Legislative Session Begins
Legislators from across the state convened in Olympia today for the 2015 Legislative Session, which is scheduled for 105 days. Lawmakers are tasked with making decisions that will have tremendous impact on the people of our state over the next few years, including its public education, health care, and human services systems. The Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs is committed to keeping you up to date on legislative issues and committee meeting schedules that pertain to areas affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Visit our Advocacy webpage to learn more about our legislative priorities, bills we are tracking, and how to access the legislature.
Below are some of the issues that we will be tracking closely.
The Legislature must develop a plan to fully fund basic education as ordered by the Washington State Supreme Court. This is a monumental opportunity for the state to consider strategies to close the educational opportunity gaps for all students. The Commission will follow legislative and funding proposals regarding:
- Cultural competency training for educators;
- School outreach and engagement with families;
- Wrap-around and drop-out prevention programs for students; and
- Data disaggregation for all communities.
Health and Human Services
Health care and direct service providers are concerned that the focus on education funding will come at the expense of health and human services. Our Commissioners have voiced concerns that new revenue should help prevent cuts to vital health and human services. The Commission will be closely monitoring bills and policies that impact this area, such as:
- Programs that serve immigrants and refugees;
- Prevention of underage marijuana use;
- Access to affordable health care; and
- Investments that address health disparities and provide culturally competent care, such as funding for community health clinics.
The Commission continues to support the growth of local businesses, particularly minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses. The Commission will monitor legislative proposals that provide more tools to increase economic opportunity and reduce barriers for current and future business owners.
Legislative committees have begun meeting. Many of the committees are hearing overviews of their respective issue areas to educate new committee members. Visit the the Committee links below for their agendas this week.
House of Representatives
- Business and Financial Services
- Education Committee
- Higher Education
- Early Learning and Human Service
- Health Care & Wellness
- Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs
- Technology and Economic Development
- Public Safety
- Commerce and Labor
- Early Learning and K-12
- Health Care
- Higher Education
- Human Services, Mental Health and Housing
- Trade and Economic Development
- Ways and Means
- How to access a bill.
- How to testify in Committee.
- Contact your legislator.
- Watch or listen to a legislative hearing on www.tvw.org.