If the Legislature does not pass a budget off the floor before July 1st, nearly two-thirds of state agencies would be forced to either shut down or partially shut down.
The governor’s staff released a list today of what services would continue and what would be halted in the case of a government shutdown. Thirty four agencies would be completely shut down, 24 would be partially closed and 25 would remain open.
Among those that would be completely shut down: State parks, the Liquor Control Board and the state Lottery.
Agencies that face a partial shutdown include the Department of Corrections, Agriculture, Ecology, the Attorney General’s office and the Heath Care Authority.
Thousands of state government employees could start receiving temporary layoff notices as soon as Monday, although the governor’s office did not have an estimate for how many workers would be impacted.
“This absolutely is the last thing that the governor — or any of us — would want to happen,” said the governor’s chief of staff Mary Alice Heuschel. “He’s doing everything in his power to help legislators reach an agreement to come to a conclusion as quickly as possible.”
TVW taped the press conference with the governor’s legal staff discussing the possible shutdown. Watch it here.
A shutdown may not be necessary. A spokesman for the Senate Majority Coalition said today there’s progress on budget talks, and legislators expect a deal by Sunday.
House Speaker Frank Chopp told reporters that there was “good exchange of offers” on Thursday morning, and his members can be called back quickly if there’s a deal.
Chopp and Rep. Ross Hunter briefly spoke to the press Thursday — watch it here.