washington budget negotiations

Time is running out for Washington lawmakers to pass a capital construction budget. Less than one week remains in the state’s third overtime session of the legislature.

It’s do-or-die week in Olympia. If lawmakers don’t pass a budget and send it to the governor for his signature before midnight on Friday, state government will go into partial shutdown.

Washington lawmakers are optimistic that won’t happen.

If Washington lawmakers don’t pass a state budget by June 30, the state will go into a partial government shutdown. And the impacts would be significant.

So what would that look like?

It looks like Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will have to call a third special session of the state legislature. The current overtime session ends Wednesday—and there’s still no budget deal.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is sounding the alarm over the pace of budget negotiations at the state Capitol. During a media availability Monday, the Democrat said that it’s time for both sides to make “major moves” toward compromise.

After weeks of gridlock, the Washington House and Senate have reached an agreement on an update to the state’s two-year budget. The deal announced late Monday ends weeks of gridlock that resulted in a 30-day special session.

The clock is running out on Washington’s 60-day legislative session. House Democrats and Senate Republicans have until Thursday at midnight to approve an update to the state’s two-year budget. But first they need to agree on the details.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has a blunt warning for state lawmakers:

“Your bills are going to get vetoed if you don’t do your job and pass a budget.”

A fight over the state budget could send Washington lawmakers into overtime. Or, the legislature could adjourn without updating the state’s current two-year spending plan. The lead budget writer in the Washington House raised both of those scenarios Thursday.

Typically, the Washington legislature is done long before Oregon because of how the legislative calendars work in each state. But not this year.

The Washington state Senate Wednesday morning failed to muster a two-thirds vote to suspend a voter-approved class size reduction measure. That could put a $2 billion hole in the freshly passed two-year budget.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will sign a new two-year budget into law Tuesday – just in time to avert a partial government shutdown. State lawmakers moved quickly to pass the $38 billion budget Monday night after striking a deal that ended weeks of gridlock.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

With a third special session underway, the Washington House and Senate plan to vote sometime Monday on a two-year budget. A vote on a gas tax package is also possible this week. It follows a whirlwind weekend of negotiations.

Washington lawmakers still have time to get a budget deal and avert a partial government shutdown July 1.

Washington lawmakers have until the 30-day special session runs out on June 27 to reach a budget deal. If they fail to do so, a partial government shutdown would begin on July 1.

There’s still no budget deal in Olympia, but Washington House Democrats said Friday they’re willing to drop their push for a state capital gains tax.