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Washington state readies for possible shutdown

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2015

OLYMPIA – Although Gov. Jay Inslee says he doesn’t expect a state government shutdown on July 1 and legislative leaders say they are doing everything to avoid one, the state budget office Friday posted a list of what each agency will do if a budget deal isn’t reached by June 30.

As required by state law when the state operating budget for the upcoming two years is delayed, the Office of Financial Management develops a contingency plan describing how agencies would be affected if an agreement isn’t reached. The state has not had a shutdown, although it came within three days of going to its contingency plan in 2013 during a previous budget impasse.

The state’s contingency planning website notes that the daily operations of some agencies, like the State Patrol and state ferries, will be relatively unaffected because they get money from a separate transportation budget, which already passed.

The public colleges and universities also will be able to operate past July 1 because they have money that doesn’t come from the operating budget. Others, like the attorney general’s office, Department of Social and Health Services and Corrections Department, will have partial shutdowns, maintaining their constitutional tasks and keeping up duties that protect public safety but reducing some other operations.

Others will go into a complete shutdown. That would include the Parks Department, which will cancel camping and cabin reservations and scheduled events and close state parks.

A link to a complete list of contingency plans for agencies can be found at www.spokesman.com/blogs/spincontrol.



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