While Washington state requires lawmakers to be at least 18 years old to serve, there’s still a chance for students to get involved in the legislative process.
The application window for local students to serve as a page in the upcoming session is now open. Pages serve for one week during the session, where they make deliveries throughout the campus, assist members and attend Page School, among other duties. For their work, a page can earn $65 daily and up to 20 hours of community service.
“Since territorial days, legislative pages have made sure the lawmaking branch runs smoothly,” said Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia, in a statement Wednesday. “And while page duties no longer include tending horses or cleaning laundry, every young person who serves as a page in Olympia puts in an honest 40-hour work week and gains valuable first-hand knowledge of how their government works.”
To be eligible, a student must be between 14 and 16 years old. The Legislature will have eight opportunities for a page to serve in the upcoming session, which will run between Jan. 8 and March 7. This year, members of the House of Representatives can sponsor up to two pages each.
Last year, Abbarno received 11 applications from prospective pages and helped many find opportunities with other legislators.
“I was thrilled with the turnout we saw from our local students in 2023, and I look forward to that same level of enthusiasm in 2024,” Abbarno said. “I firmly believe serving as a page can be an important part of a student’s education and life experience.”
For more information on the page program, go to Leg.Wa.Gov/House/Pages/HousePageProgram.aspx. Money is available through the Gina Grant Bull Page Scholarship to help cover the costs of serving as a page. Scholarship information is available at leg.wa.gov/PageSchool/pages/ginagrantbullscholarship.aspx.
Abbarno’s office can be reached at 360-786-7896.