Sen. Hasegawa Newsroom

Governor signs two bills sponsored by Sen. Hasegawa

Governor Jay Inslee signed two closely watched bills recently that were championed through the 2020 Legislative Session by Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle).

Senate Bill 6066 received Inslee’s approval on March 18, and will expand ethnic studies opportunities in schools throughout Washington. The governor signed Senate Bill 6086 on March 31, removing barriers to opioid use disorder treatments.

More on SB 6066

SB 6066 requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to provide ethnic studies materials for all grades, including grades K-6. Just last year, the Legislature passed a Hasegawa bill requiring ethnic studies materials for grades 7-12.

“As our kids move through the K-12 system, they all need to learn about the diverse and beautiful cultures that make up our communities,” Hasegawa said. “All kids need to understand how we all fit in to making American what it is.  Ethnic studies helps kids build self-esteem, self-awareness and understand how important we all are in America.  This bill is a step toward equity in our education system.”

More on SB 6086

SB 6086 removes barriers to opioid use disorder treatments by improving access to automatic medication dispensing devices used in treating opioid use disorders. The bill increases the supply limits up to 12 days from automated dispensing devices for medication that are under the supervision of licensed pharmacists.

“Our communities have been struggling to address our opioid epidemic, and we must provide people with all the tools possible to help them recover,” Hasegawa said. “This bill expands access to one of those tools and will undoubtedly help us to save lives.”

March 31st, 2020|News Release|

Three Hasegawa education equity bills pass state Senate

Three bills designed to increase equity in Washington’s education system passed the Washington State Senate on Wednesday.

The bills, all sponsored by Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle), would increase equity by addressing ethnic studies curricula, the shortage of teachers from underrepresented communities, and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

“My biggest priority for our education system is equity,” Hasegawa said. “Our kids need to know about their heritage and history, have teachers and role models who look like them, and have access to education that fits their needs. While we still need to work hard to achieve true equity, these bills move us in the right direction.”

Hasegawa’s bills do the following:

  • Senate Bill 6066 requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to provide ethnic studies materials for all grades, including grades K-6. Just last year, the Legislature passed a Hasegawa bill requiring ethnic studies materials for grades 7-12. This new bill expands on that previous work, and encourages schools to teach ethnic studies. To learn more about why ethnic studies programs are important, watch Hasegawa’s committee testimony.
  • Senate Bill 6138 modifies the purpose of the existing Beginning Educator Support Team Program to include support for mentor educators and beginning teachers of underrepresented populations. OSPI would give grant priority to schools and districts that work with program participants from underrepresented populations or have strong ties to these populations.
  • Senate Bill 6047 prohibits schools and districts from retaliating against employees who report noncompliance with IEPs. This helps ensure that educators and staff will advocate for their students without fear of retaliation, and that students will receive the support they need and are entitled to under their IEPs. Video of Hasegawa’s committee testimony is available online.

All three bills now move to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

February 13th, 2020|News Release|

Feb. 7, 2020: A State Bank Update

Creating a public bank of, by and for the people of Washington state has been my #1 priority issue for some time now. It is a public finance game changer proposal that will:

  1. Generate new revenue for the state without raising taxes.
  2. Drastically increase public financing capacity for public infrastructure while lowering costs.
  3. Keeps our tax dollars here in Washington State working for us instead of working to make more profits for Wall Street.

Legislative update on public banking:

Since the banking caused recession in 2009 I’ve worked to educate my fellow colleagues, and all Washingtonians (and around the US) about the power of the people owning our own bank and how we can use it to build Washington—and our public banking movement is growing!!  Proponents in areas all across the state — from Eastern to Western Washington, urban to rural — are actively working to educate, agitate, organize and mobilize for a public bank.

In 2018, the Legislature approved a budget proviso to contract the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington to develop a business plan for a public bank in Washington. That business plan was due in June 2019 but has yet to be completed. Many of us in the Legislature have been working to correct this.

Meanwhile, we will continue building the movement for a public bank.  My current iteration is Senate Bill 5995. Many statewide organizations have adopted platform planks to support the public bank.  SB 5995 is modeled after the Bank of North Dakota, which is the only other publicly owned bank in the US.  While the rest of the world uses public banking as their financing foundation, we in the US have relied on commercial banking instead.  We need to find a better way.

Background Information:

  • What is public banking and SB 5995?  Learn more Link.
  • Or watch the public hearing on SB 5995 last week Link.
  • Public Banking Institute  Link
  • Learn more Link.

Recent victories nation-wide:

  • California passes public banking bill.  Link
  • New Jersey moving forward with public banking.  Link
  • In it’s 100th year, the Bank of North Dakota posted its 15th consecutive year of record profits for the people of North Dakota with an amazing 18% ROI (see BND’s 2018 Annual Report).  Link
  • San Francisco  Link
  • Los Angeles  Link
  • New York  Link
February 7th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Sen. Bob Hasegawa’s Legislative Update: Jan. 21, 2020

January 21st, 2020|Uncategorized|
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    Applications are open for the Washington World Fellows program!

Applications are open for the Washington World Fellows program!

Applications are now open for Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib’s Washington World Fellows program — a global leadership and college-readiness fellowship aimed at fostering the next generation of leaders in Washington state!

The program is designed to provide deserving 10th grade students the opportunity to broaden their horizons through meaningful academic and cultural experiences as well as interaction with local, national, and international governments. The goal of the program is to empower fellows to overcome barriers to college, as well as to develop the skills to become thoughtful future leaders.

Fellows will participate in a six-week study abroad in León, Spain, where they will earn 5 college credits and live in an immersive environment with local homestay families. Following the trip, students will participate in two years of rigorous college preparation programming. The entire program is offered at no cost to students or their families.

To be eligible for the program, students must be in Spanish I or above and be nominated by their teachers or counselors. Applications will be open from December 2nd 2019 to January 13th 2020 — so submit your nominations soon!

To learn more about the program, please click here. If you have any further questions, please contact the Lt. Governor’s office at or (360) 786-7700.

We encourage you to inform students from your district about this opportunity, and, if you would like, we have draft language that you can post on your social media platforms to promote the opportunity to your constituents.

December 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|

2019 Legislative Session Wrap-up and Update

The 2019 legislative session was intense and to the surprise of everyone, we finished ON TIME! We were very far from agreement on many key issues, even up to the final day. But deadlines have a tendency to move folks, and we managed to pass a balanced budget that invests in early childhood to post-secondary education, the environment, behavioral health, and job creation. Plus, we settled on a windfall profits tax on the largest Wall Street banks. This bill was derived from my past bills regarding a windfall profits tax on big oil and pharmaceutical companies. I’m proud that we finally moved forward on reforming our regressive tax system by requiring some of the wealthiest institutions to pay their fair share of taxes.
However, there is still so much more to be done. In the coming months, I’ll be sharing stories with you on this year’s legislative successes and issues to work on in 2020 that will make a difference in our lives.

Washington’s Public Bank Update
This year saw a considerable leap in progress. In 2018, Washington state contracted UW’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance to develop a business plan for a publicly-owned depository bank. A public bank will keep our tax dollars from going straight into the hands of Wall Street bankers. They’ll present their proposed plan to the state Legislature and the governor this fall. We hope to have the business plan vetted and drafted into a bill for the 2020 legislative session. We are also making inroads for grassroots-led movement building for this issue. If you’d like to know more, check out my website.

I appreciate all your ongoing feedback. I’m launching a new communications strategy that will include regular video updates. Please keep the input coming!
As always, I will continue to fight for working families, comprehensive progressive tax reform, equity of opportunity, and economic and social justice for our communities and our state. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
If you’d like to meet, I’d like that too. Reach out to my legislative assistant Jenny Chang at

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

In Solidarity,


August 2nd, 2019|Uncategorized|

Sen. Hasegawa’s Legislative Update – 4/1/19

April 2nd, 2019|E-News|

Sen. Hasegawa’s Legislative Update – 3/16

March 19th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Sen. Hasegawa’s Legislative Update – 2/14

February 19th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Sen. Hasegawa’s Legislative Update – 1/17/19

January 21st, 2019|Uncategorized|