Feb 13, 2020
Proposed Washington Apples Specialty License Plate moves forward in the Senate

On Feb. 11, the Washington state Senate moved the proposed Washington Apples Specialty License Plate (SB6032) one step closer to fruition.  The bill has now been approved by the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate Rules Committee making it eligible for a full vote on the Senate Floor.  Once approved in the Senate, it will be sent to the Washington State House of Representatives for review.

The proposed Washington Apples specialty license plate pays tribute to the state’s leading agriculture commodity and supports the work of the tree fruit industry’s charity, the Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF).   It was introduced in the Senate by District 12 Senator Brad Hawkins of Wenatchee.

If the plate is approved, proceeds from each sale and renewal of the plate would support students through the Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF).  Currently, WAEF provides scholarships to 330 students from Washington’s fruit growing region.  Recipients have familial ties to the tree fruit industry with parents employed in tree fruit industry jobs.  Currently, 80% of WAEF scholarship recipients are first-generation students.  They are pursuing majors preparing them for a variety of careers, all valuable and necessary for thriving communities.

“Members of the tree fruit industry have a long history of supporting kids and access to education.  Sales of the specialty license plate would see more students from central Washington’s fruit growing regions have the opportunity to attend college and benefit from valuable support services offered by the Washington Apple Education Foundation,” shared Chris Willett, chairman of the Washington Apple Education Foundation board of directors.  In addition to financial support, the WAEF provides workshops, career development, on-campus interactions and other offerings designed to help students graduate on-time and career ready.

While Senate Bill 6032 moves along through the legislative process, signatures demonstrating community support of the new specialty license plate are being collected.  Currently over 2000 individuals have signed the online petition asking the legislature to approve the new Washington Apples specialty plate.  The goal is to reach 3500.  To sign the petition or learn more about the effort, visit www.bestapples.com and click the license plate link or go directly to the petition site at www.ipetitions.com/petition/washington-apples-license-plate/.

The Washington Apple Education Foundation is the charity of Washington’s tree fruit industry.  Its mission is to impact lives through educational opportunities.  Funding for the foundation comes from voluntary donations made by growers, packers and supporters of the industry. 

For more information about the Washington Apple Education Foundation, visit www.waef.org or phone (509) 663-7713.

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