Washington State Senate
|Washington State Senate|
|2013 session start:||January 9, 2012|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Brad Owen, (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Lisa Brown (D)|
|Minority leader:||Mike Hewitt, (R)|
| Democratic Party (25) |
Republican Party (23)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art II, Section 2, Washington Constitution|
|Salary:||$42,106/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 2, 2010 (25 seats)|
|Next election:||November 6, 2012 (24 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Washington State Redistricting Commission|
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.
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.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate will be in session from January 9 through March 8.
Heading into the session the state faces a $1.5 billion budget gap. Additionally, Governor Chris Gregoire is pushing for a half-cent sales tax, while the legislature is considering a gas-tax increase to pay for roads and transportation related needs.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 10 through April 24. 
- 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.
- See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2012
- See also: Washington State Senate 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.
In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $7,259,812 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|Senate Republican Campaign Cmte of Washington||$376,889|
|Washington State Republican Party||$345,668|
|Senate Democratic Campaign Cmte||$295,049|
|Bennett, Gregg D||$136,540|
|King County Republican Central Cmte||$111,251|
|Washington State Democratic Central Cmte- Non-Exempt||$103,124|
|Washington State Democratic Party||$88,239|
|Premera Blue Cross||$36,500|
|6th District Legislative Cmte||$33,500|
|Washington State Dental Association||$31,200|
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."
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
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.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
In 2011, members of the Washington Senate are paid the same as in 2010.
As of 2010, members of the Washington Senate are paid $42,106/year. Legislators receive $90/day per diem.
The $42,106/year that Washington senators are paid as of 2010 is an increase over the $36,311/year they were paid during legislative sessions in 2007. Per diem is the same.
When sworn in
Washington legislators assume office the first day of session.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of December 2013|
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.
List of current members
The 2010-2011 legislative session, sitting in the state's 62nd legislative session, includes these 49 senators:
The Washington State Senate has 15 standing committees:
- Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Committee, Washington State Senate
- Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, Washington State Senate
- Economic Development, Trade & Innovation Committee, Washington State Senate
- Environment, Water & Energy Committee, Washington State Senate
- Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee, Washington State Senate
- Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee, Washington State Senate
- Health & Long-Term Care Committee, Washington State Senate
- Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee, Washington State Senate
- Human Services & Corrections Committee, Washington State Senate
- Judiciary Committee, Washington State Senate
- Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection Committee, Washington State Senate
- Natural Resources & Marine Waters Committee, Washington State Senate
- Rules Committee, Washington State Senate
- Transportation Committee, Washington State Senate
- Ways and Means Committee, Washington State Senate
- Official website of the State of Washington Senate
- Official list of Washington State Senators
- Map of State Senate Districts
- Project Vote Smart profile of Washington Senate
- Washington Votes, website with voting records for all State of Washington Senators
- The Washington State Senate on Wikipedia
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ The Olympian, "A big factor in state legislative session: Fall, spring elections," January 7, 2012
- ↑ New York Times, "Washington Governor Signs Gay Marriage Bill," February 13, 2012
- ↑ 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- ↑ 2010 session convening dates for Washington legislature
- ↑ 2010 session adjourning dates for Washington legislature
- ↑ Follow the Money: "Washington Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ Washington Legislature "Washington Constitution"(Referenced Section Article II, Section XV)
- ↑ National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data"
- ↑ Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
- ↑ Washington State Senate - 2009 Permanent Rules of the Senate
- ↑ Washington State Senate 2009-2010 Leadership
State of Washington
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Commissioner of Public Lands | Director of Labor and Industries | Chairman of Utilities and Transportation |