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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Still No Washington Budget Deal; Layoff Notices Go Out Next Week

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Budget negotiators continue to meet at the Washington capitol, but there’s still no deal on a spending plan for the next two years.

That means preparations continue for a possible government shutdown at the end of the month. Temporary layoff notices go out next Tuesday to tens-of-thousands of state employees. That will be the day that it starts to seem very real and very likely that the state could be facing a July 1 shutdown.

The layoff letters have already been drafted. They instruct employees not to perform any work during a layoff.

There would be exceptions. The Washington State Patrol and Departments of Licensing and Transportation already have their budgets so they wouldn’t be affected. Also, state prisons and psychiatric hospitals would remain open and staffed in the event of a government shutdown.