Washington State FlagThe government of the State of Washington is the governmental structure of the State of Washington as established by the Constitution of the State of Washington. The executive is composed of the Governor, several other statewide elected officials and the Governor’s cabinet. The Washington State Legislature consists of the House of Representatives and State Senate. The judiciary is composed of the Washington Supreme Court and lower courts. There is also local government, consisting of counties, municipalities and special districts.

  • Washington is named for George Washington, the first U.S. president
  • Washington was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty
  • Washington was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889
  • Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle
  • Washington is the 18th largest state, with an area of 71,362 square miles (184,827 km²)
  • Washington is the 13th most populous state, with more than 7.4 million people, 60 percent of whom live in the Seattle metropolitan area
  • Washington is a leading lumber producer
  • Washington is one of the wealthiest and most socially progressive states in the country
  • The state consistently ranks among the best for life expectancy and low unemployment
  • Washington was one of the first to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis
  • The state was among the first thirty-six states to legalize same-sex marriage, doing so in 2012
  • Washington was one of only four U.S. states to have been providing legal abortions on request before the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade
  • Washington voters approved a 2008 referendum on legalization of physician-assisted suicide

Washington State Legislature

The Washington State Legislature is the state’s legislative branch. The state legislature is bicameral and is composed of a lower House of Representatives and an upper State Senate. The state is divided into 49 legislative districts of equal population, each of which elects two representatives and one senator. Representatives serve two-year terms, whilst senators serve for four years. There are no term limits.

Its session laws are published in the Laws of Washington, which in turn have been codified in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW).

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