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Revision as of 13:20, 10 July 2013

Washington House of Representatives

Seal of Washington.jpg
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 14, 2013
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Frank Chopp, (D)
Majority Leader:   Pat Sullivan, (D)
Minority Leader:   Richard DeBolt, (R)
Members:  98
   Democratic Party (51)
Republican Party (47)
Vacant (1)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art II, Washington Constitution
Salary:   $42,106/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (98 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (98 seats)
Redistricting:   Washington State Redistricting Commission
The Washington State House of Representatives is the lower house of the Washington State Legislature, the state legislature of Washington. A total of 98 members serve in the lower house of the Washington State Legislature and meet at the State Capitol in Olympia. Each member represents an average of 68,618 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 60,144 residents.[2] Each district has two House members for each senate district being denoted as "1A" or "1B" for example. Representatives serve a two-year term.

The legislature is a part-time citizen legislature that meets annually on the second Monday. In odd-numbered years, the budget year the Legislature meets for 105 days, and in even-numbered years for 60 days. If necessary, the Governor can call legislators in for a special session for a 30-day period. Legislators can call themselves into special session with a two-thirds vote of the two bodies[3].

As of May 2015, Washington is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas.


Article II of the Washington Constitution establishes when the Washington State Legislature, of which the House is a part, is to be in session. Section 12 of Article II allows the dates of regular sessions to be determined by statute. Section 12 limits the length of regular sessions to 105 days in odd-numbered years and 60 days in even-numbered years.

Section 12 also establishes rules for convening special sessions of the Legislature. It states that special sessions can be called by the Governor of Washington or by resolution of two-thirds of the members of each legislative house. Special sessions are not to exceed 30 days in length.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 14 through April 28.

Major issues

The budget remains the most pressing issue for the state. Other agenda items include marijuana, child sex abuse, gun control, wolves, small businesses, human trafficking, and healthcare.[4]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the House was in session from January 9 through March 8.


See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the House was in session from January 10 through April 24. [5]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the House was in regular session from January 11 to March 11. Additionally, the Legislature was in special session from March 15 to April 12 to deal with issues related to the economy and the state budget.[6][7]

Ethics and transparency

Open States Transparency

See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Washington was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[8]



See also: Washington State House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Washington House of Representatives will be held in Washington on November 6, 2012. All 98 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in the elections was June 8, 2012. The primary election day was August 7, 2012.

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: Washington State House of Representatives elections, 2010

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 11, 2010. The primary election day was August 17, 2010. The enactment of Initiative 872 in 2004 means that in the August 17 primary, the top two vote-getting candidates in each primary contest, regardless of party, moved on to the final November 2 vote.

Washington State Representatives serve a two-year term and are not subject to term limits. All members are up for election on even years. Of the 98 seats up for re-election, incumbents ran in 81 of them.

The partisan breakdown of the House before and after the election was as follows:

Washington House of Representatives
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 61 57
     Republican Party 37 41
Total 98 98

In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $15,999,632 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [9]


Section 7 of Article 2 of the Washington State Constitution states, "No person shall be eligible to the legislature who shall not be a citizen of the United States and a qualified voter in the district for which he is chosen."


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures

If there is a vacancy in the House, the Board of County Commissioners where the vacant seat is located has the responsibility to select a replacement. The state central committee of the political party that last held the seat must submit a list of three candidates to the Board of County Commissioners representing the vacant district. A selection must be made within 60 days after the vacancy happened[10].


See also: Redistricting in Washington

Legislative redistricting in Washington has been handled by the Washington State Redistricting Commission since 1983. The majority and minority leaders of the state House and Senate each appoint one member, and collectively select a non-voting chairperson. If they cannot agree on the chair, the judgepedia:Washington Supreme Court decides. The Governor does not hold veto power, and the Legislature can only make changes by two-thirds vote.

2010 census

Washington received its local census data on February 23, 2011. The state increased in population by 14.1 percent from 2000 to 2010. The major outlier was Franklin County, which jumped 58.4 percent. As far as the most populous cities, Seattle grew by 8.0 percent, Spokane grew by 6.8 percent, Tacoma grew by 2.5 percent, Vancouver grew by 12.7 percent, and Bellevue grew by 11.7 percent.[11]

The Commission released first draft maps on September 13, 2011. For the third time in a row, the Commission went down to the wire in agreeing on new legislative districts, finishing two hours and five minutes before New Year's Day 2012, at which point the Washington Supreme Court would have taken over. The Commission had mainly been concerned with the eastern districts and how to distribute Yakima Hispanics. The Legislature followed with tweaks, approving the final maps on January 27, 2012.


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 51
     Republican Party 47
Total 98

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Washington State House from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of the Washington State House.PNG


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Washington Legislature are paid $42,106/year. Legislators receive $90/day per diem.[12]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Washington legislators assume office the first day of session.


The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. [13][14]

This image shows the state capitol under construction in the 1920s.

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Washington House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Frank Chopp Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Speaker Pro Tempore James Moeller Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore Tina Orwall Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Majority Caucus Leader Eric Pettigrew Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Majority Whip Kevin Van De Wege Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Deputy Majority Whip Joe Fitzgibbon Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Majority Whip Jessyn Farrell Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Majority Whip Marcus Riccelli Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Majority Floor Leader Tami Green Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Deputy Majority Floor Leader for Education & Opportunity Marcie Maxwell Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Deputy Majority Floor Leader for Jobs & Economic Development Larry Springer Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Assistant Majority Floor Leader Kristine Lytton Electiondot.png Democratic
State House Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen Ends.png Republican
State House Deputy Minority Leader Joel Kretz Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Caucus Leader Judith Warnick Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Whip Paul Harris Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Floor Leader J.T. Wilcox Ends.png Republican
State House Minority Caucus Vice Chair Shelly Short Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Floor Leader Matthew Shea Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Whip Elizabeth Scott Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Whip Drew MacEwen Ends.png Republican
State House Assistant Minority Whip Elizabeth Scott Ends.png Republican

Current members

Current members, Washington House of Representatives
District Representative Party Assumed office
1 Derek Stanford Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
1 Luis Moscoso Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
2 Gary Alexander Ends.png Republican 1997
2 J.T. Wilcox Ends.png Republican 2011
3 Marcus Riccelli Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
3 Timm Ormsby Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
4 Larry Crouse Ends.png Republican 1995
4 Matthew Shea Ends.png Republican 2009
5 Jay Rodne Ends.png Republican 2004
5 Chad Magendanz Ends.png Republican 2013
6 Kevin Parker Ends.png Republican 2009
6 Jeff Holy Ends.png Republican 2013
7 Shelly Short Ends.png Republican 2009
7 Joel Kretz Ends.png Republican 2005
8 Brad Klippert Ends.png Republican 2009
8 Larry Haler Ends.png Republican 2005
9 Susan Fagan Ends.png Republican 2009
9 Joe Schmick Ends.png Republican 2007
10 Norma Smith Ends.png Republican 2007
10 Dave Hayes Ends.png Republican 2013
11 Zack Hudgins Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
11 Steve Bergquist Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
12 Cary Condotta Ends.png Republican 2003
12 Brad Hawkins Ends.png Republican 2013
13 Judith Warnick Ends.png Republican 2007
13 Matt Manweller Ends.png Republican 2013
14 Norm Johnson Ends.png Republican 2009
14 Charles Ross Ends.png Republican 2007
15 Bruce Chandler Ends.png Republican 1999
15 David Taylor Ends.png Republican 2009
16 Maureen Walsh Ends.png Republican 2005
16 Terry Nealey Ends.png Republican 2011
17 Monica Stonier Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
17 Paul Harris Ends.png Republican 2011
18 Brandon Vick Ends.png Republican 2013
18 Liz Pike Ends.png Republican 2013
19 Dean Takko Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
19 Brian Blake Electiondot.png Democratic 2002
20 Richard DeBolt Ends.png Republican 1997
20 Ed Orcutt Ends.png Republican 2003
21 Mary Helen Roberts Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
21 Marko Liias Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
22 Chris Reykdal Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
22 Sam Hunt Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
23 Sherry Appleton Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
23 Drew Hansen Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
24 Kevin Van De Wege Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
24 Steve Tharinger Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
25 Dawn Morrell Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
25 Hans Zeiger Ends.png Republican 2011
26 Jan Angel Ends.png Republican 2009
26 Larry Seaquist Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
27 Laurie Jinkins Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
27 Jake Fey Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
28 Vacant
28 Tami Green Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
29 David Sawyer Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
29 Steve Kirby Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
30 Linda Kochmar Ends.png Republican 2013
30 Roger Freeman Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
31 Cathy Dahlquist Ends.png Republican 2011
31 Christopher Hurst Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
32 Cindy Ryu Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
32 Ruth Kagi Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
33 Tina Orwall Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
33 Dave Upthegrove Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
34 Eileen Cody Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
34 Joe Fitzgibbon Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
35 Kathy Haigh Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
35 Drew MacEwen Ends.png Republican 2013
36 Reuven Carlyle Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
36 Gael Tarleton Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
37 Sharon Tomiko Santos Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
37 Eric Pettigrew Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
38 John McCoy Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
38 Mike Sells Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
39 Dan Kristiansen Ends.png Republican 2003
39 Elizabeth Scott Ends.png Republican 2013
40 Kristine Lytton Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
40 Jeff Morris Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
41 Marcie Maxwell Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
41 Judy Clibborn Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
42 Jason Overstreet Ends.png Republican 2011
42 Vincent Buys Ends.png Republican 2011
43 Jamie Pedersen Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
43 Frank Chopp Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
44 Hans Dunshee Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
44 Mike Hope Ends.png Republican 2009
45 Roger Goodman Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
45 Larry Springer Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
46 Gerry Pollet Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
46 Jessyn Farrell Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
47 Mark Hargrove Ends.png Republican 2011
47 Pat Sullivan Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
48 Ross Hunter Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
48 Cyrus Habib Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
49 Sharon Wylie Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
49 James Moeller Electiondot.png Democratic 2003

Standing committees

The Washington State House has 19 standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Washington
Partisan breakdown of the Washington legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Washington State House of Representatives for 15 years while the Republicans were the majority for four years.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Washington, the Washington State Senate and the Washington House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Washington state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links