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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Contact: Benjamin Hermerding,


Virginia Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus Release Their Policy Priorities for the 2023 General Assembly Session


Richmond, VA - the Virginian Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus (VAAPIC) released its legislative agenda for the 2023 legislative session.


VAAPIC members will introduce legislation and budget amendments to expand language access, increase affordable health care, strengthen public education, improve small businesses support, lift up new Americans, and address hate and racism directed at Virginia’s Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). These priorities were identified based on input from town halls with Virginia’s AAPI leaders. 


For too long, Virginia’s AAPI communities have been underrepresented in the General Assembly. VAAPIC will continue to grow political strength for Virginia’s AAPI communities. During the 2023 legislative session, VAAPIC will build on its successes during the previous session and continue to lift up the priorities and perspectives of AAPI Virginians.




Language Access

  • Ensure language access funding available in the Biennial Budget is allocated to state agencies to increase equitable government services to immigrants and people with disabilities. 


Health Care


  • Provide pathways to nursing licensure for recent immigrants, tapping into the talents of New Americans to meet Virginia’s critical healthcare workforce needs.


  • Creates a Medicaid-like program for undocumented immigrant children in Virginia, which would provide healthcare to about 100,000 youth.



  • Affirm the importance of including the history and contributions of AAPIs in the K-12 history curriculum. Funding to develop resources for AAPI related portions of updated History Standard of Learning (SOL).


  • Encourage greater participation in and request the Department of Education develop resources and curriculum to support AAPI Heritage Month for K-12 schools. 


  • Improve transparency around the SOL curriculum development process to increase opportunities to provide AAPI related resources and curriculum recommendations.


  • Increase funding to support AAPI student centers at institutions of higher education designated as Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander-serving institutions by the US Department of Education. 


  • Create the College and Career Readiness for English Language Learners Grant Program, supporting English language learner students in preparing for postsecondary opportunities through career and technical education programs, apprenticeship programs, dual enrollment courses, Advanced Placement courses, and International Baccalaureate Programs.


  • Create the English as a Second Language Incentive Reward Program and Fund to incentivize, promote, and retain teachers endorsed in English Learner (EL).


Support Small Businesses


  • Establish an Immigrant Small Business Navigators pilot program to help immigrant entrepreneurs successfully establish and grow small businesses. 


  • Remove burdensome licensure requirements within the field of eyebrow threading, an industry that is predominantly staffed by AAPI Virginians. 


  • Raise the commission percentage on lottery ticket sales to support small store owners.


Anti-Asian Hate


  • Direct the Crime Commission to study the propensity of AAPI Hate Crimes and make recommendations on how to reduce these incidents.


Criminal Justice Reform


  • Reduce the maximum possible sentence for misdemeanors by 1 day to 364 days to avoid mandatory reporting to United States Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE).


Uplifting AAPI Communities


  • Ensure funding for refugee services are awarded to community organizations and refugee resettlement agencies to meet service gaps for refugees, asylum seekers, and special immigrant visa holders.


  • Support efforts to establish Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha holidays as state holidays. 



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