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Government of Washington facts for kids

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The government of Washington is the governmental structure of the state of Washington as established by the Washington Constitution. 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.


See also: List of Washington state agencies
2014 Org Chart WA
Organization of the executive branch of the government of Washington as of 2014

The executive branch of the state's government is organized as a plural executive, in which the heads of the principal departments are filled by individually elected officials. In addition to the Governor of Washington, the state constitutional officers are: the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Treasurer, the Auditor, the Commissioner of Public Lands, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Additionally, a number of state departments are governed and managed by independent commissions, including the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Transportation. Heads of the remaining departments are appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Washington State Senate. The Governor also enjoys a line item veto, the power to issue pardons and commute death sentences, and he acts as commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.

The offices of each of the state constitutional officers are established in the Washington constitution, with the exception of that of the Insurance Commissioner, which was created by statute. They are each elected on a partisan ballot to concurrent four-year terms, except for the Superintendent of Public Instruction who is officially non-partisan.

The Washington State Register (WSR) is a biweekly publication that includes activities of the government. The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) is the codification of regulations arranged by subject and agency.

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