APIC 2024 Legislative Agenda


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:

Unemployment Benefits for Undocumented Workers:
HB 1095 (Rep. Walen) / SB 5109 (Sen. Saldana)

Address the structural exclusions built into the unemployment system by building a permanent, separate unemployment system that provides benefits to undocumented workers, creating a social safety net to help around 150,000 Washington residents and their families.


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.

Health Equity for Immigrants:

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 – ($30m+, enough to cover 25,000 peopleThe legislature should allocate additional programmatic funding to ensure the Medicaid-like program can cover at least 25,000 people as the current funding levels are projected to cover only a fraction of those eligible.
  • Outreach funding – ($3mThe 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.
  • 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.
  • Study for reaching full funding ($100,000) There should be allocated funding for a HCA report to the legislature with a plan to cover all people eligible and expected to enroll in the Medicaid-like program for the 2025-2027 biennium. 
  • 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.

AG Investigation and Reform Bill
HB 1445 (Rep. Hansen)

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. In January of 2023, Seattle police officers driving 74 mph in a 25 mph zone struck and killed Jaahnavi Kandula, and were later revealed to have been laughing about the horrific killing. This legislation will ensure that the AGO has the authority to investigate police departments in situations where current policy accountability laws are insufficient. 


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.

Significantly Limit the Use of Solitary Confinement:
HB 1087 (Rep. Peterson) / SB 5135 (Sen. C Wilson)

This bill would severely restrict the use of solitary confinement on incarcerated individuals, recognizing this is an inhumane practice with proven long-term psychological impacts. Solitary confinement is a dangerous and inhumane punishment, frequently used as a retaliatory measure against organizing by incarcerated individuals. Currently, around 600 persons in our state continue to experience this cruel punishment and the legislature must take steps to reduce this form of harm as much as possible. 


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.

In addition to our legislative priorities, APIC has always uplifted the need for investment in our community through capital projects. This year, we are asking for support on the following 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.

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: Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, the victim of arson on December 31, 2023, seeks $100,000 of capital funding to help pay for the initial smoke and asbestos mitigation (estimated at $850,000) throughout the 38,000 sq ft building. Since 1901, the Betsuin has served the Japanese American and Buddhist communities throughout Washington state with both religious and secular activities, has provided neighborhood community space, and has held a free and public Obon festival, a SeaFair event since 1945.

Additional policies we support:

Ballot curing:
SB 5890 (Sen. Valdez)

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.

Voting Rights Restoration:
HB 1075 (Rep. Thai) / SB 5249 (Shewmake)

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.

WFTC age expansion:
HB 1075 (Rep. Thai)

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. 

Keep Our Care Act
HB 1263 (Rep. Simmons) / SB 5241 (Sen. Randall)

Keep Our Care Act Resource Center | ACLU of Washington: 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.

AANHPI History Inclusion in Washington K-12 Schools
SB 6314 (Sen. Nobles)

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.