History of the Office
The Office of the Legislative Counsel was established by statute in 1919 to assist “in drafting public bills and resolutions or
amendments thereto” at the request of any Senator, committee, or office of the Senate. The Legislative Counsel of the Senate is appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate solely on the basis of
qualifications to perform the duties of the position. The Legislative Counsel is authorized to appoint Senior Counsels, Assistant Counsels, support staff, and other employees, to establish salaries, and to otherwise
administer the Office. All appointments are made without regard to political affiliation and are subject to the approval of the President pro tempore of the Senate.
For an in-depth history of the Senate as seen through the eyes of an attorney in the Office of the Legislative Counsel, see
Oral History Interviews, Arthur J. Rynearson, Office of the Legislative Counsel, 1976-2003.