MacEwen bill passes the Senate, goes to the governor to become law

A bill to help the state Christmas tree crop, sponsored by Rep. Drew MacEwen, was voted off the Senate floor yesterday 47-1. 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 from 2014 through 2020.

“In Mason County alone more than 3,000 people are employed by the forest industry. Statewide the forest industry provides more than 100,000 jobs and $5.3 billion in wages. It is clear that this industry is critical for the state economy and jobs,” said MacEwen, R-Union. “However, without this legislation regulations kill our forest industry. We can't allow that to happen.”

House Bill 1209 will now go to the governor to be signed into law. In Washington the governor has veto and partial veto powers, so it is possible the bill could be modified. But, due to its broad support and easy passage out of both chambers it is highly unlikely the bill will be changed. The governor has 20 days after sine die to sign bills. Passage of this legislation will be the first law on the books for MacEwen who is a freshmen legislator.

“Our state government needs to focus on getting Washington working and I am happy to have participated in moving us toward that goal,” MacEwen said. “It is my intention to continue to fight for legislation that helps decrease unemployment and benefits our communities where they need it most.”

The 2013 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on April 28.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov