Idea For Official State Drink Goes To Olympia

A number of lawmakers are lining up behind a push to make coffee Washington's official state beverage.

Here is a look at House Bill 1715 from Representatives Bailey, Wilcox, Buys, Zeiger, Haler, Fagan, Johnson, and Warnic:

Sec. 1. The legislature finds that Washington is well known as the espresso capital of the country. The coffee industry is a vital part of the Washington state economy that provides jobs and morning motivation for many state citizens. Over half of the states in the country have established a state beverage. The official designation is a desirable promotional tool that Washington businesses can use when sharing their product with customers throughout the world.

Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 1.20 RCW to read as follows: Coffee is designated as the official beverage of the state of Washington.

Sec. 3. This act may be known and cited as the official Washington state beverage act.

The Herald of Everett reports the coffee bill was introduced by Rep. Barbara Bailey of Oak Harbor. She got the idea from Snohomish High School seniors Sierra Warren and Lora Suryan.

The bill is ruffling a few feathers from apple and wine grape growers who think apple juice or wine would be better choices since those crops are grown in Washington state.

In addition to the state drink bill, someone wants to change the state bird.

House Bill 1817 from Rep. Ross Hunter seeks to change the state bird from the willow goldfinch to the great blue heron. The willow goldfinch has been the official bird of the state of Washington since 1951.

In addition to the beverage and bird bills, the Spokesman-Review reports Sen. Dan Swecker of Rochester has introduced a bill to make Tenino sandstone the state rock.