On this section of the Advocacy Toolkit, you will find many helpful links on how to get started, from who your legislators are to how the legislative process works and how to stay engaged during the legislative session.
How a Bill Becomes a Law in Washington State:
Two documents detailing the legislative process in Washington State. The first link is a shorter, more simplified version, the second link is more expanded.
How a Bill Becomes a Law (Federal):
This link from the PTA provides simple information regarding how a bill becomes a law at the federal level, along with a few definitions to improve understanding.
Visiting the Legislature:
The Washington State Legislature’s website provides links to information regarding visiting the capitol campus, and learning about how to participate in the political process.
The 2019 Citizen’s Guide to the Washington State Budget:
An overview of the state budget and state revenues. It describes the three basic state budgets (Operating, Transportation, and Capital) and their interrelationships, the sources of revenue that support those budgets, how the money is spent, the timeline for budget decisions and information about state debt, a glossary of terminology, and more.
Testifying in a WA Legislative Committee Hearing:
Bills have public hearings before Senate and House committees before being considered on the floors of the House and Senate in the Washington State Legislature. Your opportunity to share your thoughts on a bill, outside of meeting with your legislature, comes with testifying in public committee hearings. This link details finding schedules, preparing to testify, how to testify, etc.
A list prepared by the Washington State Legislature regarding terminology and definitions.
How to Read a Legislative Measure:
A guide to the different components of a legislative measure in WA state. Includes a labeled example bill, information about different types of measures, and a definition of terms.
A Student’s Guide to the Washington Legislature:
A packet full of information for middle and high school-aged students to learn about the Washington State Legislature. Full of background information, symbols, activities, games, maps, a guide to writing laws, and ways to get involved at a younger age.
Provides in-depth, nonpartisan State Government news coverage, both with unedited coverage of committee and floor proceedings and news reporting. On the website, you can watch coverage as it happens live or watch the coverage once archived.