Whidbey News-Times


State parks to remain open with new budget agreement

By JANIS REID Whidbey News-Times Staff reporter
July 4, 2013 · Updated 3:08 PM

Despite the threat of closures, Whidbey Island state parks will remain open.

Legislators were able to come up with a $33.6 billion two-year spending proposal last Thursday.

Cutting it down to the wire, state legislators reached the agreement just a few days shy of their July 1 deadline, allowing the Washington State Parks department and other government agencies to continue operating without interruption.

Had a budget agreement not been reached, a number of state-funded programs would have been shut down effective July 1.

These included state parks, the lottery and horse racing, and the liquor control board.

In addition, prisons would not have been able to accept new inmates, and offenders in local or tribal jails for violating probation would have been released.

In all, 34 state agencies would have been shut down and 24 others would incur a partial cessation, according to the governor’s office.

Only once before has the legislature come this close to forcing a government shutdown.

That occurred in 1991 when the house and senate approved a budget early June 30 and Gov. Booth Gardner signed it shortly before midnight.

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