- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Charlie Baker is holding off on budget cuts or layoffs of state employees - at least for now.

The Republican’s top budget official, Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore (Leh-POR’-ee), said Thursday that “fiscally prudent solutions” would instead be used to close a $294 million state budget shortfall that was identified earlier this month.

Those solutions include voluntary buyouts for some older state workers.

Lepore said the administration does not at this time plan to use its authority to make reductions in spending. But that possibility is being left open, as are layoffs if enough employees don’t choose to leave on their own.

The budget shortfall stems in part from a downward revision in sales tax projections for the fiscal year that started July 1.

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