Legislative Session Update

This week, legislation that would create a premium assistance program for Washingtonians from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau was considered by lawmakers in Senate and House committees. Senate Bill 5683 was approved by all members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and was sent to the Rules Committee for consideration. The Commission and members of the Marshallese community from Washington and Oregon testified in support of House Bill 1291 in the House Appropriations Committee, which later approved the legislation with amendments.

Additionally, the Washington Voting Rights Act of 2018 was placed on third reading and is poised for a floor vote in the Senate. On Thursday night, the Legislature passed the capital budget, which will fund school construction, mental health facilities, affordable housing, community projects, and more. The bill is subject to review and approval by the governor.

Next week, legislators will hold public hearings and/or executive sessions on legislation relating to the legal age to purchase tobacco and vapor products, funding allocations for schools with low-income students, youth voter registration, establishing a Washington state growth economic commission, and more. On Tuesday, the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition and community leaders will meet with the governor and state lawmakers to discuss their legislative and budget priorities.

Learn more about next week’s legislative schedule.

Bill Tracking

The Commission is tracking legislation that may be of interest to Asian and Pacific Islander communities that pertain to civil rights & justice, economic development, education, and health and human services. The Commission will periodically update its bill tracking list with the status of the bills.

View the bill tracking list.

Members of the Legislature welcome your feedback and messages. You can leave a message by contacting the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. For limited English proficient callers, the Hotline offers interpreter services for many languages. Visit our webpage for additional ways to access the Legislature.

Rulemaking Hearing on WAC 34-04-080

The Commission will be holding a public hearing for the purpose of conducting rulemaking to adopt the new fee schedule for public records requests established in RCW 42.56.120, as amended by section 3, chapter 304, Laws of 2017. Members of the public are welcome to provide feedback at the Rulemaking Hearing, which begins at 1:00 PM. More details are available via the Washington State Register, WSR 17-24-071.

Additionally, the Commission will be reviewing its 2018 legislative agenda and priorities, sharing updates from the 2018 legislative session, and discussing the direction of its Needs Assessment. Public Comment will be available from 11:30 to 11:40 AM.

Visit the Commission’s website to learn more about the Public Board Meeting.

Governor’s office recruiting for Ruth Woo Fellowship

The office of Gov. Jay Inslee, in partnership with the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA), is recruiting individuals with a commitment to civil rights and equality for the Ruth Woo Fellowship.

The fellowship is named after Ruth Woo, a civil rights leader who fought for social justice and equality for all people. Her early involvement in politics included working for Gov. Dan Evans during the Asian American civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Over many decades, Ruth mentored would-be chiefs of staff, county executives, state Supreme Court justices, and governors. Ruth passed away in Seattle on July 13, 2016 at the age of 89.

The Ruth Woo Fellow will be based in the Governor’s office in Olympia and gain a hands-on learning experience in state government. In addition, the Ruth Woo Fellow will have an opportunity to make important connections with community leaders and elected and public officials connected to Ruth Woo and to learn more about her life and work.

The fellowship, which is part of the Governor’s Leadership Academy, seeks currently enrolled college and graduate students who are interested in public service and understand the importance of achieving social justice and equality for all Washingtonians. The Ruth Woo Fellow will begin the 10-week program in June and will receive compensation for their 28 hours/week internship.

Information about the program and application process is available on CAPAA’s website.

Upcoming Community Events & Opportunities