday by the state Revenue Estimating Conference.

The four-member board reduced its estimate for fiscal 2010 general fund revenues by some $750 million, worsening an expected gap of $1.26 billion. The reduction in fiscal 2009 revenues is the first official prediction of a shortfall this year, and will require the state to cut budgeted expenditures in the middle of a fiscal year for the first time since 2002.

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