Massachusetts remains enmeshed in the most intractable recession in modern memory. More than half the companies recently surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston expect to lay off more employees. And this traditionally Democratic state is holding its breath while Gov. William Weld's Republican administration gest set to cut deeper into a thicket of social programs.

Lieut. Gov. Paul Cellucci is one of the architects of the Republicans' plant to resuscitate Massachusetts. In addition to slimming the state's outstanding debt, he is focusing on business incentives and winnowing out any redundancies on the service side.

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