Washington has 27 specialty license plates celebrating law enforcement, snow sports, firefighters, rhododendrons and more. Some lawmakers think using John Lennon to fight hunger justifies a 28th.
Bipartisan bills in the House and the Senate aim to create a new license plate and source of income for Feeding Washington, a nonprofit organization that supports food banks around the state. The plates would feature a self-portrait of the former Beatle with the word “imagine” across the bottom.
Initial revenue will go to the Department of Licensing to cover the cost of establishing the new plate, but the rest will go to Feeding Washington. The plates would cost $40 initially with a $30 renewal fee.
“This provides a great opportunity to provide support across the state to help people live a better life,” said Michael Towner, special projects director for Imagine License Plate Program. The organization says similar specialty plates in Florida have raise more than $3 million for anti-hunger efforts.
Supporters needed 3,500 signatures to apply for a new plate design with the state Department of Licensing, Towner said. They stopped taking signatures after they reached 4,850.
Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, and the Senate bill’s main sponsor, said she’s backing the proposal to help increase awareness of hunger. The Office of Financial Management estimated the plates would cost the state $22,600 but would bring in $79,150 in the 2017-19 budget cycle.