Legislature approves Hawkins’ bill creating Washington apple license plate

A bill sponsored by 12th District Sen. Brad Hawkins that would create a Washington apple license plate has received legislative approval. The House today voted 92-5 to approve Senate Bill 6032. It now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for signing.

“I am very excited that the bill made it all the way through the process and is now on its way to the governor’s desk,” Hawkins said. “In addition to funding a good cause, we promoted our tree fruit industry in the process and had a lot of fun doing so. I’m very proud of everyone involved.”

Hawkins credits the Washington Apple Commission and Washington Apple Education Foundation staffs, who worked hard alongside him to get the bill approved. He also appreciates the support and team effort shown by his 12th District seatmates, Reps. Keith Goehner and Mike Steele, Yakima-area legislators, and many others who assisted with the bill as it moved through the House.

Officials with the Washington Apple Commission and Washington Apple Education Foundation testified in support of SB 6032 at its Jan. 22 public hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee and on Feb 24 before the House Transportation Committee. They are thrilled that the bill has received approval.

“We celebrate the passage of the bill creating a Washington apple license plate, as it recognizes the apple industry’s contributions to our state and will be an excellent fundraising source for youth within our communities pursuing a higher education,” said Washington Apple Commission President Todd Fryhover. “We are deeply appreciative of our legislative sponsor, Senator Brad Hawkins, and his diligent work to guide SB 6032 through the legislative process. This new scholarship funding resource is possible in thanks to the supportive legislators in our eastern Washington communities, Senators Short and King, and Representatives Goehner, Steele, Dufault and Corry, and two amazing ladies, Toni Lynn Adams (WAC) and Jennifer Witherbee (WAEF), who worked tirelessly to move this across the finish line.”

“Passage of SB 6032 creates deserved recognition for the apple industry and a big win for central Washington students,” said Jennifer Witherbee, executive director of the Washington Apple Education Foundation. “We are truly appreciative of our primary sponsor, Senator Brad Hawkins, the tremendous support we received from our Wenatchee and Yakima area legislators, and for all of the legislators from across the state who encouraged the license plate bill’s passage.  We are excited for July 1st when we get to see the new Washington apple specialty license plates on Washington state highways!”

A $40 fee would be charged for an initial Washington apple special license plate, and $30 for an annual renewal. As part of the process for creating a specialty license plate, the Washington Apple Commission will contribute $6,300 in start-up costs.