This morning the governor’s office posted the following:
House and Senate budget negotiators reported to Gov. Jay Inslee this morning that they have reached an agreement in principle on the 2017-2019 biennial operating budget. The negotiators and caucus leaders said they were confident that they would complete work on the budget and have a vote of the Legislature before the end of the day Friday, the final day of the fiscal year.
That would avoid a partial shutdown of state government.
The agreement covers spending and resource levels. More details will be available after the four legislative caucuses are briefed on the agreement.
The Seattle Times reports details are scarce.
In separate impromptu news conferences, Democratic House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan and GOP Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler each said that details won’t be publicly available until Thursday…
Democratic and Republican lawmakers are set to get briefed on the deal Thursday morning, according to Sullivan and Schoesler.
Both legislative leaders said they are confident the deal will avoid a shutdown. Legislators must vote — and Inslee must sign — a budget by the end of Friday to replace the $38.2 billion, two-year operating budget approved in 2015.
Meanwhile, with the deadline looming, agencies have been instructed to continue their contingency plans. The Times also reports legislative leaders believe the education funding provisions of the plan will satisfy the state Supreme Court.
Legislative leaders later said those private briefings wouldn’t happen until 10 a.m. Thursday morning to give legislative staff time to draft the bill language. The public release of details would come after that, leaving very little time for any outside scrutiny before the budget is approved.
The deal came together early Wednesday morning after an all-night negotiating session at the Capitol.
Cutting it close.