It could have been worse.
At least the state legislators who want to designate an official state beverage weren’t so boring and risk-averse as to go with milk.
That’s what 19 other states have done (although Nebraska’s official beverages are both milk and Kool-Aid).
So, by comparison, filing a bill to make coffee Washington’s state beverage isn’t as predictable as it could be. It plays right into the cliché of choice for reporters visiting the state of Seattle (few venture south of IKEA) that we all work for Microsoft, wear flannel and live in the back of a Starbucks.
“The Legislature finds that Washington is well-known as the espresso capital of the country” is how House Bill 1715 begins.
If you are among those who need a moment to complain about lawmakers proposing state beverages in the midst of an economic and budget crisis, please take that moment now. Make sure you include some reference to fiddling while Rome burns.
I, however, happen to think the politicians need something relatively harmless to do between now and the March revenue forecast. Better official-state-stuff bills than proposals that actually do damage.
Besides, it is hard to make a case against frivolous officialdom when the Legislature has recently adopted an official vegetable (the Walla Walla sweet onion), an amphibian (the Pacific chorus frog) and an endemic mammal (the Olympic marmot, of course).
We already have a state bird, tree, flower, fish, gem, grass, insect, fossil, marine mammal, dance, tartan, song and folk song. And designers managed to fit them all on the state quarter.
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