Difference between revisions of "Washington State Senate"

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In the 2013-2014 legislative session, Democrats maintain a partisan majority, but control is held by the Republican-led Majority Caucus Coalition.<ref>[http://www.king5.com/news/politics/Washington-lawmakers-start-session-in-Olympia-186790321.html ''KING'', "New coalition takes control in Washington state's Senate," January 14, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2013]</ref>
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In the 2013-2014 legislative session, Democrats maintain a partisan majority, but control is held by the Republican-led Majority Caucus Coalition.<ref>[http://www.king5.com/news/politics/Washington-lawmakers-start-session-in-Olympia-186790321.html ''KING'', "New coalition takes control in Washington state's Senate," January 14, 2013. accessed January 21, 2013]</ref>
  
 
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{{wasenatepartisan}}

Revision as of 08:56, 14 July 2014

Washington State Senate

Seal of Washington.jpg
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   January 13, 2014
Website:   Official Senate Page
Leadership
Senate President:   Brad Owen (D)
Majority Leader:   Rodney Tom (D)
Minority leader:   Sharon Nelson (D)
Structure
Members:  49
  
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art II, Section 2, Washington Constitution
Salary:   $42,106/year + per diem
Elections
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (26 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Redistricting:  Washington State Redistricting Commission
Meeting place:
Dome GS-842-26.jpg
The Washington State Senate is the upper house of the Washington State Legislature. It includes 49 senators. Each member represents an average of 137,236 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 120,288 residents.[2]

The Washington state senators have no term limits. Senatorial terms last four years. Senators are elected from the same legislative districts as are members of the Washington State House of Representatives. Each district elects two representatives but only one senator.

As of September 2014, Washington is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.

See also: Washington State Legislature, Washington House of Representatives, Washington Governor


Democrats have de-Jure control of the chamber, but Republicans have de-facto control because two Democrats caucus with Republicans to form the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC).

Sessions

Article II of the Washington Constitution establishes when the Washington State Legislature, of which the Senate 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.

2014

See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions

In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 13 through March 14.

Major issues

Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included a court-mandated $5 billion education funding package, transportation funding through a gas tax increase and climate change proposals.[3]

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 14 through April 29.

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]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

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

2011

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

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

2010

See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate 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]

Role in state budget

See also: Washington state budget

The state operates on a biennial budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[8][9]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in April.
  2. State agency budget requests are submitted in September.
  3. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the Washington State Legislature on or before December 20.
  4. The legislature adopts a budget in April or May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
  5. The biennial budget cycle begins in July.

Washington is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[9]

The governor is required by statute to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. Though the legislature is not required to pass a balanced budget, state law does forbid expenditures without supporting revenues.[9]

Cost-benefit analyses

See also: Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Cost-Benefit Study
Map showing results of the Pew-MacArthur cost-benefit study.

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Washington was one of the 10 states that used cost-benefit analysis more than the rest of the states with respect to determining return on investment regarding state programs. In addition, these states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis with respect to large budget areas and when making policy decisions.[10]

Ethics and transparency

Following the Money report

See also: Following the Money 2014 Report

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending.[11] According to the report, Washington received a grade of B and a numerical score of 85, indicating that Washington was "advancing" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.[11]

Missed Votes Report

See also: Washington House of Representatives

In March 2014, Washington Votes, the state’s premier legislative information website, released its annual Missed Votes Report, which provides detailed missed roll call votes on bills for every state legislator during the 2014 legislative session.[12] The 2014 regular session included a total of 515 votes in the State House and 396 in the State Senate, as well as 1,372 bills introduced total in the legislature and 237 bills passed. Out of all roll call votes, 90 individual legislators did not miss any votes. 3 individual legislators missed more than 50 votes.[12]

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 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.[13]

Elections

2014

See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for 25 districts in the Washington State Senate will take place in 2014. A blanket primary election took place on August 5, 2014. The general election will be held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was May 17, 2014.

2012

See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Washington State Senate were held in Washington on November 6, 2012. A total of 24 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline was June 8, 2012 and the primary election was August 7, 2012.

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

2010

See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Washington's State Senate were held in Washington on November 2, 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.

In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $7,259,812 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:[14]

2008

See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2008

Elections for the office of Washington State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 19, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.

During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $6,822,733. The top 10 contributors were:[15]

2006

See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2006

Elections for the office of Washington State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 19, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.

During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $7,241,049. The top 10 contributors were:[16]

2004

See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2004

Elections for the office of Washington State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 14, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.

During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $6,993,740. The top 10 contributors were:[17]

2002

See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2002

Elections for the office of Washington State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 17, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.

During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $4,496,407. The top 10 contributors were:[18]

2000

See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2000

Elections for the office of Washington State Senate consisted of a primary election on September 19, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.

During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $4,339,111. The top 10 contributors were:[19]

Qualifications

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."

Vacancies

See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

If there is a vacancy in the senate, 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.[20]

Redistricting

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 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.[21]

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.

Senators

Salaries

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.[22]

When sworn in

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

Washington legislators assume office the first day of session.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

In the 2013-2014 legislative session, Democrats maintain a partisan majority, but control is held by the Republican-led Majority Caucus Coalition.[23]


Party As of September 2014
     Democratic Party 25
     Republican Party 24
Total 49


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

Partisan composition of the Washington State Senate.PNG

Leadership

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

The Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Senate, but only votes in the event of a tie. In the absence of the Lieutenant Governor, the President pro tempore served as presiding officer. The President pro tempore is elected by the majority party caucus, but must then be confirmed by the entire Senate.[24][25]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Washington State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Brad Owen Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Sheldon Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Vice President Pro Tempore Sharon Brown Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Coalition Leader Rodney Tom Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Caucus Chair Linda Evans Parlette Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Floor Leader Joe Fain Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Whip Ann Rivers Ends.png Republican
State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Don Benton Ends.png Republican
State Senate Majority Caucus Vice Chair Bruce Dammeier Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Floor Leader Jim Honeyford Ends.png Republican
State Senate Assistant Majority Whip John Braun Ends.png Republican
State Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Floor Leader David Frockt Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Caucus Leader Karen Fraser Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Caucus Leader Mark Mullet Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Floor Leader Christine Rolfes Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Assistant Minority Floor Leader Annette Cleveland Electiondot.png Democratic
State Senate Minority Whip Andy Billig Electiondot.png Democratic

List of current members

Current members, Washington State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
1 Rosemary McAuliffe Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
2 Randi Becker Ends.png Republican 2009
3 Andy Billig Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
4 Mike Padden Ends.png Republican 2011
5 Mark Mullet Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
6 Michael Baumgartner Ends.png Republican 2011
7 Brian Dansel Ends.png Republican 2013
8 Sharon Brown Ends.png Republican 2013
9 Mark Schoesler Ends.png Republican 2005
10 Barbara Bailey Ends.png Republican 2013
11 Bob Hasegawa Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
12 Linda Evans Parlette Ends.png Republican 2001
13 Janéa Holmquist Ends.png Republican 2011
14 Curtis King Ends.png Republican 2007
15 Jim Honeyford Ends.png Republican 1998
16 Mike Hewitt Ends.png Republican 2001
17 Don Benton Ends.png Republican 1997
18 Ann Rivers Ends.png Republican 2012
19 Brian Hatfield Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
20 John Braun Ends.png Republican 2013
21 Marko Liias Electiondot.png Democratic 2014
22 Karen Fraser Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
23 Christine Rolfes Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
24 James Hargrove Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
25 Bruce Dammeier Ends.png Republican 2013
26 Jan Angel Ends.png Republican 2013
27 Jeannie Darneille Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
28 Steve O'Ban Ends.png Republican 2013
29 Steve Conway Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
30 Tracey Eide Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
31 Pam Roach Ends.png Republican 1991
32 Maralyn Chase Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
33 Karen Keiser Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
34 Sharon Nelson Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
35 Tim Sheldon Purple.png Independent American 1997
36 Jeanne Kohl-Welles Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
37 Adam Kline Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
38 John McCoy Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
39 Kirk Pearson Ends.png Republican 2013
40 Kevin Ranker Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
41 Steve Litzow Ends.png Republican 2011
42 Doug Ericksen Ends.png Republican 2011
43 Jamie Pedersen Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
44 Steve Hobbs Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
45 Andy Hill Ends.png Republican 2011
46 Dave Frockt Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
47 Joe Fain Ends.png Republican 2011
48 Rodney Tom Purple.png Independent American 2007
49 Annette Cleveland Electiondot.png Democratic 2013

Senate committees

The Washington State Senate has 15 standing committees:

History

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 Senate for 16 years while the Republicans were the majority for six years.

Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates 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 had 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

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Washington state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. During the course of the study, Washington had a number of Democratic trifectas. The state experienced both high and low rankings during the years with Democratic trifectas. Its highest ranking overall, finishing 8th, occurred in 1998 during a divided government.

Chart displaying the partisanship of the Washington government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

External links

References

  1. census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001. Accessed February 13, 2014
  3. washingtonstatewire.com, "Session Set to Open in ‘Bizarro World’ – Supreme Court Decision Turns Everything Upside Down," January 13, 2014
  4. The Spokesman Review, "Budget remains pressing issue in new legislative session," January 13, 2013
  5. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 6, 2014(Archived)
  6. 2010 session convening dates for Washington legislature
  7. 2010 session adjourning dates for Washington legislature
  8. National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
  10. Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Washington Policy Center, "2014 Missed Votes Report for Legislators Released," March 18, 2014
  13. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  14. Follow the Money: "Washington Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  15. Follow the Money, "Washington 2008 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  16. Follow the Money, "Washington 2006 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  17. Follow the Money, "Washington 2004 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  18. Follow the Money, "Washington 2002 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  19. Follow the Money, "Washington 2000 Candidates," accessed August 5, 2013
  20. Washington Legislature, "Washington Constitution," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Section Article II, Section XV)
  21. 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
  22. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  23. KING, "New coalition takes control in Washington state's Senate," January 14, 2013. accessed January 21, 2013
  24. Washington State Senate - 2009 Permanent Rules of the Senate
  25. Washington State Senate 2009-2010 Leadership