To Be, or Not to Be?

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Gov. Haley Barbour adjourned the Mississippi special session, effective at 4:30 p.m. Monday, but House members obtained a restraining order from Hinds County Chancery Court at 4:28 p.m.

Barbour said he was ending the session because the house failed to act in a timely manner on reauthorizing the Department of Human Services.

A judge has now set a 1:30 p.m. hearing for Tuesday to decide whether to extend the temporary restraining order.

Most House members said they didn't know about the order until nearly half an hour after it was signed. By that time, some of them had left the Capitol and started driving home.

The House reconvenes at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday. It wasn't immediately clear whether the Senate would be forced to return to the Capitol.

The state constitution says one chamber cannot leave for more than three days if the other is still in session. Senators adjourned Friday.

Still unresolved is a question of whether lawmakers will authorize the Department of Human Services to exist after the current budget year ends June 30.