Gov. Charlie Baker expects to have a “hard estimate” of the midyear state budget gap next week and a plan to close it, he said Thursday. Baker’s predecessor, Gov. Deval Patrick, in early November identified a $329 million deficit, imposing unilateral spending cuts to cover most of that gap, while Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer estimated a gap closer to a billion dollars. “I would expect that by the time we’re talking about this next week, we’ll have sort of a hard estimate of our own and a set of plans with respect to what to do about it,” Baker said during the “Ask the Governor” segment on WGBH. “I do think it’s at least $500 million.” He added: “I’m not open to raising taxes to deal with a budget deficit that was started by a budget that began, you know, less than 12 months ago. I mean, c’mon people. Folks built a budget, they signed off on it in June, we should be able to figure this out.” After he was sworn in last week, Baker instituted a state government hiring freeze, while his budget chief Kristen Lepore said the state was “bleeding” money. – Gintautas Dumcius/SHNS