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Protesters hold rally during special session

They've now gaveled in.

The Kentucky legislature began its special session around noon Monday.

While there are a few things on the agenda, the budget is the biggest issue for lawmakers to tackle.

A budget bill is now set to be voted on in the House by Wednesday.

Governor Beshear says he anticipates having it ready to sign by Friday.

The legislation spares education cuts, but cuts many state agencies by 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent.

The whole reason lawmakers are back in the first place is because they could not agree on a state budget during the regular 60 day session that ended in mid-April.

If lawmakers don't pass a budget by July 1, a partial shutdown of state government would occur.

That would mean closure of state parks and limited function for state police and other agencies.

Also on the special session agenda is a measure to allow the sampling of bourbon at the World Equestrian Games, and a bill to help the ailing unemployment insurance fund.

The governor wanted lawmakers to meet this week, because if they can't agree on a state budget, he wants to know by June 1, since the partial shutdown of government will take a month.

The special meeting of the state legislature comes at a cost to taxpayers of more than $60,000 a day.


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