A spokesperson for Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Tuesday lawmakers have agreed to large components of a new state budget and are working through smaller details. They’re running out of time to agree on a two-year budget deal before the existing budget expires this Sunday.
Meanwhile, 34 state agencies are preparing to close Monday if there’s no deal by then. Virginia Painter with the state parks department says this would be just in time for their busiest week of the year, surrounding the Fourth of July.
Painter: “That would mean park gates would just simply not open on July 1. And we would remain closed until a budget is in place and state employees are back at work.”
Painter says they have 6,800 camping reservations for next week already, and if the parks don’t open, her department wants to issue refunds to campers.
Other departments that would completely close pending a new budget are the governor’s office, the lottery, liquor control board, and services for the blind.
After negotiators agree on a two-year budget, it may take a couple more days to go through the process of passing the budget through the Legislature.
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