OLYMPIA, Wash. - House Bill 1209
, sponsored by Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union,
was signed into law April 25. The law extends a program that licenses state tree growers and protects their harvest. Without this program, if the state Christmas tree crop were to become infested, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) could quarantine an entire season of growth.
The current law would have ended the program in 2014 and now it will go through 2020.
“Statewide, the forest industry provides more than 100,000 jobs. It is clear this industry is critical for our economy and jobs. The forest industry is critical to my district and it employs more than 3,000 people in Mason County alone,” said MacEwen, R-Union. “I am happy to have helped save our Christmas tree crop should a infestation ever become a problem.”
House Bill 1209
was the first law on the books for MacEwen,
who is a freshmen legislator. The regular session ended April 28 and the special session will begin on May 13. MacEwen
is the assistant Ranking Republican on House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and the Capital Budget Committee. He also serves as assistant whip for the House Republican Caucus.
Governor Inslee signs House Bill No. 1209. Relating to extending the program establishing Christmas tree grower licensure. Photo credit: Washington State Legislature.