Think Washington State - Think apples!  The icons of the Pacific Northwest include the Space Needle, the jumping Salmon and a delicious fresh apple.  Isn't it time the apple has its due place prominently on the butt of motor vehicles across the state.

12th District Sen. Brad Hawkins thinks so and a bill of his that would create a Washington apple license plate has received Senate approval.  Voting 46-1, Senate Bill 6032 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

From a Hawkins news release, "“This bill will allow vehicle owners to show their pride in Washington’s iconic apples, bring more awareness to our important apple industry and help raise money for local scholarships,” said Hawkins. “The Washington Apple Commission and Washington Apple Education Foundation do great work, so I am excited to partner with them on this legislation. I’m pleased that so many of my Senate colleagues have supported this bill either by co-sponsoring it or voting for it today. I look forward to working with the House in hopes this bill will be approved there as well."

Let's remind you about the impact of the apple industry on Washington

The WSU extension division reports " Washington produces about 58% of the apples grown in the United States, and 68% of those grown for fresh consumption (US Ag. Stat., 2010)  Bearing apple acreage in Washington is estimated at about 168,500 acres, about 3,000 acres of apple orchards are non-bearing. Value of Washington apples sold as fresh or processed product is estimated at about $2.5 billion USD yearly."

 

As part of the process for creating a specialty license plate, the Washington Apple Commission will contribute $6,300 in start-up costs. Additionally, the Department of Licensing requires a collection of signatures indicating demand for at least 3,500 apple license plates. The Washington Apple Commission has developed this online site for that purpose and to provide more information.

A $40 fee would be charged for an initial Washington apple special license plate, and $30 for an annual renewal.

.