Budget Bill Will Avoid Partial Government Shutdown

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The Kentucky House has overwhelmingly passed a $17.1 billion state budget for two years that would avert a partial government shutdown this summer.

The spending plan featuring broad cuts across most of state government drew scant praise before the House voted 94-4 Wednesday to send the budget bill to the Senate.

Democratic Rep. Jim Wayne of Louisville called it "pitiful" and said it slashes spending.

The measure also gives Gov. Steve Beshear the ability to furlough state workers to cope with budget problems caused by the economic downturn.

The Senate is also promising quick action to limit the duration of the special session, which became necessary when lawmakers failed to reach a budget deal during their regular session.

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