Frequently Asked Questions

How does a bill become a law?

How do I contact my legislators?

Can I leave messages for members with the Support account?

How do I contact legislative staff?

How do I find e-mail addresses for members of Congress and the U.S. Senate?

How do I contact the Governor?

How do I contact an agency of the Washington State government?

Will you e-mail information to me?

I'd like to review a member's voting record.

I'd like some information on the initiative and referendum process.

How do I find a law on a particular topic?

How do I print a whole chapter of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) or Washington Administrative Code?

I would like to visit Olympia and observe the Legislature in session. Where do I park? What time do sessions convene? How can I find out what is scheduled to be heard or debated?

Can I get information from previous sessions?

How often are the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) updated?

 

How does a bill become a law?
 
LEGInfo provides several files that describe the legislative process.

Legislative Process Overview
How a Bill Becomes a Law, short version
Students' Page version
Glossary of Legislative Terms
 
 
How do I contact my legislators?

You have several options for contacting your state Representatives and Senators.

E-mail from their individual home pages or from the e-mail address lists provided by the House and Senate.
The toll-free in-state Legislative Hotline at 1.800.562.6000.
Their Olympia phone numbers as published in the House and Senate rosters.
The U.S. Postal Service. Mail to House members should be addressed as follows:

The Honorable Representative John Doe
Washington State House of Representatives
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98502-0600

Mail to Senate members should be addressed as follows:

The Honorable Senator Jane Doe
Washington State Senate
P.O. Box 40482
Olympia, WA 98502-0482

Members want to hear from their constituents and welcome your contacting them. They are very busy, especially during the session, so it is wise to follow a few simple guidelines.

  • Try the members who represent you first. If you do not know which district you live in, go to Find Your Legislator.
  • State your opinion or issue directly and politely. Have all your facts in hand.
  • If you wish to visit a member, make an appointment by calling the Olympia office number.  

Can I leave messages for members with the Support account? 

The best thing to do is to contact a member yourself using the e-mail, Hotline, phone, and mail options described above. The Support account does not forward messages to members.

How do I contact legislative staff? 

You may contact legislative staff by phone. Use the following numbers:

  • House of Representatives: 360.786.7750
  • House Office of Program Research (House Committee Services): 360.786.7200
  • Senate: 360.786.7550
  • Senate Committee Services: 360.786.7400

The Support account does not forward e-mail to legislative staff.

How do I find e-mail addresses for members of Congress and the U.S. Senate? 

  • For U.S. Representatives, go to the directory of web sites of members by state of the U.S. House.
  • For U.S. Senators, go to the directory of web sites of members by state for the U.S. Senate.

How do I contact the Governor? 

Go to the Governor's Contact page. That page provides a link to the Governor's e-mail form, the mailing address, and the phone number.

How do I contact an agency of the Washington State government? 

Most state agencies provide information on the Internet. Go to Access Washington for the state government's portal. That page provides a search feature and indexes arranged by agency and subject.

If you know the person you wish to reach, use Access Washington's State Employee Directory.

Will you e-mail information to me? 

The Legislative Information Center will be happy to e-mail information to you. Contact them at support@leg.wa.gov or at the Legislative Hotline at 1.800.562.6000.

I'd like to review a member's voting record. 

The voting records of House members become available following the session. Connect to the individual member's home page and click the Voting Record link.

LEGInfo does not provide access to the voting records of Senate members. Contact the Secretary of the Senate at 360.786.7550 for a Senator's voting record.

I'd like some information on the initiative and referendum process. 

The Secretary of State provides the best set of information on initiatives and referenda. The web page provides the text of the initiatives, names of the sponsors, and the ballot titles, and an overview of the initiative and referendum process.

How do I find law on a particular topic? 

Use the LEGInfo Search feature. You can search for information on

  • Amendments, Bills, and Bill Reports for the current session
  • Amendments, Bills, and Bill Reports for the previous biennia
  • Revised Code of Washington (RCW)
  • Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 
  • Washington State Registers 

How do I print a whole chapter of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) or Washington Administrative Code? 

To find a chapter of the RCW or WAC

  1. Click the link to "Revised Code of Washington by Title" or "Washington Administrative Code."
  2. Click the link for the desired title.
  3. Click the link for the desired chapter.
  4. Click the link at the top of the subsequent page that says "Complete Chapter."
  5. LEGInfo does not support viewing or printing an entire title.

I would like to visit Olympia and observe the Legislature in session. Where do I park? What time do sessions convene? How can I find out what is scheduled to be heard or debated? 

In odd-numbered years, the Legislature is in session from the second Monday in January until the fourth Sunday in April (105 days). In the even-numbered years, the Legislature is in session from the second Monday in January and goes for 60 days.

Parking on the Capitol Campus is scarce, and locations may change because of the construction related to the renovation of the John A. Cherberg Building.

The daily session start time varies, and, in fact, sometimes they come in just do some paperwork. If you want to see them debate bills, keep an eye on the Session Cutoff Calendar to find out when the cutoffs are, and come the week after committee cutoff. They usually start around 10:00 a.m. that week. You may also view or listen to committee on floor proceedings on the TVW web site.

You have options for checking the agendas for the floor sessions (also known as calendars):

If you would like to sit in on a committee meeting, the Agendas, Schedules and Calendars page lets you know which committees are meeting on a particular date and where.  The Meeting Schedule also tells you if they are scheduled for floor sessions and if those sessions are pro forma to handle some paperwork.

Can I get information from previous sessions? 

LEGInfo provides access to bills and related documents back to 1997, from the Bill Information page. For information before 1997, contact the Legislative Information Center at 360.786.7573.

How often are the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) updated? 
 
The RCW is updated once a year, usually late summer or early fall. It may also be updated following the General Election, if an initiative that changed the law was adopted by the people.

The WAC is updated every two weeks.