With just days remaining, expressions of legislative optimism but no agreed-to deal

Yesterday we wrote about Senate Republicans’ proposed one-month budget extension. Ways and Means chair Sen. Andy Hill says it won’t be necessary, as the Seattle Times reports.

Hill, of Redmond, described it as precautionary.

“We will not allow a government shutdown, we think it would be disastrous, we think it would be irresponsible,” said Hill, adding later: “We are moving along in negotiations, but this is strictly a, as I call it, ‘break glass’ type of thing.”

The governor thinks they’ll get the job done on time.

“They’re close to a budget agreement and should just stay focused on getting it done,” [spokeswoman Jamie] Smith said, adding later: “The governor feels they’ve had plenty of time to reach a budget.

Melissa Santos reports in the Olympian that stumbling blocks remain. She cites tuition and taxes. Hill says, “The debate over taxes is over.

Santos also carries the House Finance Committee chair’s view of the state of negotiations. 

“We do not have agreement on the major elements,” said Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle… “We have a general framework and lots of conversations.”


And not much time for many more conversations.

The Spokesman-Review’s editorial board says a shutdown would be “unacceptable.”

It would also be unprecedented.  As Santos notes, they’re pushing closer to the deadline, though, than ever before. 

Two years ago, lawmakers didn’t reach an agreement until June 27 and passed it out of both chambers the next day. Inslee signed that budget on June 30.

 John Stang counts down the days in Crosscut,

But the actual bottom line is that each side has now held recent public budget hearings, which means they won’t have to hold hearings again on the final budget compromise. That will likely trim one day between a handshake agreement and the governor signing the bills — bumping the process from a likely three days to two.

With only five days left before a partial government shutdown, that one day really counts.

That’s right. It’s time to get ‘er done.