While some services are protected by constitutional or federal mandates, a government shutdown would still hurt people in communities across our state in more ways than you can imagine. Washington children would lose early learning and child care services they count on to help them come to school ready to learn, and school districts may struggle to pay their bills and prepare for the coming school year.
The impact on school districts will vary widely from district to district. Districts without large fund balances may struggle to pay the bills if the state’s July apportionment is delayed. The lack of a state budget will make it more difficult for all districts to determine their own budgets for the coming year.
This will make it harder for school districts to hire new teachers, order new technology, make decisions on new curriculum, finalize staff development programs, secure special education programs, or negotiate with unions. Schools currently under construction will not receive state reimbursements, potentially delaying or suspending construction.
The Dept. of Early Learning will suspend most services, including the Working Connections Child Care Program, which will significantly impact the nearly 30,000 families who rely on WCCC to help pay for child care so that parents can work, search for a job, or complete job readiness activities.
This will affect the child care providers who serve these families. Statewide, there will be only two employees to respond to complaints and emergencies in licensed child care facilities. A third employee will be on-call. The licensing and inspection of child care facilities will be suspended.
Democrats are committed to avoiding a state government shutdown by passing a responsible compromise budget before July 1, but we can’t do it alone. We call on Republicans to join us in the middle to protect Washington children and families from an unnecessary and harmful shutdown.
— Sen. Andy Billig