WENATCHEE, Wash. — The Washington Apple Commission is proposing a new license plate celebrating Washington apples and providing revenue for the Washington Apple Education Foundation.
State Sen. Brad Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee, has pre-filed Senate Bill 6032, authorizing the plate, which has 20 bipartisan co-sponsors. Hawkins expects the bill to be referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.
The plate would feature the Washington apple logo and the slogan, “World’s Finest Apples.”
“I’m a big supporter of Washington apples and this will bring awareness to the industry and help raise money for local scholarships,” Hawkins said.
In 2019, the foundation awarded $1.1 million in scholarships to more than 330 students of tree fruit industry families in Central Washington. The foundation also supports school programs for farmworker families and provides professional employment preparedness training and mentorship to students.
At a Dec. 11 Apple Commission meeting, commissioner Bob Mast, president of CMI Orchards, Wenatchee, said it’s a great idea for additional foundation funding given that it’s a challenging year for the industry financially.
The idea came from Jared England, manager of Manson Growers, said Todd Fryhover, commission president. The commission agreed to provide a $6,500 refundable payment to the state to cover start-up costs.
The Department of Licensing requires the collection of signatures of at least 3,500 people who intend to buy the new plates. The Apple Commission is collecting signatures online at ipetitions.com. The signatures are needed by Jan. 22.
Specialty license plates promoting Washington universities, sports teams, parks, military and other interests range from $60 to $75. The foundation’s portion would be $28 per plate, Fryhover said.