Kaine orders spending cuts under weak economy

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Gov. Timothy M. Kaine ordered state agencies to freeze hiring and stop non-essential travel and equipment purchases.

State revenue is growing at a slower-than-expected rate and could make it difficult for the state to raise money needed for the $77 billion biennial budget.

Kaine also has asked agency leaders to consider whether their wage employees are “mission critical,” meaning lay offs could be imminent. Secretary of Finance Jody W. Wagner is predicting that the state could see a negative growth for this year, as housing sales, income and consumer tax revenues are less than expected.

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