Layoff notices sent to state employees days ahead of possible shutdown

As expected, layoff notices went to thousands of state employees yesterday. As the AP reports, the layoffs take effect if the state does not have a 2015-17 budget in place by next week.

David Postman, a spokesman for Gov. Jay Inslee, said that the governor still believes a shutdown can be avoided.

“We don’t think anyone wants that to happen on their watch,” Postman said.

On a party line vote, the House Appropriations Committee yesterday approved a bill that would raise about $350 million by modifying existing tax rates and exemptions. John Stang writes in Crosscut

The committee’s 18 Democrats voted for the bill, sending it to the full House for likely approval. The measure will serve the Democratic-controlled House as a list of options to use in the deadlocked negotiations with the Republican-controlled Senate.

We wrote about the revenue package previously. The Olympian editorial board, which preferred a capital gains tax, reviews the list and writes, 

There’s an argument for and against each one of those. But these appear to be what’s left of the lower-hanging fruit on the tax tree as Democrats look for less politically popular exemptions to close.

After weighing the arguments for and against higher taxes, the editorial concludes:

It’s time for a deal — not a shutdown.

Few will disagree.