OLYMPIA – A bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, aligns the missions of the state’s three ethnic commissions so they may better represent their constituencies.

 “This is a simple bill that will ensure all our diverse communities will have a strong voice in state government,” Hasegawa said. “It is critical that all communities can leverage their voices in the state lawmaking process and ensure fair and accurate representation.”

 Senate Bill 5020 would allow the Washington State Commission on African-American Affairs and the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs to advise the Legislature on issues of concern to their communities. Currently, the two commissions report solely to the governor, while the Commission on Hispanic Affairs can take their concerns directly to the Legislature. Hasegawa’s bill would also repeal the sunset provision for the Commission on Hispanic Affairs.