WASHINGTON -- As budget director of Massachusetts during the final two years of Gov. Michael S. Dukakis's cash-strapped administration in 1989 and 1990, Ellen M. O'Connor helped slash the size of state government while improving relations between the legislative and executive branches.

Now Ms. O'Connor, recently tapped by Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon on to be the District of Columbia's deputy mayor for finance, finds herself faced with a government that could run up a $200 million deficit in the next fiscal year if it does not receive a supplemental appropriation from Congress.

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