April 23, 2024 8:03 pm

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Bill to recognize contributions Chinese Americans heads to House

OLYMPIA, Wash., February 2, 2023—The Senate voted 48-0 to approve Senator Keith Wagoner’s measure designating January as Americans of Chinese Descent Month.

“They say the third time’s a charm, and I hope in this case it’s true,” said Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, who has been working on the issue since 2020.

“I want to thank everyone in this chamber who voted for the bill last year, and I want to thank the Chinese-American community for trusting me to move this bill forward. 

“Washington should be leading the way on this issue; we’re a perfect fit. Americans of Chinese descent make up the largest percentage of Asian Americans in our state. When we teach children of all backgrounds our history, we give them a tool. It is very important that we allow our schools to share the vital history of Chinese Americans in our state. It’s a colorful history, with some dark moments and some very uplifting moments, but our children deserve to know that entire history.”

Senate Bill 5000, the first measure introduced in the Senate for the 2023 legislative session, would designate each January as Americans of Chinese Descent History Month. The bill would also encourage public schools to designate time for appropriate activities in commemoration of the state’s complicated history with the Chinese community – the good and the bad – and to remember and honor the many contributions and achievements made by the Chinese American community.

The measure is similar to Senate Bill 5264, which Wagoner introduced in 2021. That bill also passed the Senate 48-0 in 2022, but the House of Representatives failed to bring it up for a vote.

Wagoner is hopeful this year’s bill will make it into law.

“Thank you for voting for this bill,” he told his Senate colleagues. “But please do all you can to help get this bill across the finish line and to the governor’s desk. Let’s finish the job.”

SOURCE: Office of Senator Keith Wagnor

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