Governor Jay Inslee is sending lawmakers into a third overtime session in an attempt to avoid a partial state government shutdown.
If lawmakers do not reach a budget deal by July first, the state’s government would be partially shut down for the first time in state history.
“Failure is not an option,” said Inslee, D-Washington.
Inslee said he would veto any attempt to pass a 30-day budget to avoid a shutdown, a suggestion some lawmakers have discussed.
Under a partial shutdown, more than 31,000 state employees would be laid off until a budget deal is reached. Impacted employees are considered “non-essential.”
State troopers, prison corrections officers and child abuse investigators are the kind of employees who would not be impacted.
State parks would close.
Customer service representatives at most state agencies would be laid off.
Washington State Patrol forensic scientist Brian Smelser is on the layoff list.
“It’s obviously disappointing,” said Smelser, who has been helping police solve crimes, and eliminate suspects from investigations for 20 years with WSP.
He said the shutdown would put his investigations on hold.
Most of his cases involve homicides and serious assaults.
“It absolutely would have an impact, I mean, the work we do, we feel strongly about how valuable it is,” said Smelser.