Honeyford bill to extend Invasive Species Council into 2032 wins unanimous Senate approval

Today the Senate unanimously approved a measure sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford to change the expiration date of the Washington State Invasive Species Council from June 30, 2022, to June 30, 2032.

“In addition to being one of the most 2020 of all 2020 stories, the arrival of murder hornets into Whatcom County is a prime example of why the Invasive Species Council is so critical to our state,” said Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.

“Invasive species, like the Asian giant ‘murder’ hornet, represent one of the greatest threats to Washington’s plants, animals, insects and businesses. The council evaluated more than 700 invasive species in and around Washington to analyze which pose the greatest threat to the state’s environment, economy, and human health, and selected 50 priority species for action. This critical work is far from complete and the reopening of the economy and travel will mean that the need to complete this work will be even more critical in the coming years.

“This measure will simply extend the important work of the council for another decade. I’m glad to see the Senate support this work in such an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner.”

The Legislature first established the Invasive Species Council in 2006 to provide policy-level direction, planning, and coordination on invasive-species issues in Washington. The goals of the council include minimizing the effects of harmful invasive species, serving as a forum for identifying and understanding relevant issues, facilitating joint planning and cooperation, educating the public, and providing policy advice to the Legislature.

Senate Bill 5063 is executive-request legislation by the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office. The measure, which has the support of the Washington State Water Resources Association, the Kalispel Tribe, and Chelan County PUD, now moves to the House of Representatives for that chamber’s consideration.