Lawmakers back; shutdown warning raised

OLYMPIA — Washington lawmakers, stung by bad reviews, plagued by gridlock and pressured by new warnings of a partial shutdown of state government, reconvened in double overtime Monday.

Gov. Gary Locke stepped up pressure on the Legislature by directing state agencies to make contingency plans for a partial government shutdown if a budget isn’t approved by month’s end.

Legislative leaders and budget negotiators, though, said agreement is fairly close on a new two-year, $23 billion operating budget. A vote could come as early as Friday.

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