As budget talks drag on state workers feel shutdown anxiety

There are no layoff notices yet, but many state employees are already getting worried about potential layoffs if the state budget isn't passed by June 30.

Gabe Hall is a supervising counselor at Greenhill School in Chehalis.

“It's tough trying to figure out how you are going to pay for a mortgage, how you are going to feed your family,” he said, adding that the uncertainty can be “unnerving.”

Judy Kushel is a community corrections specialist in Vancouver.

“For us, we are supervising people out in the community and it involves community safety. If you are worried about paying your bills if you are worried about whether you are going to be working, you are not focused on the work at hand,” she said.

Top House Republican negotiator Bruce Chandler says the two sides really aren't that far apart on the dollars. But says it’s taking so long to get a deal because“people have a lot of different ideas about where that money is supposed to be spent and what should be a higher priority or lower priority.”

Top Democratic budget negotiator Kristine Lytton remains frustrated with the Republican Senate demand that Democrats pass a tax plan before full budget negotiations begin.

Still, there are five weeks to agree on a budget before there's a partial shutdown. So are workers getting anxious too soon?

“I don't think that you can tell people don't worry about this when you have expenses that you need to pay, you're not going to have a paycheck," Lytton said.