Legislative Advocacy

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Overview of the Legislative Process

The Washington State Legislature is responsible for creating new laws, changing existing laws and enacting budgets for the state. The legislative cycle is two years long. In odd-numbered years (such as 2021), the regular session is 105 days. In even-numbered years (for example, 2022), the session is 60 days long.

It takes many steps for a bill to become a law. The ideas for bills come from a number of places, including from members of the public who reach out to legislators with their concerns. Members of the House and Senate offer legislation, or bills, for consideration. Once a member introduces a bill, the legislative process begins. If the bill makes it through one chamber of the legislature, it goes to the other chamber. After it has gone through both chambers, it goes to the Governor’s office for the Governor’s signature.


For a full overview of the legislative process, visit the Washington State Legislature website.


How to Participate in the Legislative Process

  • What topic do you want to discuss? 
  • What would you like the other person to know? Why is this important?
  • What would you like to happen?
  • Bring stories or other information about the topic to share your message
  • Bring a card or handout with your information so the person can follow up with you
  • A plan for your next steps


How to make your voice heard

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The Washington State Legislature website has information on how to get involved in the legislative process and find out the schedule for hearings and floor sessions. You can participate in a committee hearing by testifying, submitting written testimony or getting your position noted. Learn more on the Legislature’s Participating in the Process webpage. You can also communicate directly with your legislator by sending an email or commenting on a bill. Learn more on the Legislature’s Participating in the Process webpage.


Learn More About the Legislative Process

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Take a Class

Washington State Legislature has courses available to better understand the legislative process.


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