Washington Reaches 11th Hour Budget Agreement to Avoid Partial State Shutdown

Just 45 minutes before the end of the fiscal year, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a budget agreement, avoiding the threat of a partial state government shutdown that would have resulted in the layoffs of 32,000 state employees, closure of state parks, and interruption of other services.

Gov. Inslee signs Substitute Senate Bill 5883 – the 2017-2019 Washington State operating budget, June 30, 2017 in Olympia.

The legislature went into three overtime sessions this year, and wrangled until the final hours of the fiscal year to reach the agreement.

“It is a great reflection of what people can do on a bipartisan basis,” said Inslee during a signing ceremony an hour before the June 30 midnight deadline. He called the budget “transformative.” “It gives every kid a fair shot in the new high-tech economy.”

During the high drama final weeks leading to the deadline, many Washington credit unions stepped up to announce financial help for members who would be impacted by a shutdown. As reported in last week’s Anthem, some of those programs included financial counseling, short term loans, and skip payment options on existing loans.

While the operating budget is complete, the legislature still needs to agree on a capital budget to fund some state projects.

Unfortunately, at this time, it is unclear whether the Legislature will approve a full capital budget, meaning some state workers will be temporarily laid off,” according to a message on the Governor’s website. It is unclear when that would occur and how many employees would be impacted, however, legislators continue to work on that issue.

Watch the signing ceremony here.

Read the budget here.

 

 

Posted in Advocacy News.