License plate might keep the light on

Lighthouse buffs and state Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen have faith that drivers would be willing to pay extra for special license plates that support their cause.

Haugen, D-Camano Island, has introduced a bill in the Senate that would allow drivers to pay $40 for a special new plate featuring lighthouses. The voluntary fee would be in addition to the state’s regular license fees. To renew the plates in subsequent years, drivers would pay $30, according to the bill.

For more information about Admiralty Head Lighthouse, go to www. admiraltyhead.wsu.edu.

The primary beneficiary would be Admiralty Head Lighthouse’s nonprofit education and restoration programs. The 102-year-old lighthouse is at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island.

Other lighthouses in the state would be eligible to apply for the remainder of the funds generated by the special plates if the Legislature approves the bill.

The only criteria for lighthouses to be eligible is that they must be open to the public and staffed by volunteers, said Gloria Wahlin, Admiralty Head Lighthouse coordinator.

Wahlin said many lighthouses have indicated interest, including the Mukilteo lighthouse.

Supporters of the bill are buoyed by the success of recent plates benefiting stadiums, police, firefighters and universities. Haugen sponsored a bill last year that created a new plate supporting the Masonic Temple’s program to help children with speech disabilities.

“I have really supported the creation of special license plates,” she said, because it gives people the opportunity to support a cause and then display that support. At the same time, it doesn’t force others to pay for it, she added.

Haugen said she believes the bill has support in the Senate. Concerns may be raised in the House, but she still is hopeful for its prospects.

Lawmakers will have a lot of new license plates to consider this session.

Eleven different bills have been introduced that would create 17 new plates if they all pass, said Jennifer Dana, the state’s special license plates program manager. The proposals are coming from the state’s wildlife and parks agencies, a group promoting bicycle safety and the snow-sport industry, to name a few.

The boom in requests can be traced back to legislation passed in 2003, when nonprofit groups, governments, tribes and colleges were allowed to apply to a new license plates review board. Previous legislation created licenses plates for colleges in 1994.

Of the first $40 fee, the state would get $12 to cover startup administrative costs. In addition, the state would require each of the benefiting groups to cover about $31,000 in implementation costs. They could pay upfront or take it out of their portion of the fee, which would be $28 a plate. That would require selling 1,038 plates, Dana said – not much of a problem if the plates prove popular.

“It’s very possible to pay back the money within the first year,” Dana said. “Firefighters sold enough plates to repay the state within two days.”

The new lighthouse plates, if approved, would be available in 2006.

Reporter Scott Morris: 425-339-3292 or smorris@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

Everett
Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
On Juneteenth: ‘We can always say that there is hope’

The Snohomish County NAACP is co-sponsoring a celebration Saturday near Snohomish, with speakers, music and food.

Rep. Rick Larsen speaks at the March For Our Lives rally on Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Larsen kickoff in Everett canceled over fear of pro-Palestinian protesters

The event had been scheduled to take place at the Scuttlebutt Brewing Taproom on Monday night.

After 3 years in jail, Camano murder suspect’s trial delayed again

In February 2021, prosecutors allege, Dominic Wagstaff shot and killed his father, shot his brother’s girlfriend and tried to shoot his brother.

The access loop trail on the Old Sauk Trail on Monday, May 27, 2024 in Darrington, Washington. (Ta'Leah Van Sistine / The Herald)
10 accessible trails to explore this summer in Snohomish County

For people with disabilities, tree roots and other obstacles can curb access to the outdoors. But some trails are wheelchair-friendly.

Everett NewsGuild members cheer as a passing car honks in support of their strike on Monday, June 24, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett Herald newsroom strikes amid layoffs

“We hope that people who live in these communities can see our passion, because it’s there,” said Sophia Gates, one of 12 Herald staffers who lost jobs last week.

A person wears a pride flag in their hat during the second annual Arlington Pride at Legion memorial Park in Arlington, Washington, on Saturday, July 22, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Judge blocks parts of Washington’s new parental rights law

The South Whidbey School District is among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit over the law giving parents access to counseling records for their children.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Gold Bar in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Fire destroys Gold Bar home along U.S. 2

The sole resident was not home at the time of the fire. No one was injured.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.