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Mass Tightens Spending after Taxes Misses Mark

By BOB SALSBERG, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration has ordered tighter controls on state spending, while opting not to revise its estimate of tax revenues for the current fiscal year.

Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez said Monday he believes Massachusetts will have enough revenue to meet its budget obligations.

Tax collections fell $95 million short of benchmarks during the first three months of the fiscal year that started on July 1.

In a letter to the governor and key lawmakers, Gonzalez said he was immediately capping the number of full-time employees in state agencies at current levels, and placing limits on what agencies can spend for purposes not already approved.

Gonazales also cautioned about unforeseen costs ahead, including those tied to the legal crisis caused by the alleged mishandling of drug evidence at a now-closed state lab.