Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has ordered state agencies to cut their budgets by 9 percent to help close a $577 million gap in the state's 2009-2011 budget.

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has ordered state agencies to cut their budgets by 9 percent to help close a $577 million gap in the state's 2009-2011 budget.

State law gives the governor authority to order only across-the-board cuts, which could mean teacher layoffs at many schools and loss of services for seniors.

Kulongoski said Tuesday he had little choice without the revenue needed to continue the level of services approved in the current budget.

State leaders remained hopeful Tuesday that at least some of the cuts could be avoided if Congress agrees to help cash-strapped states.

Lawmakers did not rule out a special session, which would give them the option of saving some programs while making deeper cuts in others.

— The Associated Press