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Morning update: 14 days left to reach budget deal (2nd special session day 6)

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on June 17, 2013 at 8:25 am | No Comments »
June 17, 2013 11:06 am

The heads of state agencies have until 5 p.m. today to bring lists to Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget office showing the services and staff they think would legally allowed to continue operating in the event of a partial government shutdown.

Much of state government would have to shut down July 1 if the Legislature hasn’t agreed on a budget by then. That has state employees on edge.

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom has repeatedly said lawmakers won’t let a shutdown happen. He told the AP he expects the latest state revenue forecast on Tuesday to help by delivering a more favorable estimate of the money lawmakers have to work with.

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: Budget negotiators don’t report any breakthroughs over the weekend, but Senate budget chairman Andy Hill was upbeat today about the possibility that Tuesday’s projections will bring an overdue end to the session.

“I think the revenue forecast will be the final logjam breaker,” the Redmond Republican said.

There are still major differences. The Senate is holding out for changes in state worker’s-compensation insurance or other areas before agreeing to scale back a tax exemption for out-of-state shoppers or restore a tax on phone and other communications companies.

Those are controversies being discussed by top legislative leaders, separate from the budget talks. The budget negotiators are close enough, Hill said, that they are down to the “nitty-gritty” of going through their spending plans line by line.

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