OLYMPIA — State agencies began sending out notices Monday to 26,000 state workers, warning of potential layoffs, while legislators raced to strike a budget deal to prevent that from actually happening.
Democratic and Republican negotiators said Monday that all the major hurdles had been cleared and that an agreement in principal on a two-year budget was only hours away.
Gov. Jay Inslee’s office last week said roughly two-thirds of all state agencies and boards and commissions would be partially or completely closed if the current budget expires June 30 without a new one to take its place.
The governor’s budget office has warned that a shutdown, among other things, would force the state to close parks, suspend state-subsidized child care and cut off a variety of state-paid medical services.
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On Monday afternoon Inslee said he believed a budget deal was imminent. But negotiators were still working to strike a bargain in the evening.