On Tuesday, Washington Representative Dan Newhouse, Oregon’s Peter DeFazio, joined California reps Mike Thompson, Barbara Lee and Jimmy Panetta to reintroduce the WHIP+ Reauthorization Act. This bipartisan bill introduced by Members from West Coast states hit hard by wildfires this summer and fall. The proposal reactivates the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) for 2020 natural disasters, including wildfires. WHIP+ offers critical assistance to agricultural producers, including winegrape growers, whose crops were impacted by smoke taint.
“Winegrape growers in Central Washington are all too familiar with the damage that wildfires and smoke can have on the industry each year,” said Representative Newhouse. “WHIP+ is a necessary resource for many producers as they continue to recover from last year’s devastating wildfires in our region. I am pleased to reintroduce this legislation and encourage my colleagues to support this important program that will provide much-needed assistance to Central Washington’s high-quality wine industry for years to come.”
On November 19, 2020, the lawmakers introduced the 2020 WHIP+ Authorization Act. The legislation expired at the end of the 116th Congress.
Click Here to learn more about WHIP+.
In Washington, Newhouse noted, there are more than 1,000 wineries and over 300 winegrape growers. With 16 unique AVAs across the state, Washington’s wine industry continues to grow and produce high-quality varieties that are enjoyed all over the world. In addition, Washington State University is one of the country’s leading viticulture research institutions and one of only 14 universities in the United States to offer a Viticulture & Enology degree.
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