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Posted: January 16, 2013 10:41 a.m.

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Weaker-than-expected recovery hampers Ga. budget

ATLANTA (AP) — A weaker-than-expected economic recovery is proving to be a drag on Georgia's state finances.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal must find a way to close the gap between what Georgia's government collects and what it spends when submitting his budget plans Thursday.

Republican leaders in the Statehouse have ruled out any significant tax increases, meaning more budget cuts will be required to balance the state budget.

The current budget assumed state revenues would grow 5.2 percent compared to last year. That has not happened.

The recession has also pushed more people onto government health insurance rolls. The state's Medicaid program is running a budget shortfall of roughly $750 million.

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