With a dearth of “real-time” reporting from the state capital these days, one can still get some idea what might be happening as legislators struggle to agree on a two-year budget. They face a deadline for action less than six days away.
“My apologies to the over 50,000 Washington state employees who will start getting lay-off notices today,” wrote Rep. Laurie Jinkins, (D-Tacoma), in a Facebook post this morning.
Jinkins’ position argues that her fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives have been working hard to achieve a budget compromise without tearing apart our education system, higher education and the social safety net.
JT Wilcox, a Republican floor leader from Yelm’s 2nd legislative district, told Daily Biz Briefs this afternoon, “I am getting the impression that most budget negotiators are becoming exhausted enough to agree.”
That sounds like an optimistic expectation for some action soon that could avoid next week’s threatened shut-down of state government agencies.
The Democratic-controlled House and Republican-dominated state Senate are reported to be within a couple hundred million of dollars in their respective budget totals, though there remain vast differences in how each would like to spend $33-plus dollars over 2013-15.
TVW.org does offer live webcasts of legislative floor action, but those links for afternoon floor debates earlier this afternoon shows both the House and Senate “On Break” meaning nothing was happening at that moment. Washington State Wire is another relatively fresh reporting source for legislative (in)action. You can check its latest report here.
Or you can check out your own legislator’s page on Facebook. Most of them have plenty of time to update it and correspond with you for now.