HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's estimated budget gap has worsened by about $300 million just since last week, and some state government workers face layoffs, Gov. Rendell said yesterday.

"There will be some layoffs and there will be universal pain," Rendell said at a Capitol news conference. "I don't want to hear whining. I think everyone has to tighten the belts."

The number of layoffs has not been determined, but they will occur in the fiscal year that begins July 1, he said. He said that unpaid furloughs also were "on the table" with unionized state workers.

Rendell said that the state's estimated budget deficit for the current fiscal year had grown to $2.3 billion, up from the $2 billion figure he announced during a Farm Show speech last week and from $1.6 billion last month.

The more pessimistic outlook stems from the latest sales-tax and personal-income-tax revenue figures, Rendell said.

"It's just a sign of the times," he said.

He said he expects program cuts to be painful but not debilitating.

"Some of them deserve to be eliminated and probably should be eliminated forever, but some of them, at the first sign of recovery, we can replenish in future years' budgets," he said. *