More than a million people who plan to visit Washington state parks would have to scramble for a Fourth of July “Plan B” if the state government goes into a partial shutdown.
“Nobody would be allowed to enter the parks Friday, June 30,” said Virginia Painter, spokeswoman for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. “Campers who were in there the night before, they’d have to pack up and leave in the morning so staff can clean up. … Then the gates would be swung.”
The Columbian reported that Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday (June28) that an agreement had been reached in principle on a two-year spending plan, but details were not released and approval is not assured.
If the Legislature doesn’t approve a budget before the end of the state’s fiscal year Friday, a partial shutdown would occur starting Saturday — but state parks employees would use the day before to clean up and mothball sites before they are laid off.
The weekend of the Fourth of July is the busiest camping of the year for Washington state parks, which includes more than 100 developed sites.
Painter said roughly 11,000 reservation holders as well as an estimated 1.4 million campers and day-use visitors could be blocked from entering the state parks between June 30 and July 8, which would cost the Parks Commission roughly $2 million in revenue.
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