Gov. Jay Inslee‘s budget office put out a preliminary plan this morning for shutting down state agencies in the event the Legislature’s budget stalemate prompts a government shutdown next month. July 1 is when the new budget cycle begins and most state agencies will lack legal authority to spend, incur debt or keep running.
Obvious exceptions are state prisons and hospitals that will continue operating under partial shutdowns, as will all of the state treasurer’s operations. Community colleges and universities also will continue operating in the short term but state parks would close completely. The Department of Corrections would also continue supervising some offenders released into the community under the plan.
The agency-by-agency summary or list of closures from the Office of Financial Management is here, and it follows the guidance that Inslee’s budget director David Schumacher sent to agency leaders and elected state officials on June 12, outlining what they needed to consider when asking to exempt services from a shutdown.
Agencies funded by passage of a transportation budget earlier this year – including the Washington State Patrol, are able to keep those financed functions going, for instance.
Inslee’s chief of staff Mary Alice Heuschel, his legal counsel Nick Brown and OFM legal affairs director Julie Murray are meeting with reporters to explain the situation at 10:30.
Meanwhile, talks continue on a budget agreement. The Republican-steered Senate Majority Coalition is convening the Senate at 2 today to pass bills and a spokesman indicated there is a hope to work out a deal and finish the second legislative session over the coming weekend.
Our Monday story about the uncertainty for state workers and agencies is here.