Wash. state parks eye layoffs to fix budget



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — State parks officials are issuing about 160 layoff warnings as they try and find $11 million in savings to fix their budget.

The plan approved Tuesday will lead to a broad restructuring of the Washington parks system that employs about 500 people. Agency spokeswoman Virginia Painter says not all of the 160 workers will be laid off as some may move to new positions during the restructuring.

The drastic plans are coming because of slow sales of the new Discover Pass. Lawmakers cut state support for the parks this year while implementing the $30 annual pass to access state lands. That program has raised about $6.5 million in the first four months and was supposed to raise $65 million in two years.

No parks will be closed under the new plan.