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Gov. Cuomo said Friday that the potential budget deficit facing New York State next year will be "much bigger" than the $1.8 billion problem he had when he began his first term in 1983.

Cuomo also said he has instructed his budget division to come up with a balanced-budget proposal for the next fiscal year that, if possible, avoids tax increases.

His comments during an interview represented the most pessimistic view he has yet offered New Yorkers on the scope of next year's budget problem. State Comptroller Edward V. Regan has predicted that the potential deficit could reach $4 billion.

"On the numbers, this is the biggest problem the state has faced since (Franklin D.) Roosevelt was governor of New York at the beginning of the Depression," Cuomo said.

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