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Governor says Conn. faces 'painful choices'

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says some "painful choices" and spending cuts will be needed to help cover Connecticut's projected $365 million budget deficit.

Malloy stressed Thursday that the state is in better financial shape than two years ago, when Connecticut faced a $3.6 billion deficit.

Malloy made his remarks during a meeting of state agency heads.

He warned that the projected deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30 will fluctuate. But he pledged to end the year with a balanced budget without raising taxes.

The Democrat plans to release a deficit-cutting plan in the coming weeks.

Also Thursday, Malloy's budget director, Benjamin Barnes, announced that the new fiscal year that begins July 1 has a projected shortfall of nearly $1.2 billion. Malloy isn't scheduled to present a new two-year budget until February.