State parks staying open Friday as budget deadline looms
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The clock is ticking for state lawmakers as the budget deadline gets close.
Parks and many state-run agencies are in jeopardy of a partial shutdown, if lawmakers don't deliver a budget by midnight Friday.
Thousands of families, who rely on state-run programs, would be forced to find other options and state parks could be closed, just as the busy holiday weekend gets underway.
Rangers had been gearing up to close state parks Friday morning, but Governor Jay Inslee asked state parks to stay open and avoid disruptions.
Officials said the new plan is to close parks on Saturday at 11 a.m. if the budget isn't signed.
The De-Somerville family has been camping across the West Coast for weeks, but the Australian family's trek through Washington State parks is now in limbo.
"Everybody is going to be looking for alternative arrangements, and there's only a limited number of spaces,” Saltwater State Park camper Craig De-Somerville said. “It effectively ruins the weekend for a lot of people I think."
It's not just state parks in limbo, at some local convenience stores, clerks haven't been able to sell lottery tickets.
The lottery is just one of many state-run programs that will shut down if a budget deal isn't reached.
“A lot of people were upset,” Des Moines store clerk Shawna Greene said . “They're going on vacation, it's a holiday weekend, they want to get their tickets now and they can't.”
As the deadline looms closer, lawmakers said they're confident they'll get the budget deal on time.
“Hopefully they come together with a budget so that this doesn't happen again later,” state park user Caesar Winebrenner said.
More information on possible state park closures is available here ...