Senate leader: Budget deal ‘very, very close’



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Posted on June 25, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 25 at 5:38 PM

OLYMPIA, Washington -- One day after Governor Jay Inslee said a state budget deal was “imminent,” the leader of the Senate’s Majority Caucus said it was “very, very close.”

Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, said negotiators were working on the details of a final agreement Tuesday.

"I think K-12 we’re in agreement, and as far as resources we’re in agreement," Tom told KING 5 News.

If lawmakers don’t reach a final deal by Sunday night, two-thirds of state agencies would shut down.

Monday is the beginning of a new fiscal year and will be covered under the budget being negotiated at the Capitol now.

At least 26,000 state employees could be laid off under a shutdown. State parks would close. Lottery sales would be suspended. The doors at state unemployment offices would be locked.

“It’s been very kind of chaotic the last few days,” said Department of Health employee Ryan Harris.

Harris received his potential layoff notice in an email Monday afternoon.

“It’s devastating to be unemployed,” said Harris.

Senator Tom said Harris and other state employees should not be worried about a shutdown.

“It will not happen,” said Tom.