Wagoner bill to recognize history, contributions of Americans of Chinese descent wins full legislative approval

Sen. Keith Wagoner’s measure designating January as Americans of Chinese Descent Month in Washington has nearly reached the end of a long journey into state law.


“This is an important day and a great victory,” said Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, who has been working on the issue since 2020.


“This measure will provide our schools with the tools, our students with the education, and our citizens with the long, overdue recognition they deserve.”

Senate Bill 5000, the first measure introduced in the Senate for the 2023 legislative session, would designate each January as Americans of Chinese Descent/Chinese American 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 Americans.

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

“This process has reaffirmed my great pride in serving in the Senate, because this body has supported me and the people we are trying to help one hundred percent of the way,” said Wagoner. “I thank each and every senator who voted this bill off the Senate floor twice unanimously. And I thank Asians for Equality, who trusted me for the last three years to carry the ball.”

Unless Gov. Jay Inslee vetoes SB 5000, the law it creates will take effect July 23.