OLYMPIA – Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) announced today that he will not seek re-election in 2024.

Billig, who was first elected to the Legislature in 2010, will finish his current term and continue to serve as majority leader until a new leader is selected in November. He was elected majority leader in late 2018 and has served in that role since the 2019 legislative session.

“Part of being a good leader is knowing when it is time to step aside and let others lead,” said Billig. “I have been incredibly lucky to have served Spokane in the Legislature and fortunate to have the strong support of my family and so many friends and neighbors throughout our community.”

During his 14 years in the Legislature, Billig earned a reputation as a serious policy maker and consensus builder. He quickly became a leading voice on education funding and fought hard to expand access to high quality early learning.

When Democrats regained control of the Senate in 2018, he led the charge on a package of bills to expand access to the ballot and strengthen campaign finance laws. That year Washington adopted same-day voter registration, automatic voter registration, and youth pre-registration. Billig’s DISCLOSE Act increased transparency laws to shine light on the source of money in elections.

Under his leadership, the Senate passed nation-leading legislation addressing climate change, gun safety, voting rights, affordable housing, reproductive rights and tax reform. He served as one of the “McCleary 8,” the group of legislators who spent 18 months negotiating a new K-12 funding plan in the wake of the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.

Billig championed legislation on sustainable aviation fuels, serving as the chair of the Washington State Alternative Aviation Fuels Workgroup. He sponsored and passed Senate Bill 5447 in 2023 to position Washington as a leader in this fast-developing sector of the green economy.

He led early efforts to make remote video testimony available to people across Washington, and helped guide the Legislature through successful virtual sessions during the COVID pandemic. As the Democratic majority expanded under Billig’s leadership, so did the diversity of its members with a record number of lawmakers of color and in the Senate’s leadership team.

The state’s economy prospered under Billig’s leadership and Washington was twice named the top state in the nation in U.S. News’ Best States ranking. A member of the Senate’s budget writing team, he helped craft balanced state budgets with strong reserves that helped Washington earn historically high credit ratings.

Throughout all of his legislative work, Billig was most focused on Spokane. During his first session in 2011, he sponsored and passed landmark legislation to protect the Spokane River by removing unnecessary phosphorous from lawn fertilizers that caused toxic algae blooms in waterways across the state.

He also secured many Spokane capital and transportation projects, most notably the University District Gateway bike and pedestrian bridge, the Division Street Bus Rapid Transit Line, and the expansion of the Carl Maxey Center. Billig was also instrumental in passing legislation and securing funding to open the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

He took steps to modernize the Legislature, adding new transparency measures and a code of conduct for lawmakers, legislative staff and lobbyists.

Billig prioritized working across the aisle during his tenure as majority leader. In each of his six years at the helm, more than 90 percent of all bills that passed the Legislature did so with bipartisan support.

Outside the Legislature, Billig is an award-winning business executive. He is the CEO of Brett Sports, a company that owns and operates four minor league sports teams. He has spent 32 years with Brett Sports, rising through the ranks as general manager, president and now as part-owner and CEO.

“I’m so fortunate to have had two rewarding careers so far that help to support the Spokane community,” Billig said. “I will continue with Brett Sports and look forward to new opportunities as they arise.”

Billig’s six-year term as majority leader is the third longest in the last 50 years, surpassed by only Jeanette Hayner (7 years; 1981-1982, 1988-1992) and his former seatmate and current Spokane Mayor Lisa Brown (8 years; 2005-2012).

Senate Democrats will elect a new majority leader for the 2025 legislative session following the 2024 general election in November.