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Washington Laws, Legislation & the Legislature

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Updated June 5, 2013.

The Washington Legislature's website is a the single best resource for legislative information. Note: HeinOnline and LexisNexis Academic are restricted to visitors to UW Libraries and to UW faculty, students, and staff (UW Restricted)


Washington State Constitution

Constitution from the Legislature's website

Constitution from the Legislative Search page: searchable, current
Washington Constitution Search

LexisNexis Academic: U.S. Legal > State Statutes, Codes & Regulations; searchable. UW Restricted

See also the Gallagher guide on the Washington State Constitution and the extensive Gallagher history collection of scanned material relating to the Constitution and the Constitutional Convention.

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Revised Code of WashingtonRevised Code of Washington

Laws in force arranged by subject.

"The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) is the compilation of all permanent laws now in force. It is a collection of Session Laws (enacted by the Legislature, and signed by the Governor, or enacted via the initiative process), arranged by topic, with amendments added and repealed laws removed. It does not include temporary laws such as appropriations acts." Washington State Legislature

Current Edition

RCW from the Legislature: arranged by RCW title number

RCW from the Legislature's Advanced Search > RCW & Dispositions: searchable, current

RCW from the Municipal Research and Services Center: searchable, current

RCW on LexisNexis Academic: US Legal > State Statutes, Codes & Regulations > select Washington from the pull-down "State" list; searchable. UW Restricted

Finding Tools

2012 index to the RCW from the Office of the Code Reviser: a searchable PDF

RCW Sections Affected by 2013 Statutes from the Office of the Code Reviser: a searchable PDF

Popular names table to the RCW from the Office of the Code Reviser: a searchable PDF

Previous Editions

RCW Archive from the Legislature: PDF images of print editions, from 2002

Historical Statutes from HeinOnline: searchable; includes Hill's Code (1881), Pierce's Code (1896 and 1905), Ballinger's Annotated Code (1897), Remington & Ballinger's Code (1910), the Revised Code of Washington (1973-99), and others.

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Session Laws

Laws passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, arranged in chronological order. Called the Laws of Washington.

Session laws from the Office of the Code Reviser; from 1854. Also available on HeinOnline (from 1854). UW Restricted

Territorial laws, 1854-62, requires a special viewer (free download)

Index to the laws, memorials and resolutions passed by the Washington Territorial Legislature, 1853-87 from the Washington State Library: searchable PDF

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BillsWashington State Capitol Campus

Legislation under consideration by the Washington State Legislature.

How a Bill Becomes a Law. A description from the Washington State Legislature with links to comprehensive descriptions

Bill information from the Legislature: searchable, from the current and last 2 biennia

Bill information from the Detailed Legislative Reports > searchable, from 1985

Bill summaries from the Legislature: searchable by bill number, from 1991

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Legislative History Material

See also the Gallagher guide on Washington State Legislative History for information on the sources used to discover legislative intent.

Bill reports from the Legislative Search page; searchable, from 1987
WA Legislative Search page

House and Senate journals from the Legislative Search page > Document > Yearly Documents > Journal: searchable, from 1993

Detailed legislative reports from the Legislature: summaries, text, tracking, reports, roll call votes, and other information, coverage varies

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Initiatives & Referenda

List of initiatives and referenda by year from the Secretary of State: from 1996

List of all initiatives to the people filed with the Secretary of State: from 1914-2009

List of all initiatives to the Legislature filed with the Secretary of State: from 1914-2009

List of all referendum bills filed with the Secretary of State: from 1919-2006

List of all referendum measures filed with the Secretary of State: from 1913-2009

Initiatives and referenda from the Legislative Search page: searchable, from 1991

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Legislative Rules

House Rules

Senate Rules

Reed's Parliamentary Rules


Legislative Ethics Board

Advisory and complaint opinions from the Board: arranged by type then by date, from 1995

Opinions from the Legislative Search page: searchable, from 1995
WA Legislative Search page Ethics

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