MacEwen bill to save state Christmas trees passes the House

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MacEwen bill to save state Christmas trees passes the House

A bill sponsored by Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, that could save Christmas next year, was voted off the House floor today unanimously. House Bill 1209 would extend 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.

MacEwen's bill would extend the program, which is currently in place until 2014 through 2020. Supporting the forest industry is crucial to MacEwen. The Christmas tree legislation is one of two bills he has sponsored to aid the forest industry. House Bill 1243, which would allow more flexibility in the purchase of timber, is still moving through the process.

“In Mason County alone, 3,897 people are employed by the forest industry. Statewide the impact of this industry is huge – it provides more than 118,000 jobs and $5.3 billion in wages. We need the forest industry to thrive because it is vital to our state economy,” MacEwen said.

House Bill 1209 will now move to the Senate where it will be heard in committee. It has until March 3 to be voted on in the Senate policy committee.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov