TRENTON - A legislative budget analyst says revenue collections must exceed Gov. Chris Christie's aggressive projections this fiscal year or the state will have to make mid-year budget cuts.

Analyst David Rosen says growth through next June must be 8.2 percent to cover an anticipated $240 million shortfall. Christie's administration projected 7.2 percent growth.

Standard & Poor's lowered the state's credit outlook from stable to negative this week based partly on revenue projections it viewed as optimistic. Two other ratings agencies affirmed their outlook.

Rosen's comments came at a special Assembly Budget Committee hearing held yesterday in Trenton. Treasurer Andrew Eristoff declined to testify. Republican lawmakers say the hearing was more about political theater than sound budgeting.