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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."

Washington Senate Republicans Prepare One-Month Budget To Avoid Shutdown

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Washington lawmakers still have time to get a budget deal and avert a partial government shutdown July 1.

But if that doesn’t happen, Senate Republicans Thursday introduced a measure to keep the government operating for another month. The one-month budget would keep state government running at current levels and provide the governor a contingency fund in case of emergency.

Senate budget committee chair, Republican Andy Hill, is the bill’s sponsor. He called it a “break glass” budget.

“It is an emergency measure that we don’t think we’ll need, we shouldn’t need it, but it’s good to have it ready to go [just] in case,” Hill said.

Hill was quick to add that budget negotiations are moving along.

Democrat Ross Hunter, the House budget committee char, is not impressed with Hill’s emergency plan.

“We’ve been here for six months. We have multiple options in front of us of budgets that we could pass,” Hunter said. “Another month isn’t going to improve the situation.”

Hunter said there aren’t too many pieces left to decide in budget negotiations.

The fiscal year ends at midnight on Tuesday.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."