2003 General Assembly Begins

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It's back to work for legislators as the 2003 General Assembly begins. Both Republicans and Democrats alike say that the budget will be their top priority this session.

Lawmakers failed to pass a balanced budget during 2002's regular session, then failed again during a special session. This is just the second time for legislators to convene during an odd year. Voters approved annual sessions back on the November 2000 ballot. Odd year sessions last just 30 days, as opposed to 60 days during even years.

Legislators will spend the rest of this week forming committees and introducing bills. They will adjourn for three weeks, before reconvening Feb. 4.

Tax reform, healthcare and gaming are all topics that may be placed on the back burner due to the budget.