This section is designed to help you understand and participate in the legislative process. People sometimes confuse the Washington State Legislature in Olympia, Washington with the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C. The lawmaking process is similar to that of Congress, the Washington State Legislature only passes laws applicable within the state of Washington.
The Washington State Legislature consists of two chambers – the House of Representatives and Senate. Each of our 49 legislative districts is represented by two Representatives and one Senator. The first step in participating in the legislative process is learning who represents you in Olympia. The online District Finder can easily help you find out who your state representatives are.
Are you planning to visit the Legislature? Visitors are welcome to view the daily proceedings, but should check the calendar frequently to learn of any changes in schedule. Those meeting with individual legislators should call and schedule appointments as early as possible.
Making your voice heard in Olympia is necessary to our democratic form of government. Legislators want to hear your opinion so being familiar with the process will help you become an effective advocate for our community. Some helpful tips can be found here: A Citizen's Guide to Effective Legislative Participation
Civic education is important in the lives of our youth. The Legislative Youth Homepage is an excellent resource for teaching kids, teens and college students how our government works. Our state also has other unique learning opportunities such as the House and Senate Page programs. Only six other states in the country have page programs.
What is a Page? Being a Page is an opportunity for students ages 14 to 16, to essentially 'work' for the Legislature for one week during the legislative session. Pages earn $35 dollars per day for their service. Pages perform a range of duties that are vital to the operation of the Legisalture. Students also attend Page School that teaches the legislative process in a classroom setting. To serve as a page, students are encouraged to apply early as possible. If planning to apply, students will need permission from a parent or guardian, and from school so dont wait to submit an application! Applications should be submitted in September, October and November as the slots fill quickly.