The Capitol Record

Governor’s office outlines what would happen in case of government shutdown

In case of a government shutdown, thousands of recipients of state-funded health care will no longer receive benefits and 5,000 fiddle enthusiasts will not be enjoying a festival planned at a state park.

Gov. Jay Inslee‘s chief of staff Mary Alice Heuschel outlined several services that would be halted if the Legislature does not pass a budget by midnight on Sunday. On the list:

  •  About 26,000 people who receive state-funded health care benefits will be notified by the Health Care Authority that they will no longer receive benefits on July 1, including 19,000 children covered under the Children’s Health Program. Heuschel said those who will receive the notices are mostly “limited English speakers.”
  • Washington State Parks has already notified the organizers of large events scheduled for the first week of July that the events may have to be cancelled — including a fiddle festival with 5,000 attendees. In addition, some 7,000 campground reservations and weddings will be cancelled.
  •  The Department of Social and Health Services will notify 11,5000 vocational rehab clients they can no longer receive services after July 1. Heuschel said DSHS will also notify “tens of thousands of vulnerable adults, children and elderly” that they cannot receive services.
  • The Department of Licensing will suspend the processing of thousands of license applications and renewals.

Heuschel’s comments came after the governor met with cabinet leaders to discuss contingency plans in case of a shutdown. Heuschel said she’s “surprised it got to this point,” and denied that it was an attempt to put pressure on legislators to come to a budget agreement.

“On Monday these services will end if there is not an agreement,” she said.

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