Washington State Legislature

The Washington State Legislature is a bicameral body, composed of the lower Washington House of Representatives, and the upper Washington State Senate.  The House of Representatives is composed of 98 members and the Senate composed of 49 Senators.  The State Legislature assembles at the Washington State Capitol of Olympia.

In February 22, 1889, the U.S. Congress authorized the territories of Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana to form state governments by the Enabling Act.  On November 11, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison authorized Washington as the 42nd State of United States.

The legislative session assembles annually on the second Monday in the month of January.  In odd-numbered years, the State Legislature meets for 105 days, and in even-numbered years for 60 days.  The Governor of Washington has the power to convene a special session for a 30 day period at any time in the year.  Legislators have the right to convene the special session by a two-third vote of the House of Representatives and the State Senate.

The Speaker of the House presides over the House of Representatives.  The Speaker and the Speaker Pro Tem are nominated by the majority party caucus followed by a vote of the full House.  The Lieutenant Governor of Washington presides as the President of the Senate.  In the absence of the Lieutenant Governor, the President Pro Tempore presides over the Senate.

Washington State Legislature Website


Inside Washington State Legislature