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Washington Laws, Legislation & the Legislature

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Updated June 30, 2015.

Washington State Flag

The Washington Legislature's website is a the single best resource for legislative information.


Washington State Constitution

Constitution from the Legislature

Constitution from Legislative Search page: searchable, current

LexisNexis Academic [UW Restricted]: Search by Content Type  > State Statutes and Regulations > Advanced Options > click on the boxes next to Constitution and Washington; searchable

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.


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and signed by the Governor, or enacted via the initiative process), arranged by topic, with amendments added and repealed laws removed.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

Code

RCW from the Legislature: arranged by RCW title number, current.

RCW from the Legislative Search page > At "Website Section Selection" click on the right-pointing triangle to reveal files that may be searched, then select "Revised Code of Washington (RCW)"; current.

Washington Legislative Search

RCW on LexisNexis Academic [UW Restricted]: Search by Content Type > State Statutes and Regulations > Advanced Options > click in the boxes next to Statutory Code and Washington; searchable
Note: The version here is annotated with references to appellate court cases interpreting of applying provisions of the state laws.

Finding Tools

2014 index to the RCW 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

Other tables and cross-references from the Office of the Code Reviser

Previous Editions

RCW Archive from the Legislature: PDF images of print editions, 1973, 1974, 1975, and annual volumes and supplements from 2002 forward

Historical Archive of Washington statutory codes from HeinOnline [UW Restricted]: from the Code of 1881 through editions of the contemporary Revised Code of Washington; searchable PDF

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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 [UW Restricted] (from 1854).

Territorial laws, 1854-62, from the Secretary of State's Office; requires a special viewer (free download)

Index to the laws, memorials and resolutions passed by the Washington Territorial Legislature, 1853-87

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BillsWashington State Capital Complex

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.

Bills from the Legislature: searchable, from the current and last 2 biennia.

Bills from the Legislative Search page: At "Website Section Selection" click on the right-pointing triangle to reveal files that may be searched, then select "Bill Information"

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: Click in the circle next to "Document"

Legislative Search Page

Then under Document Selection, click in the box next to "Bill Reports" and select the relevant biennium.

Searching Bill Reports on the Legislative Search Page

House and Senate journals from the Legislative Search page: Click in the circle next to "Document" and then on the box next to "Journal". Select the relevant year.

Searching Journals on the Legislative Search Page

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: 1914-2012

List of all initiatives to the Legislature filed with the Secretary of State: 1914-2013

List of all referendum bills filed with the Secretary of State: 1919-2010

List of all referendum measures filed with the Secretary of State: 1913-2012.

Initiatives and referenda from the Legislative Search page: Click in the circle next to "Document"

Legislative Search Page

Under "Document Selection" click in the box next to "Initiative" and select the relevant bienna

Searching Initiatives on Legislative Search

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Legislative Rules

These are the rules by which the Washington Legislature operates.

House Rules

Senate Rules

Reed's Parliamentary Rules

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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. Click in the circle next to "Document"

Legislative Search Page

Under "Document Selection" click on the box next to "Legislative Ethics" and select the relevant biennium

Searching Legislative Ethics Opinions on Legislative Search

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