Washington House of Representatives
|Washington House of Representatives|
|2014 session start:||January 14, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Frank Chopp, (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Pat Sullivan, (D)|
|Minority leader:||Richard DeBolt, (R)|
| Democratic Party (55) |
Republican Party (43)
|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|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
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.
As of October 2014, Washington is one of 13 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 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be in session from January 13 through March 12.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 14 through April 28.
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.
- 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. 
- 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.
Ethics and transparency
Open States Transparency
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 is 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.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Washington House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 17a||Monica Stonier||0.3%||54,757||Julie Olson|
|District 30a||Linda Kochmar||1.4%||47,629||Roger Flygare|
|District 12b||Brad Hawkins||1.8%||51,439||Mike Armstrong|
|District 35b||Drew MacEwen||3.7%||63,613||Lynda Ring-Erickson|
|District 10b||Dave Hayes||4.6%||68,971||Tom Riggs|
|District 25a||Dawn Morrell||5.3%||57,057||Shelly Schlumpf|
|District 39b||Elizabeth Scott||6.9%||57,372||Eleanor Walters|
|District 44a||Hans Dunshee||8.7%||65,053||Mark Harmsworth|
|District 6b||Jeff Holy||9.7%||64,433||Dennis Dellwo|
|District 30b||Roger Freeman||9.9%||47,609||Katrina Asay|
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|
In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $15,999,632 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, Washington House of Representatives|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte||$552,413|
|House Republican Organizational Cmte of Washington||$488,004|
|Washington State Democratic Party||$294,579|
|Washington State Republican Party||$141,785|
|Frockt, David S||$117,764|
|Washington State Dental Association||$109,600|
|Washington Health Care Association||$106,500|
|Premera Blue Cross||$96,350|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte of Washington||$90,243|
|Washington Restaurant Association||$87,600|
Elections for the office of Washington House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 19, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $15,450,663. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Washington House of Representatives|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte Of Washington||$964,130|
|Washington State Democratic Party||$570,530|
|House Republican Organizational Cmte Of Washington||$493,197|
|Washington State Dental Association||$120,500|
|Washington Health Care Association||$102,600|
|Washington Federation Of State Employees||$102,200|
|Washington Education Association||$96,300|
|Washington Beverage Association||$88,050|
|Washington Association Of Realtors||$84,100|
|Washington Restaurant Association||$83,400|
Elections for the office of Washington House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 19, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $13,723,444. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Washington House of Representatives|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte Of Washington||$760,208|
|Washington State Democratic Party||$533,532|
|House Republican Organizational Cmte Of Washington||$250,700|
|Washington Federation Of State Employees||$92,400|
|Washington Health Care Association||$88,675|
|Washington Education Association||$87,150|
|Washington State Dental Association||$78,275|
|Washington State Council Of Service Employees||$77,700|
|Washington State Patrol Troopers Association||$76,975|
Elections for the office of Washington House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 14, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $12,635,786. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Washington House of Representatives|
|Washington State Democratic Party||$683,481|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte Of Washington||$632,725|
|Washington State Republican Party||$460,125|
|King County Republican Central Cmte||$116,328|
|House Republican Organization Cmte Of Washington||$105,221|
|Washington Restaurant Association||$97,125|
|Checking People For Lynn Kessler||$87,814|
|Puget Sound Energy||$78,125|
|Washington Association Of Realtors||$74,489|
Elections for the office of Washington House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 17, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $12,776,890. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Washington House of Representatives|
|Washington State Democratic Party||$866,841|
|House Democratic Caucus Campaign Cmte Of Washington||$550,069|
|House Republican Organizational Cmte Of Washington||$464,965|
|Washington State Republican Party||$439,302|
|Washington Education Association||$85,275|
|Washington Restaurant Association||$85,175|
|Electrical Workers Local 77||$81,500|
|Washington State Dental Association||$77,750|
|Public School Employees Of Washington Local 1948||$73,600|
|Puget Sound Energy||$72,375|
Elections for the office of Washington House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on September 19, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total contributions to House candidates was $12,789,859. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Washington House of Representatives|
|Washington State Democratic Party||$776,924|
|House Democratic Campaign Cmte||$635,341|
|House Republican Organizational Cmte Of Washington||$601,189|
|Washington State Republican Party||$409,693|
|Washington Education Association||$76,427|
|Public School Employees Of Washington Local 1948||$75,300|
|Washington Optometric Association||$74,375|
|Washington State Medical Association||$74,110|
|Washington Restaurant Association||$73,200|
|Nixon, Toby L||$68,897|
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."
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of October 2014|
The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Washington State House from 1992-2013.
- 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.
When sworn in
Washington legislators assume office the first day of session.
The Washington State House has 19 standing committees:
- Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Business and Financial Services
- Capital Budget
- Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs
- Early Learning and Human Services
- Government Accountability and Oversight
- Government Operations and Elections
- Health Care and Wellness
- Higher Education
- Labor and Workforce Development
- Local Government
- Public Safety
- Technology and Economic Development
Partisan balance 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.
- Official website of the Washington House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Washington House of Representatives
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- "Washington House of Representatives" About the Assembly, March 13, 2009
- The Spokesman Review, "Budget remains pressing issue in new legislative session," January 13, 2013
- 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- 2010 session convening dates for Washington legislature
- 2010 session adjourning dates for Washington legislature
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money: "Washington House 2010 Campaign Contribution"
- Follow the Money, "Washington 2008 Candidates," Accessed August 5, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Washington 2006 Candidates," Accessed August 5, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Washington 2004 Candidates," Accessed August 5, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Washington 2002 Candidates," Accessed August 5, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Washington 2000 Candidates," Accessed August 5, 2013
- Washington Legislature "Washington Constitution"(Referenced Section Article II, Section XV)
- U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Washington's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," February 23, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Democratic Leadership of the Washington House
- Republican Leadership of the Washington House
State of Washington
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