OLYMPIA — Temporary layoff notices to some state employees are set to go out by e-mail at noon today. The question is whether they will include an addendum that says the Legislature's budget negotiators have reached a deal in principle on the 2013-15 operating budget.
Negotiators for House Democrats and the Senate Coalition are said to be close to a deal, perhaps as close as one set of sticking points apart. Allegedly it involves House Democrats saying the only way to get to the Coalition's goal of a $1 billion increase for basic education and no tuition increase for state colleges is to pass the change in tax laws for telecommunications.
The Telcom fix, as it is usually called, passed the House with some Republican support, earlier and could pass the Senate with bipartisan support. Although it is generally supported by the telcom industry, it would be characterized as a tax increase, and the Coalition has repeatedly stated there's no need for further tax increases because of last week's improved revenue forecast.
If anyone cuts the Gordian Knot. we'll update you.
For those keeping count at home, this is Day 148 that the Legislature has been in regular, special or extra-special session.