WASHINGTON — States already hurting from declining revenues and increased spending needs could continue to face financial troubles over the next three to four years as the nation's economic downturn drags on, the National Governors Association's executive director said yesterday.

"We're really fearful that we could be in a three- or four-year slowdown," the NGA's Ray Scheppach told reporters during a teleconference as he unveiled the Fiscal Survey of States, a biennial report that examines state budget trends.

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