House approves bipartisan Washington wine license plate bill sponsored by Rep. Kelly Chambers

For the third time since 2019, the Washington State House of Representatives has approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Kelly Chambers to create a specialty Washington wine license plate.

Chambers' House Bill 2050 was overwhelmingly approved by the House in both the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions, but never made it to the Senate floor for a vote. This year, she's hoping House Bill 1530 can make it all the way to the governor's desk. The bill was approved 84-11 during floor action Saturday.

Under the bill, a fee of $40 would be charged for the plate, which would feature a scenic landscape of Washington wine country. All funds generated from sales of the plate, as well as from the $30 renewal fee, would go to State of Washington Tourism to advocate, promote, develop, and sustain destination tourism marketing across the state.

“Washington's tourism industry has been suffering for more than a decade now. Many of our communities were badly hurt by the closure of the state's tourism office in 2011, and they've felt even more pain over the last two years due to the pandemic and subsequent government-imposed lockdowns,” said Chambers, R-Puyallup. “This bill provides a creative way to promote one of our state's most important industries and some of the most beautiful wine country in the world, while also generating tourism funding to help our small mom-and-pop shops, hospitality businesses, local restaurants, and Main Street retail. I'm grateful the bill once again received such overwhelming support from my colleagues in the House, and urge the Senate to advance it to the governor's desk this year.”

Nearly 4,000 Washingtonians have signed a petition created by Chambers in support of creating the specialty plate.

Facts about Washington's wine industry (source):

  • Number of licensed wineries: 1,050
  • National rank as wine producer in the United States: 2nd
  • Wine grape acreage: 60,000+ acres
  • Number of wine grape growers: 400+
  • Annual wine production: 17+ million cases
  • Varieties produced: 80+
  • Total annual in-state economic impact: $8+ billion

House Bill 1530 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

###

Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov