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Mass. To Borrow $600 Million

December 28, 2001

BOSTON (AP) _ Massachusetts will have to take out a short-term loan of about $600 million to keep its government running for the next few months, state Treasurer Shannon O’Brien said.

The loan was the first for the state since 1996, though such borrowing is common in many states.

``This is not deficit spending,″ Stephen Crosby, secretary for administration and finance, said Thursday. ``It’s just cash flow. We’ve fallen back to earth, and we have to learn to cope in a cash-tight environment.″

The state must pay $1 billion in quarterly aid payments to cities and towns Monday, the last day of 2001. It expects to more than make back the borrowed money during revenue-heavy months of January, April, May and June.

Jeff Stearns, O’Brien’s deputy treasurer for debt management, said the state should bring in enough money to pay for its $22.6 billion budget by the time the fiscal year ends in June.

``It’s not a good sign,″ he said. ``But the other standpoint is, even if your budget is balanced, you may have to borrow during the course of the year.″


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