Potential impact of government shutdown on state parks

The deadline for Washington state lawmakers to pass the budget is Friday at midnight.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate said it is very unlikely we will see the state government shut down but those with plans at state parks may want to prepare backup plans.

The deadline for Washington state lawmakers to pass the budget is Friday at midnight.

"Good men and women from both sides of the aisle are working hard into the morning hours to prevent it,” Senator Mark Schoesler, Republican Majority Leader, said.  “I think they're all sincere in coming to closure."

Officials said representatives in both chambers have moved along quickly in order to get negotiators back to working on a budget agreement.

"The pace is a little hectic, the morale is high and people are waiting for work to be done so they can do their job and vote on a biennial budget," Representative Timm Ormsby, Democratic Chair of House of Appropriations Committee, said.

While both parties expect the budget to be put to a vote on Friday, there is still a chance it might not.

Officials at the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission said if a budget is not passed, campers already at state parks will be asked to pack up and leave Friday morning.

Washington State Parks sent out an email to those with reservations saying campers would receive full refunds for the days not used due to the shutdown.

Virginia Painter, spokesperson for the Washington State Parks said in the event of a shutdown, state parks cannot reopen until a budget has been approved.  Even after a budget agreement is made, it would then take about two to three days for parks to reopen.  

Campers are being asked to check state parks website for updates on their reservations as the budget deadline approaches.  

As for those planning on hiking this weekend, Painter said you are allowed to access trails in state parks, but due to safety concerns visitors are not encouraged to do so.

 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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