With a second special session likely and a July 1 deadline for the state to have its operating budget in hand, state agencies may soon be preparing for the worst.
Last week Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters he has begun discussing with agency directors what the effects would be if no budget is approved by July 1, the end of the current budget year.
On Monday, Governor’s Office spokeswoman Jaime Smith said state agencies may be asked before Friday what steps they would have to take to remain functional if no budget is passed. But that concern is secondary to the governor’s goal of aiding negotiations to obtain a budget before then, she said.
“Everyone’s goal is to resolve it as quickly as possible,” Smith said in a telephone interview. “(Inslee) is trying to identify solutions to make sure that happens.”
The Democratic majority in the House and the mostly Republican majority in the Senate each passed compromise budgets in the last week that will inevitably be rewritten. The House budget proposes about $263 million more in spending than the Senate budget, and Senate leaders want to see numerous government reform bills approved in the House before agreeing to further compromise on spending.
The governor is expected to call for a second special session sometime Tuesday, Smith said. It would begin Wednesday.