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“I did it all the time,” he said, according to the paper.

Campaign spokesman Jason Fitzgerald on Tuesday confirmed Mr. Marino’s comments in the newspaper, but refused to make the candidate available to the AP, saying his “schedule will not permit” an interview.

Justice spokeswoman Jessica Smith, who confirmed last week that Mr. Marino never received the permission he claimed to have, declined immediate comment.


40 states bank on rising revenue

The vast majority of state governments are anticipating a rise in tax revenue this year after two years of sharp drops. Analysts caution that most states will face large budget gaps in the next few years.

Forty states forecast increases in tax receipts in the current fiscal year, according to a forthcoming report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Slow economic growth is boosting proceeds from income and sales taxes.

That could reduce the impact of states’ budget struggles on the economy. State budget shortfalls have led to widespread layoffs, tax increases, spending cuts and other measures that have restrained economic growth.

“We do think 2010 is the bottom and we are at a turning point,” said Corina L. Eckl, director of the fiscal affairs program at the NCSL and author of the report.

Still, state officials aren’t without enormous challenges. States will lose federal stimulus money in coming years and will struggle to close large budget gaps. Tax revenues are well below pre-recession levels. High unemployment rates put heavy demand on state-run social service programs.

“Stability and growth in tax collections is very good news,” the report said. “But in the near term it will not be enough to propel states out of their fiscal difficulties.”

Overall, states raised taxes and cut spending to eliminate budget gaps that totaled $84 billion for fiscal 2011, which in most states began July 1. The NCSL forecasts a total gap of $72 billion in fiscal 2012 and $64 billion in 2013. That means more job cuts and tax increases could be needed.


Witness recants lobbyist testimony

A former congressional aide has recanted his testimony in an influence-peddling trial, eliminating himself as a key witness against a former lobbyist.

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