SB 5000
As Passed Senate, February 1, 2023
Title: An act relating to recognizing contributions of Americans of Chinese descent.
Brief Description: Recognizing contributions of Americans of Chinese descent.
Sponsors: Senators Wagoner, Boehnke, Braun, Conway, Dozier, Frame, Gildon, Hasegawa, Holy, King, Kuderer, MacEwen, Mullet, Muzzall, Pedersen, Rivers, Rolfes, Schoesler, Short, Torres, Warnick, Wellman, Wilson, J. and Wilson, L..
Brief History:
Committee Activity: State Government & Elections: 1/10/23, 1/13/23 [DP].
Floor Activity: Passed Senate: 2/1/23, 48-0.
Brief Summary of Bill
  • Designates January of each year Americans of Chinese Descent History Month.
  • Encourages public schools to designate time for appropriate activities in commemoration of Americans of Chinese Descent History Month.
Majority Report: Do pass.
Signed by Senators Hunt, Chair; Valdez, Vice Chair; Wilson, J., Ranking Member; Dozier, Fortunato, Hasegawa and Kuderer.
Staff: Danielle Creech (786-7412)

In 2000, Washington declared May of each year to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.  According to the 2010 census, the Asian population grew faster than any other race group in the United States between 2000 and 2010.  The 2020 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates there are approximately 5.5 million people of Chinese descent alone or in combination in the United States, a growth of 51 percent since the 2000 census.  Washington is home to the seventh-largest population of Americans of Chinese descent in the United States.  The 2020 ACS documented 173,693 people of Chinese descent alone living in Washington, a growth of almost 80,000 since the 2010 census.


In 2019, Washington declared October of each year Filipino American History Month.

Summary of Bill:

The state declares that January of each year will be known as Americans of Chinese Descent History Month.


Public schools are encouraged to designate time for appropriate activities in commemoration of Americans of Chinese Descent History Month and the lives, history, achievements, and contributions of Americans of Chinese descent.

Appropriation: None.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

PRO: It is important to recognize the multitude of contributions Americans of Chinese descent have made to the State of Washington and the United States as a whole. Americans of Chinese descent deserve a month of recognition that does not overlap with other months of recognition. January is the perfect month for this recognition, as it is a month of celebration of the New Year for Americans of Chinese descent. Additionally, school is in session, so students would have the opportunity to learn about this history and culture in an educational environment, rather than from popular media. The bill would recognize the history and legacy of Americans of Chinese descent, which has been largely ignored and forgotten. This bill would have no negative fiscal impact, only positive social impact. Washington is a hub for immigration and should be the leading example of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Keith Wagoner, Prime Sponsor; John Parker, Central Valley School District; Youlan Wang; Jimmy Yun; Jie Xie; Linda Yang, WA Asians For Equality; Kan Qiu; Emily Shi; Wendy Yee; Sea Chan, Chinese American Veterans, Cathay Post 196, CACA; elona Kearney; Lauren Ouyang, ACE Foundation; Allen Acosta.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.