Spin Control

WA Lege: No budget deal yet

OLYMPIA – Legislative negotiators remained locked in negotiations over the state’s 2013-15 budget Friday with prospects that a final agreement could be reached this weekend.

The prospect of a partial state government shutdown seemed to be receding, although notices of a possible temporary layoff might have to be sent Monday to state employees because of labor contracts.

Those layoffs wouldn’t be necessary if the Legislature passes a budget that Gov. Jay Inslee can sign before June 30, giving the state the legal authority to spend money on July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year.

Legislators and Inslee seemed confident Friday the shutdown wouldn’t be necessary. “We need to be prepared, just in case,” the governor said. “These contingency plans are required by law.”

Inslee said he was “very hopeful” the Legislature would also pass a multi-year plan to build new road projects and maintain existing roads and bridges through increased gasoline taxes and vehicle fees. Legislators have said the state’s two-year $32.5 billion operating budget is the main concern as they pass the tenth day of their second special session, and they may adjourn the after passing that.

The separate transportation package would give provide jobs that gives the state an economic boost, and enough work has been done on it that a bill could be done in a few days, Inslee said. But he added it was “premature” to talk about calling a third special session for transportation if a package if the second session ends without one.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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