CHICAGO - Ohio's revenue collections last month fell about $322 million short of budgeted estimates, putting more pressure on Gov. Ted Strickland and lawmakers to dip into the state's budget reserve to cope with what could grow to a nearly $1 billion deficit before the fiscal year ends June 30.

The announcement of the April revenue shortfall and warning that the total deficit for the current fiscal year could exceed $900 million came yesterday from budget director J. Pari Sabety, who said with just two months left in the current fiscal year the state has few options for closing the current-year shortfall.

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