Governor signs Dent legislation to address agricultural pest and disease threats 

House Bill 2147 which will create the Agricultural Pest and Disease Response Account was signed into law by Gov Jay Inslee on Monday.

Rep. Tom Dent, who has been working with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), sponsored the legislation.

“This will allow the WSDA to quickly respond to emerging threats from agricultural pests and diseases with reliable and available funding,” said Dent. “It is critical our state has the tools to respond to these threats. Pests and diseases can spread quickly and have devastating impacts on human and animal health and on important products produced in Washington, such as fruit, potatoes, hops, and poultry.”

Under the new law, the WSDA will be able to prepare for and respond to infestations and diseases that impact agricultural industries, much like the state addresses drought preparedness. If an emergency occurs and the Legislature is not in session, funding may not be immediately available to respond to an infestation or disease.

An advisory committee has also been created to review emergency measures in the case of a declared emergency.

The bill goes into effect on June 6, 2024.


Washington State House Republican Communications