Lawmakers Anticipate Budget Deal to Avoid Government Shutdown - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lawmakers Anticipate Budget Deal this Week to Avoid Government Shutdown

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NBCRightnow.com - Lawmakers in Olympia are working to reach a budget deal or face a government shutdown for the first time in state history if they don't find a compromise.

The second special session ends June 30th, leaving only a couple days before 34 state agencies shut down and thousands of government employees get temporarily laid off.

Layoff notices went out Monday as the state is required to give prior notice, but that doesn't mean the layoffs will go into effect.

Some departments that face a complete or partial shutdown include agriculture, corrections, ecology and health.

"To me it's political theater. Trying to put pressure on those that are negotiating, but I do believe that everybody is negotiating and they're working hard to get it done this week," said Republican Rep. Larry Haler.

Governor Jay Inslee said Monday afternoon that he felt positive about progress towards a budget deal.

"In recent hours there have been very substantial positive developments, bringing the two sides closer to agreement. This news gives me increasing confidence that we will have the resources to fulfill our obligations," Inslee said.

Haler says one agency we cannot lose is ecology during this critical time at Hanford.

Haler also says he believes the legislature will reach a deal by the end of this week.

Washington's current two-year budget comes to a close at the end of June. Lawmakers have been struggling for several weeks to reach compromise on how to spend government dollars in the coming two years.

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