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Lawmakers head back to Capitol for special session

Lawmakers will return to the Capitol Monday to begin the special session.

According to Governor Phil Bryant, the session should only take a day or two.

RELATED: Governor Bryant releases call for special session

The call, which was released Friday, lays out the agenda for the special session.

Lawmakers are tasked with addressing the FORTIFY Act, clarifying the Budget Transparency and Simplification Act, and approving the budget for Fiscal Year 2018.

In order for the budget to be approved, lawmakers will have to pass the appropriations for MDOT, State-Aid roads, and Attorney General Jim Hood’s operations.

Attorney General Hood said that what happens Monday could make or break some vital programs that are overseen by the agency.

“Domestic violence training programs, cybercrime unit, children’s advocacy centers, our vulnerable persons investigations, motorcycle officers training, and our prosecutors training is another one,” said Hood.

The attorney general added that money that was supposed to be slated for those programs was not specified this last session.

“Instead of putting money into these programs it went into the general fund,” said Hood.

Hood added that cybercrime, particularly child pornography, is rampant across the state, and a budget cut could damage the ability to enforce the law.

“We’re talking about prepubescent children,” said Hood. “Every one of these arrests usually involved little girls under the age of 11. We’ve driven down the number of downloaders, but we’re still catching two or three every single week.”

Hood said that in order to keep the operations going, and to continue funneling money into the police officers’ and firefighters’ funds, another $4 million is needed.

“We can survive on another $4 million,” said Hood.

The special session begins Monday at 1oam.

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