AAPILC Celebrates the Passing of Priority Bills Signed by Govenor Newsom


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         

October 24th, 2023



Isa Whalen



Lucy Khuu 


AAPILC Celebrates the Passing of Priority Bills Signed by Governor Newsom

SACRAMENTO – The California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus (AAPILC) celebrates Governor Gavin Newsom’s actions to foster equity and challenge anti-API sentiment by signing the following AAPILC priority bills.

In 2023, six AAPILC priority bills were signed into law by the Governor, marking a historic moment for both the Caucus and the California AAPI community. 

This year, the AAPILC priority bills aimed to combat anti-Asian hate, increase public safety measures, advance K-12 and undergraduate education, and achieve equitable representation. To achieve these goals, AAPILC members emphasized solutions like cultural competency, language access, and data disaggregation. These areas focus on supporting physical and mental wellbeing of AAPIs, especially after the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic.


AB 1354 (Fong) Asian American Studies Curriculum - Requires the Instructional Quality Commission to consider in their curriculum recommendations to the State Board of Education including not only the historical, social, economic, and political contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the United States, but also examples of racism, discrimination, and violence perpetrated against these communities.


AB 1638 (Mike Fong) Translations During Emergencies - In the event of an emergency, local agencies that have at least 5% of residents who primarily speak a language other than English are required to provide translation in that language.

“I am proud to partner with the AAPI Legislative Caucus and community organizations on AB 1354, a bill that will incorporate the history and contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) in our K-12 curriculum frameworks, and AB 1638, which will require local agencies to provide translations during emergency situations. The last few years have been difficult for the AAPI community, with increased incidences of hate during the pandemic. AB 1354 will help our students to appreciate and understand the leadership, service, and contributions of AANHPIs in US history, while AB 1638 will ensure that our immigrant communities will have access to information during emergencies, such as the mass shooting in Monterey Park earlier this year. Thank you to Governor Newsom for signing these bills in support of the AAPI community,” said Assemblymember Mike Fong (D-Alhambra), Assembly Vice Chair of the AAPI Legislative Caucus. 


SB 434 (Min) Street Harassment on Public Transit - Requires each agency to collect voluntary survey data to better understand riders’ experiences with street harassment and will ultimately help boost ridership levels by creating data-driven solutions to improve transit safety.

“Millions of Californians refuse to ride public transit in this state because they do not feel safe. From acts of anti-Asian hate to verbal harassment, a growing number of women, seniors, LGBTQ+, and other vulnerable communities too often ride in fear or have left our public transit systems altogether. As Vice Chair of the AAPI Legislative Caucus, I’m proud to say that we are finally taking action to address street harassment and putting in place data-driven policies that put ridership experience first. Thank you to Stop AAPI Hate for your steadfast partnership on this bill…a win for every Californian and a game changer for AAPI communities and others who bear the brunt of the street harassment crisis.”


AB 264 (Ting) Lunar New Year - Authorizes California Community Colleges to have the flexibility to observe Lunar New Year (LNY) as a state holiday.


AB 449 (Ting) Freedom from Hate Crimes - Requires law enforcement agencies to adopt a hate crimes policy and follow specific guidelines.

“The Governor signing both my bills, AB 264 on celebrating Lunar New Year at community colleges and AB 449 on hate crimes police policy, shows that California is recognizing AAPI issues,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. “After years of historic budget investments through the AAPI Equity Budget, these new laws will work in tangent to bring more acceptance and support for our community.”


AB 943 (Kalra) Breaking Down the Other Act - Requires the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) to prepare and publish data disaggregated by race and ethnicity, including, but not limited to, by 28 ethnicity types.

“With Governor Newsom’s signature, AB 943 will require CDCR to disaggregate a harmful and problematic ethnic data set of our prison population,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “By ending this erasure of the incarcerated Asian and Pacific Islander community, researchers, community organizations, and our state can better understand and address the needs of people impacted by the prison system.”


On the passing of AAPILC priority bills, Assemblymember Evan Low, Chair of the California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, said “Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent support for legislation that uplifts and prioritizes Asian American and Pacific Islander interests is a testament to how AAPI bills are not, and should not be, limited to COVID-19 era responses. While the pandemic was an especially difficult time for AAPI communities, we need intentional leaders and advocates to make proactive legislation for the community at-large. I commend my fellow representatives and members of the Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus for their collaboration in authoring and supporting our priority bills. As the Chair of AAPILC, I am inspired and motivated by my fellow members to continue pushing for culturally competent leadership and intentional policymaking. Thank you, Governor Newsom, for setting an example across the state and the nation on how to dismantle racism and bigotry through policymaking.”


The California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus represents and advocates for the interests of the diverse AAPI communities throughout California. It seeks to increase AAPI participation and representation in all levels of government.

Website of the California AAPI Legislative Caucus: https://aapilegcaucus.legislature.ca.gov/