State senators and representatives from across the state convened in Olympia on January 11 for a 60-day legislative session. Lawmakers met in committees to consider legislation and hear public comments on issues such as civil rights, education, health & human services, and economic development. The Legislature adjourned on March 29, concluding a 20-day special session, after agreeing on a supplemental budget.

2016 Supplemental Budget

The Legislature approved a $191 million net increase to the $38 billion 2015-2017 operating budget (view the 2015 session recap). The new investments address urgent needs and costs related to mental health, homeless services, teacher recruitment and retention and last summer’s wildfires. The supplemental budget has been delivered to the governor’s desk. The following changes in the budget are subject to the Governor’s signature.

View the 2016 supplemental budget
2016 Supplemental Budget Changes
Early Learning $16 million increase for early learning and child care, which includes $13 million for the family child care provider collective bargaining agreement.
K-12 $15 million increase including $5 million for staff recruitment and retention, $1.2 million to implement HB 1541, and a net increase of $4 million for Charter Schools.
McCleary Decision Legislators did not provide state funding for the remaining court-ordered basic education or McCleary obligations, particularly in the area of teacher and staff salaries, which are currently paid for through local school levies. SB 6195 passed to create an Education Funding Task Force to develop recommendations to comply with the remaining basic education obligations.
Racial and Ethnic Impact Statements


The Caseload Forecast Council will submit a report to the governor and legislature outlining recommendations for procedures to conduct racial and ethnic impact statements to criminal justice, human services, and education caseloads.
Higher Education $31 million increase including $18 million for the State Need Grant.
Mental Health $41 million increase including $11 million for Western State Hospital, $10 million for staff compensation, $2 million for mobile crisis teams, and $2 million for supportive housing services.
Homeless Services $11 million is provided for an increase in HOPE beds, Crisis Residential Center beds, street youth services, family reconciliation services, and the Consolidated Homeless Grant.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families $49 million one-time reductions to reflect underexpenditures for WorkFirst and the TANF employment and training programs in FY 2016.
Forest Fires $230 million from the general fund, Disaster Response Account, and Budget Stabilization Account for wildfire suppression, firefighting resources, and recovery efforts.


Below is a list of bills identified by CAPAA that may be of interest to the Asian Pacific Islander communities. For more information, visit www.leg.wa.gov.

View a list of bills CAPAA was tracking
Bill Description Status Sponsor
Civil Rights & Justice
HB 2362 Recordings made by law enforcement: Develop policies and creates a Task Force on body camera use, includes two members appointed by CAPAA. Signed into law Hansen
HB 2908 Community policing standards: A Task Force is created on the use of deadly force and is to include a member representing CAPAA. Signed into law Ryu
HB 1553 Prohibits the state and local governments from disqualifying an applicant for a license, certificate, or other qualification to engage in certain professions or businesses solely based on the applicant’s criminal history if the applicant possesses a Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity. Signed into law Walkinshaw
HB 1745 Washington Voting Rights Act: Creates a state voting rights act to protect the equal opportunity for minority groups to participate in local elections. Did not pass Moscoso
HB 2791 Washington statewide reentry council is created for the purpose of promoting successful reentry of offenders after incarceration. Signed into law Pettigrew
SB 6376 January 11th is recognized as Human Trafficking Awareness Day Signed into law Fraser
Economic Development
HB 2334 Martial arts excise taxation Did not pass Ryu
SB 6180 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) advisory committee Did not pass King
HB 1541 Opportunity gaps: Implements EOGOAC recommendations Signed into law Santos
HB 1408 Definition and model for “family engagement coordinator” Signed into law Ortiz-Self
HB 1682 Improves educational outcomes for homeless students Signed into law Fey
HB 2449 Truancy reduction: Providing court-based and school-based intervention and prevention efforts to promote attendance Signed into law, partial veto Orwall
SB 6194 Charter schools: Provides funding from lottery revenues Enacted without Gov’s signature Litzow
SB 6195 Creates a Task Force to fund basic education without relying on local levies Signed into law Rivers
SB 6408 Paraeducator professional development and credentialing Did not pass Hill
SB 6455 Expanding professional educator workforce through teacher recruitment, certification of out-of-state teachers, expanding alternative routes, mentoring programs, and scholarship programs Signed into law Dammeier
Health and Human Services
HB 1448 Procedures for responding to reports of threatened or attempted suicide Signed into law Riccelli
HB 1713 Integrating treatment systems for mental health and chemical dependency Delivered to Gov Cody
HB 2793 Suicide awareness and prevention education Signed into law Orwall
SB 5689 Concerning the diabetes epidemic and development of a reduction plan Signed into law Becker
SB 6328 Concerning vapor products in respect to youth substance use prevention Signed into law Dammeier
SB 6398 Evaluation of safety standards for Asian rice-based noodles  and cakes Veto overridden; enacted into law Hasegawa
SB 6530 Providing public notices in a language other than English Did not pass Hasegawa

Asian Pacific American Legislative Day

Each year, members of the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) of King, Pierce, Snohomish, Yakima, and Spokane counties and South Puget Sound convene in Olympia to voice concerns to state leaders during APA Legislative Day. Below is a summary of legislative or agency action related to the agenda APIC leaders presented to the governor and lawmakers on January 26.

View APIC agenda items
APIC Agenda Items Legislative or Agency Action
Climate Change & Clean Air Rule: Support the governor’s executive order to cap carbon emissions.


The Department of Ecology withdrew its proposal and will draft a new version in the coming months based on feedback from business and environmental advocates.
K-12 Opportunity Gaps: pass HB 1541 HB 1541 passed; $1.2 million was provided in the operating budget for implementation
Asia Pacific Cultural Center (APCC): invest $1.5 million in the capital budget $200,000 grant in the capital budget for project coordination and financial plan
Naturalization Services: add $1 million to expand services No changes to the existing program
Dental Coverage for Elderly Immigrants: add $250,000 to provide coverage to vulnerable immigrants No changes to the existing program

The Health Care Authority will develop a plan to increase access to care by expanding the Medicaid dental network by contracting out the administration of the program.

Behavioral Health: Integration with primary care, culturally appropriate care, increase Medicaid reimbursement rates. $41 million increase for mental health: $11 million for Western State Hospital, $10 million for staff compensation, $2 million for mobile crisis teams, $2 million for supportive housing services
Nursing Home Support: Support a modified SB 6335, which would target individuals who can be safely discharged. The proposed amendment would keep the payment penalty in place but would ensure that it only targets those who have the lowest skilled nursing needs based on their assessment scores. SB 6335 was incorporated into the operating budget and elements were modified to mitigate the impact.

Beginning July 1, 2016, a nursing home provider’s direct care rate shall be set so that it does not exceed 118% of its base year’s direct care allowable costs except if the provider is below the minimum staffing standard established in RCW 20 74.42.360

Health Care for All HB 1321 and SB 5305 did not pass
Automatic Voter Registration HB 2682 and SB 6379 did not pass
Reform Legal Financial Obligations HB 1390 and SB 5713 did not pass
Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP) Not included in budget
Key: HB (House Bill); SB (Senate Bill)