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legislative bill tracker

This year APIC believes that the following policy priorities will be integral to improving the lives of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Washington State. View the 2024 Legislative Agenda here.  

Important Cuttoff Dates

  • Jan 8: Start of session

  • Feb 13: Last day to pass bills in house of origin 

  • March 1: Last day to pass opposite house bills

  • March 7: Last day of session

Legislative Priorities
HB 1445: AG Investigation and Reform Bill

Did not pass

We are disappointed that the legislature did not move forward with HB 1445. However, APIC would like to still express its strong support for HB 1445 and desire for stronger police accountability measures from the state. This bill strengthens and clarifies the Washington Attorney General’s authority to investigate and bring suit where there are systemic failures at an law enforcement agency or police department, resulting in violations of the Washington constitution or state laws. When APIC leaders advocated for the Seattle Police Department to take accountability for the death of Jaahnavi Kandula, we were given very little options for an independent investigation and necessary measures to reform the department. This legislation would ensure that the AGO has the authority to investigate police departments in situations where current policy accountability laws are insufficient. We hope that legislature will prioritize this bill and take action next session.

SB 5109/ HB 1095:
Unemployment Benefits for Undocumented Workers

Did not pass

We are disappointed that the legislature did not take action on SB 5109 / HB 1095 in the fiscal committee to address the urgent needs of undocumented people in Washington. We hope that the legislature will still consider a budget request from the same coalition of advocates requesting $8 million to create a short term stopgap unemployment benefits program to at least help address these urgent and ongoing needs of undocumented workers who do not have access to unemployment insurance.

SB 5135/ HB 1087: Solitary Confinement

Did not pass

Solitary confinement is an inhumane practice with proven long-term psychological impacts. While the legislature did not pass a bill to severely restrict the use of solitary confinement, we want to stress that there are over 600 incarcerated individuals in our state that continue to experience this cruel punishment. There is so much at stake for incarcerated individuals and their families and we hope the legislature will prioritize this bill and pass it next session. The Governor’s budget allocated money to Department of Corrections (DOC) to reform solitary confinement practices but we believe that this funding should not be given without necessary policy change to hold DOC accountable to these reforms. DOC has not shown any good faith to make changes to this inhumane practice, including administrative changes that would cost nothing. Before DOC is given funding, we must codify ending the use of solitary confinement.

Cultural Groups Protection

This bill would protect the status and functions of the cultural awareness groups within Washington Department of Corrections, such as the Black Prisoners Caucus (BPC), the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Awareness Group (APICAG), and Nuestro Grupo Cultural (NGC). Cultural awareness groups provide peer-to-peer education classes and culturally relevant programming—such as domestic violence prevention classes; workshops on healing from intergenerational trauma; and Asian American and Pacific Islander studies courses—that are vital to the rehabilitation process and preparing people in prison for successful reentry to the community. Since the pandemic, we have seen increasing restrictions placed on cultural group activities by DOC, to the detriment of incarcerated individuals’ ability to heal and build strong community connections. This bill would recognize the special status and contributions of cultural awareness groups and require DOC to allow the groups to continue providing culturally relevant programming, as many groups have been doing for decades. 

Health Equity for Immigrants (Budget Proviso)

The budget proviso has been submitted by Rep Thai and Senator Valdez. Senator Dhingra is also submitting one element of the budget proviso

The Health Equity for Immigrants Campaign is calling on the Washington State Legislature to ensure the proper implementation of the Medicaid-like program providing no-cost healthcare to undocumented Washingtonians. 

  • Program Funding ($30 million)

    • The legislature should allocate additional programmatic funding to ensure the Medicaid-like program can cover as many Washingtonians as possible, as the current funding levels are projected to cover only a fraction of those eligible. 

  • Outreach Funding ($3 million)

    • The legislature should allocate funding specifically for community-based organizations to serve as trusted messengers and assisters for community members eligible for the Medicaid-like program.

  • Study for Reaching Full Funding ($100,000)

    • The legislature should allocate funding for a study by the Health Care Authority and Health Benefit Exchange that will detail a pathway for Washington to fully fund the Medicaid-like program and maximize utilization. 

  • ​Study for Exploring Affordability Gaps ($240,000) 

    • The legislature should allocate funding for a Health Benefit Exchange study exploring how to resolve remaining Exchange affordability gaps. Purchasing coverage on the Exchange is still out of reach for many individuals.The state must work to resolve these inequities.

  • ​Waitlist funding

    • The legislature should allocate sufficient funding for the Health Care Authority (HCA) to develop and implement short-term and long-term waitlist systems for the Medicaid-like program.

Capital Projects
Seattle Tibetan Community Center

The Tibetan Association of Washington is seeking $1.2 million for the Seattle Tibetan Community Center. This will be a multi-faceted community center to facilitate the preservation of the Tibetan language, history and culture. The center will also be a place for gathering for the community to hold educational workshops and classes, important religious and cultural events and social gatherings.

United Communities of Laos

United Communities of Laos is requesting $1.5 million toward a total capital project cost of $12 million. The UCL Cultural Center will serve as a hub for their member organizations. This center will feature a community hall for events, a commercial kitchen, a museum with a library, a gift store, office spaces, meeting rooms, dance/music rooms, and a computer lab, embodying our vision of preserving and promoting our vibrant cultural heritage. 

Refugee Artisan Initiative (RAI)

Refugee Artisan Initiative (RAI) is seeking capital budget funds to support the expansion and enhancement of our mission to empower and uplift refugee artisans through sustainable economic opportunities. RAI has a proven track record of providing vocational training, mentorship, and a platform for talented refugee artisans to showcase their skills and sell their handmade crafts, textiles, and artworks.

Wapato Filipino Community Hall

APIC Yakima and the Filipino American Community of the Yakima Valley is seeking $100,000 to refurbish the Wapato Filipino Community Hall. This would include asbestos flooring removal and graffiti painting removal. From assisting early farmers to gain access to land through community organizing, the Wapato Filipino Hall has been one of the social economic drivers in our community over the decades.

IACS Community Center

Indian American Community Services (IACS) is seeking $2 million for the Indian American Community Services (IACS) Community Center in Kent, which will support our immigrant refugee communities with basic, urgent and emergent needs.

UTOPIA Community Center

UTOPIA Washington is seeking $250,000 towards a total capital project cost of $20 million for the UTOPIA Community Center tailored specifically for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and allies. It will be a cultural space serving dual purposes as both a community clinic providing essential healthcare services and a performing arts cultural center.

Multicultural Village and Family Resource Center

Open Doors for Multicultural Families is seeking funds for the Multicultural Village and Family Resource Center, a multi-generational, affordable, and inclusive housing project for people with I/DD and other BIPOC and low-income community members.

Chinese American Legacy Artwork Project

Wing Luke Museum is seeking $250,000 for the Chinese American Legacy Artwork Project, which would create a site-specific public artwork that recognizes and preserves the legacy of the forced expulsion of Chinese in 1886 from Seattle.

Buddhist Temple Arson Restoration

 The Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple is seeking $103,000 for the Buddhist Temple Arson Restoration. This request is to help cover costs for the first phase of initial clean-up and hazardous substance mitigation within the larger scope to rehabilitate the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple from arson damage.

Additional Policies We Support
SB 5890: Ballot Curing

Passed Senate. Passed 3rd reading in Senate Rules.

This bill would ensure that there are a variety of ways to confirm ballot. We believe that every vote should count, no matter your race, age, or income. Unfortunately, Washington disproportionately rejects ballots of naturalized immigrants, people whose first language is not English, and young people for signature issues. If we create a standardized process for ballot curing in Washington, we can make sure that errors can be easily fixed, and every voice be heard.

HB 2214: Rent Control/Stabilization

Passed House. Passed to Senate Rules Committee for second reading.

Establishing limits to rent increases under the residential landlord-tenant act and manufactured/mobile home landlord tenant act. 

HB 2368: Assisting Refugees and Immigrants

Passed House. Placed on second reading by Senate Rules Committee.

Assisting refugees and immigrants.

HB 2209: Celebrating Lunar New Year

Passed House. Placed on second reading by Senate Rules Committee.

Establish the lunar new year as a state holiday.

SB 5241/ HB 1263: Keep Our Care Act

Passed Senate. Referred to Rules 2 Review.

This legislation helps ensure mergers do not result in loss of care – gender affirming, reproductive, end of life. The Keep Our Care Act would ensure health entity mergers, acquisitions, and contracting affiliations increase rather than reduce access to vital health services, including gender affirming, reproductive, and end of life care.

SB 5882/ HB 1960Staffing Allocations for Paraprofessionals

Passed Senate. Referred to Rules 2 Review.

Increasing prototypical school staffing to better meet student needs.

HB 1932: Even Year Elections

Passed House. Executive session scheduled, but no action was taken in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb 26.

Shifting general elections for local governments to even-numbered years to increase voter participation.

HB 1579: Independent Investigations for Police

Passed House. Executive session scheduled, but no action was taken in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb 26.

This bill would create an independent process—separate from police departments—to investigate when officers commit crimes or use questionable force.

SB 6314: AANHPI History

Did not pass

This bill would require the adoption of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) history in Washington state social studies learning standards by September 2027 and require school districts to provide instruction in grades K-12 on AANHPI history beginning in the 2028 school year. The contributions of the AANHPI community in Washington and throughout the country have largely been invisible. Instead, there has been a rise of hate toward AANHPIs. We believe that by educating our youth about the history of the AANHPI community, we will build understanding and connection that can prevent future incidents of bullying, hate, and violence. This legislation will ensure that the history and contributions of AANHPIs will be included in United States history and Washington state history. With 12 percent of our state’s population being AANHPI, the 280,000 AANHPI students should see themselves accurately represented in the school context.

SB 6014/ HB 2180: Special Education Cap 

Did not pass

Increasing the special education enrollment funding cap.

HB 2174: Special Education Funding

Did not pass

Concerning funded special education enrollment.

HB 2058: Increasing Free Meals

Did not pass

Increasing student access to free meals served at public schools.

HB 2030: Voting Rights Restoration

Did not pass

Having the right to vote affirms our humanity, our voice, and our identity as Americans. But Washington still allows the criminal legal system to deprive thousands of voters of their most fundamental right as a citizen. We have the chance to make sure that every citizen in Washington can make their voice heard, even while incarcerated.

SB 5249/ HB 1075: WFTC Age Expansion

Did not pass

The legislature should pass legislation to expand the Working Families Tax Credit to all persons 18 and older. This expansion would include roughly 210,000 households and help combat poverty among young adults and seniors. Young adults currently face the highest poverty rates in the US, and are disproportionately likely to be people of color and/or impacted by the foster care system. There is also a growing population of working, low-income seniors, who cannot meet basic needs through Social Security benefits, and will benefit greatly from this expansion. 

To view the outcomes of APIC's 2023 legislative session, view the final report here.

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