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Resources & Key Partners

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Washington State Legislature

Washington state has 49 state legislative districts of relatively equal population, each of which elect one senator and two representatives. As a result, the Washington State Legislature consists of 98 seats in the House of Representatives, and 49 seats in the Senate.

Beginning the second Monday in January, state legislators convene at the capitol in Olympia for legislative session where policy and the state operating, capital, and transportation budgets are considered. The state legislative cycle is two years with the biennial budgets decided in odd-numbered years.

As a state public baccalaureate institution, the University of Washington is supported by state appropriations and therefore, engages with the state legislature to safeguard base funding and legislative priorities in the final state budgets.

  • Washington State Legislature: Find information about legislators, policy committees, bills, and more.
  • Legislative process overview: This overview shows the steps a bill must take to become law. The UW Office of Planning & Budgeting provides another helpful overview, especially for those tasked with analyzing proposed legislation.
  • How a bill becomes a law in Washington state: An abbreviated summary
  • Find your legislative district: Discover which of Washington state’s 49 legislative districts you live in and who represents you.
  • Watch TVW: Unedited video coverage of Washington state government, politics, and public policy, including live committee hearings and executive sessions, press conferences, commission and agency board meetings, court hearings and more.

Executive Branch

Washington State has nine elected executive offices, including the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, State Auditor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Insurance Commissioner, and Commissioner of Public Lands. The executives in each office serve four-year terms.

  • Office of the Governor: The Governor’s official actions include bill action, directives, executive orders, flag lowering, judicial appointments, and proclamations.
  • Office of the Lieutenant Governor: The Lieutenant Governor acts as Governor when the Governor is absent from the state or is otherwise unable to serve, presides over the Senate and interprets the Senate conduct and procedure rules, and serves on and appoints members to committees, boards, and commissions.
  • Washington Secretary of State: The Secretary of State is the state’s chief elections officer and is therefore, responsible for supervising all state and local elections. The position also serves as the chief corporations office and supervisor of the State Archives.
  • Washington State Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for the safety and security of the state’s monies, chairs the State Finance Committee and the Public Deposit Protection Commission, and serves on five other state boards.
  • Office of the Attorney General: The Attorney General is the top legal officer for state government.
  • Office of the Washington State Auditor: The State Auditor examines how state and local government use public funds and develops strategies to make government more efficient and effective.
  • Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction: The Superintendent oversees the state’s public K–12 education.
  • Office of the Insurance Commissioner: The Insurance Commissioner protects insurance consumers and oversees the insurance industry.
  • Washington State Department of Natural Resources: The Commissioner of Public Lands manages, sustains, and protects the health and productivity of the state’s lands and waters.

State Agencies

Washington State has almost 200 public agencies, boards, and commissions serving residents. Use the State Government Agency Directory to find a list of the state’s public agencies with contact information and links to their websites.

Higher Education Data

The Education Research & Data Center (ERDC) compiles K-12 and higher education data, including for the state’s public baccalaureate institutions. The Statewide Public Four-Year Dashboard has centralized data on student enrollment, student progress, and degrees and graduates.

University & Higher Education Partners

The UW Office of Planning & Budgeting (OPB) support the UW community, including the Office of State Relations, through the planning and allocation of financial and physical resources and by providing analysis and information services, including during legislative session, to enhance university decision-making, planning, and policy formation.

  • State Operations resources, including state budget information, bill tracking & legislative resources, fiscal notes, state funding policies & guidelines, and legislative process & terms.
  • View Briefs on higher education policy, state budget and statutory obligations, UW policy, and national higher education trends.
  • Explore UW Data, including fast facts, profiles, external reports, peer comparisons, and internal data resources.

The Council of Presidents (COP) is the association of Washington state’s six public four-year colleges and universities – Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College, University of Washington, Washington State University, and Western Washington University.

Other key partners include: