Thousands of state workers received layoff notices Monday while lawmakers spent another day negotiating without cinching a deal on a new budget.
In the notices, state agencies told employees not to come to work July 1 unless a spending plan for the next biennium is in place by Sunday night which is when the current budget expires.
Even as those emails were going out to as many 26,000 employees, Gov. Jay Inslee expressed confidence those notices will be rescinded and a partial government shutdown averted.
At a Monday afternoon news conference, he said negotiators in the House and Senate had achieved a breakthrough and a deal appeared imminent.
Yet as evening approached, such an agreement continued to elude leaders of the Democrat-controlled House and the Senate where a coalition of 23 Republicans and two Democrats are the majority.
Also Monday, House Democrats put forth a new version of a multi-billion dollar transportation package they hope to pass in this second special session.
The plan calls for the state to spend $9.7 billion on highways, bridges, ferries and bus service in the next 12 years. A chunk of the money would come from a 10.5-cent increase in the gas tax starting with a hike of 6 cents a gallon on Aug. 1 and then a 4.5-cent increase on July 1, 2014.