OLYMPIA — Budget negotiators reported worked late into the night Monday — or early into the morning Tuesday, depending on various accounts — but had no deal to report at the start of the legislative day.
A new word of warning was being sounded, however: It takes time to prepare a budget of about 400 pages after an agreement is reached, including typing, printing, proofing and revising, then having it presented to the legislators, and subjected to votes in both houses where it might be amended. How much time varies a bit, depending on who is making the estimate.
But without an agreement by Wednesday, there might not be enough time to get all of that done before midnight Sunday, when the current fiscal year ends and the new fiscal year starts. The budget is what gives the state the authority to spend money on many of its programs, and pay salaries for many of its employees in that new fiscal year. Hence the worry of a partial government shutdown.
The House is voting on a serious of bills designed to improve state transportation projects. Bills to require permits be issued faster, construction errors be reported more promptly and have the department reported major changes to the Office of Financial Management passed with huge margins.