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The Associated Press April 1, 2011, 6:11PM ET

Alabama gov: Worst of budget crisis still to come

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the worst isn't over for state agencies trying to keep government running despite severe budget cuts.

Bentley said Friday he expects the budget crisis to continue into the next fiscal year that begins in October, and possibly into 2013.

Bentley's comments came a day after he ordered 15 percent budget cuts for state agencies supported by the General Fund. He says the budget crisis will improve when the state's jobless rate drops from more than 9 percent.

Bentley says he had no choice but to cut the budget since Alabama's Constitution doesn't let the state spend money it doesn't have. He says he is "empathetic and sympathetic" toward any state employee who loses his or her job because of spending reductions.

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