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For the first time in a generation, Kentucky courts will temporarily close due to budget cuts.

All state court employees will be furloughed on August 6, September 4, and October 15 of this year.

Chief Justice John Minton says except for holidays, this will be the first time since 1976 that the courts have closed.

Minton blames the legislature for the furloughs. The latest state budget made massive cuts to the judicial branch. In addition to the furloughs, many part-time employees will soon see their hours reduced and their benefits cut. There will also be cuts to the number of drug court participants.

In recent years, other branches of government have furloughed workers while the judiciary handled the cuts in other ways. Minton says the latest cuts are too severe to continue that pattern.