FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 19, 2016
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Huff Measure Elevates Status of Asian Lunar New Year
SB 616 Sails off Senate Floor with Unanimous Support
SACRAMENTO: Legislation authored by Senate Minority Leader Emeritus Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) received a hefty legislative push from the State Senate today, moving off the Senate Floor with unanimous support. SB 616 seeks to create a new and special day of significance for the celebration of the Asian Lunar New Year in California.
“This is the biggest holiday in the Eastern Hemisphere,” said Senator Huff. “It is fitting in our diverse state to encourage schools to participate in some way. The Lunar New Year is celebrated in many Asian communities around the world, including the United States, and especially California – where it is predominantly celebrated by 2.5 million Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese residents as a significant part of their deeply held cultural family traditions focusing on renewal and family ties.”
Existing state law designates particular days each year as having “special significance,” and encourages all public schools and educational institutions to observe those days and to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on those days. An example of this is Ronald Reagan Day, which falls on February 6th of every year, in honor of the only California Governor to serve as President of the United States.
“The Lunar New Year is such a big event in China that children take off an entire month from school,” said Senator Huff. “I represent the largest group of Asian Pacific Islander residents of any Senate District, and I understand that proclaiming the Lunar New Year as a Special Day of Significance shows respect and will go a long way in building a sense of inclusion and community in California.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio took action last year to add the Lunar New Year to the New York public school calendar, allowing the city’s Asian families to celebrate an important holiday with their children without tarnishing attendance records. When the Lunar New Year falls on a school day, some city schools with large Asian populations have more than half their students absent that day.
SB 616 is proudly sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), Asian American Equalization Association, Joint Chinese University Alumni Association of Southern California, (JCUAA), The Orange Club, Chinese American Citizens Alliance Greater San Gabriel Valley Lodge, Silicon Valley Chinese Association and Asians for Lunar New Year. The measure now moves to the State Assembly.
Senator Huff represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.