HALIFAX, N.S. - Some highlights from the Nova Scotia government's budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, delivered Thursday:

-$592-million deficit forecast, a steep slide from the $4-million surplus that the previous Conservative government projected in May for this fiscal year. It's also down from the $20-million surplus that Nova Scotia recorded last year.

-Net debt projected to rise to $13.5 billion, the highest it's been in a decade.

-Total program spending and interest costs on debt increased to $9.1 billion, up from $8.5 billion last year.

-Provincial portion of HST from home electricity will be eliminated as of Oct. 1, saving Nova Scotians $15 million.

-Students graduating with a university degree will be able to deduct up to $15,000 over six years if they choose to stay and work in Nova Scotia. Those who graduate with a college diploma will be able to deduct up to $7,500.

-Expenses would have to go down by $570 million to keep balanced budget promise for 2010.

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