Legislature sends Hawkins’ Leavenworth bill to governor


OLYMPIA… Sen. Brad Hawkins has obtained full legislative support for his legislation to help Leavenworth respond to a boundary change for Washington’s apple maggot quarantine area.

The Senate this evening unanimously agreed with changes made by the House of Representatives to Hawkins’ Senate Bill 6055. His bipartisan measure, which now heads to the governor, creates a pilot project that will allow Leavenworth and three other affected municipalities to burn their brush and yard waste four times per year. It responds to recent adjustments to the quarantine area that prohibit the city from transporting its brush and yard waste toward Wenatchee.

Hawkins learned in October during his listening tour that the boundary change created complications for the City of Leavenworth. Chipping the entirety of the brush is not realistic, and hauling the waste over 100 miles west for disposal is costly and has other disadvantages.

“The final bill represents a lot of hard work and compromise,” said Hawkins.

The House amended it twice, including one amendment to shorten the duration of the pilot project and another to add details about a report due back to the Legislature. The amended bill was approved by the House unanimously, but Hawkins wanted a better deal for the City of Leavenworth. The Senate then took another vote, at Hawkins’ recommendation, to “not concur” with the House amendments so that Hawkins and the House Environment Committee chair could negotiate a compromise, which they eventually did.

The House amended the bill again with the agreed-upon language, which the Senate approved today.

“It was quite a process, but I’m glad we finally could agree,” said Hawkins. “My colleagues and I – on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers – never gave up on it. I’m very proud and appreciative of our effort.”