Washington State Senate
|Washington State Senate|
|Washington State Legislature|
New session started
|January 9, 2017|
President of the Senate pro tempore
Length of term
|Authority||Article II, Washington State Constitution|
|Salary||$42,106/year + per diem|
|November 8, 2016|
|November 6, 2018|
|Redistricting||Washington State Redistricting Commission|
|State Senate Chamber|
Washington State Capitol
|Washington State Senate|
The Washington State Senate is the upper house of the Washington State Legislature. The body consists of 49 members, each representing a district with a population of nearly 140,000. The State Senate meets at the Legislative Building in Olympia.
As with the lower House of Representatives, state senators serve without term limits, though senators serve four-year terms. Senators are elected from the same legislative districts as House members, with each district electing one senator and two representatives. Terms are staggered so that half the Senate is up for reelection every two years.
Like other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the federal U.S. Senate, the state senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to the state cabinet, commissions and boards.
The Lieutenant Governor of Washington serves as the President of the Senate, but only casts a vote if required to break a tie. In his or her absence, the President Pro Tempore presides over the Senate. The President Pro Tempore is nominated by the majority party caucus and elected by the entire Senate. The President Pro Tempore is a largely ceremonial position in the Senate. The primary leaders of the respective caucuses are the majority and minority leaders, which are elected by their respective party caucuses.
Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib is constitutionally the President of the Senate. The current President Pro Tempore is Karen Keiser. The Majority leader is Democrat Sharon Nelson, who assumed office following a special election that gave Democrats a majority. The Minority Leader is Republican Mark Schoesler.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous legislature||25||1||23||49||0|
|Begin (January 9, 2017)||24||1||24||49||0|
|January 24, 2017||23||48||1|
|February 1, 2017||24||49||0|
|November 7, 2017||23||1||25|
|Latest voting share||49%||51%|
Members (2017–2019, 65th Legislature)
- †Originally Appointed
- ^Originally Elected in Special Election
- #Sworn in early to fill vacant seat
Past composition of the Senate
- Republican Andy Hill died October 31, 2016, after the 2016 legislative session ended. Republican Dino Rossi was appointed to replace Hill on December 5. Democrat Pramila Jayapal (District 37) resigned December 12, 2016 after her successful election to Congress. Democrat Rebecca Saldaña was appointed to replace Jayapal on December 12. Democrat Cyrus Habib resigned January 4, 2017 after his successful election as Lieutenant Governor of Washington. Democrat Patty Kuderer was appointed to replace Habib on January 9.
- Republican Brian Dansel (District 7) resigned to take a job in the United States Department of Agriculture. 
- Republican Shelly Short appointed to replace Dansel. 
- Democrat Mark Dhingra defeats Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund in special election for District 45. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/washington-state-senate-special-election_us_5a00a45be4b0baea2633bfae