As budget deadline approaches, state prepares for avoidable partial shutdown. Editorials express frustration with process.

In today’s newsletter, we write about the inevitability of a third special session to wrap up work on the state budget. While negotiators say they’re making progress, that progress is thus far occurring outside the public eye. With the fiscal year ending June 30 – the hardest of hard deadlines – the countdown clock is being watched closely.

Gov. Inslee, reports the NW News Network, says legislators still have a lot of work to do.

Inslee said there’s been some movement between House Democrats and Senate Republicans. He calls it “a little improvement.”

“But they still have miles and miles and miles to go,” the governor added.

…Inslee said his message to budget negotiators is it’s time to put the “pedal to the metal.”

State government is preparing for a partial shutdown. The governor’s comments to NWNN, though, sound somewhat optimistic. 

If the two sides can’t get a deal soon, they risk a partial government shutdown on July 1. But Inslee said there’s still time to avoid that scenario.

“Yes, yes, there’s a lot of ways to not have a government shutdown,” he said. “But it does require people to become reality based.”

The Spokesman-Review editorial board expresses its exasperation.

It’s too late for legislators to say they’ve responded to the basic education issue in a timely manner. The state lost the McCleary case five years ago and has been in contempt of court for three years.

It’s even too late for them to present a final plan that school districts and the general public would have time to digest and understand before final passage. If the Legislature were to announce a plan on Monday morning, that would leave a grand total of four days before the second special session ends.

…It’s not unusual for legislators to go into budget showdown mode, often pulling all-nighters at the finish. We haven’t liked it, because the public doesn’t know what occurred until legislative leaders come out and deliver post-mortems.

But to pull a cram session on something as momentous and far-reaching as education funding is a dereliction of their duty.

The Ellensburg Daily Record editorial board also wants lawmakers to get the state’s business done.

The one ray of hope is the Legislature often pushes these debates to the very end. It would be nice if there was enough progress to justify bringing all the legislators back to Olympia. Over the next week maybe progress will become evident.

At the end of the day (or the month) the legislators have to agree on a way out of this mess. It is unlikely any agreement will make everyone happy, but the state’s business is too important to be left undone.

The editorial begins,

There’s optimism and then there’s blind faith. It’s hard to know what would be the best approach in dealing with the state Legislature’s ongoing attempt to comply with the McCleary ruling to fully fund K-12 education before the June 30 deadline to adopt a budge

We’ll stick with optimism, but it does get more difficult as time passes.