Thursday, June 20, 2013

DEL prepares plan for potential government shut down July 1

State agencies, including the Department of Early Learning (DEL), have prepared and submitted plans to Gov. Jay Inslee in the event the Legislature does not pass the 2013-15 operating budget by July 1. July 1 is when the new fiscal year and biennium begins.

State agencies may not deliver programs and services after July 1 without a final budget, unless those services:
  1. Are funded by appropriations in the enacted transportation budget.
  2. Do not require an appropriation, (come from non-appropriated funds).
  3. Are required by constitutional mandates and federal law.
  4. Are necessary for the immediate response to issues of public safety, or to avoid catastrophic loss of state property.
While the work we do at DEL is critical to our state’s vitality and economic success, our programs and services do not meet these legal and constitutional criteria. Therefore, as of July 1, if there is no final budget:
  • We will temporarily lay off all staff except two child care licensors, who will be available to respond only to child care licensing emergencies.
  • Child care subsidies starting July 1: Child care subsidy payments for care provided in July will cease. This includes Working Connections and seasonal child care subsidies. If child care providers opt to continue caring for children who receive subsidies, the state most likely cannot legally retroactively pay for that care.
  • Child care subsidies prior to July: Payments will be made to providers who bill for care that was provided prior to July 1. Those payments may be delayed.
  • We will be working with our contractors to suspend or terminate agency contracts. Because home visiting services are non-appropriated until Senate Bill 5809 takes effect on July 28, those services may continue to be delivered until that date. Every other program and service funded by DEL will be suspended.
While a government shutdown is unlikely, we must prepare for this scenario. You can find agencies’ contingency plans on the Governor’s Office of Financial Management website.

No comments: