Although Governor Inslee has indicated that it is not likely that the State will be left without a budget when the June 30th deadline arrives, preparations have been made, just in case. The Office of Financial Management has outlined 34 agencies that would close, in whole or in part, if a budget is not passed. The OFM summary of agency impacts outlines the contingency planning for state agency operations.
Contact your legislators and let them know how this budget fight impacts you and your families.
On the list are the Department of Labor and Industries and the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, both of which handle claims and cases pertaining to injured or disabled workers. The Department would be reduced to two full-time employees assigned to respond to emergencies across the state and to administer benefits to crime victim claimants. Those injured workers that are set up to receive automatic payments will continue to receive their compensation but no pending applications for benefits will be processed. A significant number of our clients are waiting for decisions from their Claims Managers to establish their entitlement to time loss compensation, whether back-pay or current/ongoing payments or both. These cases would be put on hold until a budget is passed and the staff return to their desks. The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals will be completely shut down. All scheduled hearings, conferences and other proceedings will simply be cancelled until the judges and staff return to work.
Pink slips will be sent to all State employees to be laid off during any potential shutdown of State government offices. Due to notice requirements, the notices will go out Monday, June 24th. I encourage you to contact your legislators and let them know how this budget fight impacts you and your families. You can find the contact information for your legislator at: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/.
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