Chocolate chip lovers? Chocolate chip and peanut butter chip lovers? Hear this call! The CT lawmakers will soon vote on the state cookie based on a vote of 30… kids! The oatmeal chocolate drop cookie with a dash of nutmeg.
What? Is that all? Nope, consider these additional bills… a state fruit (the apple), a state polka (the ballroom polka), a state aviation pioneer (Igor Sikorsky) and a state statesman (Samuel Huntington).
They may seem trivial but to those of us cookie monsters out there. This means something! Something that could ruin your dessert.
Some legislators say quirky bills make good civics lessons
By Cara Rubinsky, Associated Press Writer | March 6, 2006
HARTFORD, Conn. –Some sixth-graders got a sweet civics lesson Monday at the Capitol, where they testified in favor of a bill to designate an official state cookie.
If the oatmeal chocolate drop cookie with a dash of nutmeg gets final legislative approval, it will take its place next to the state animal (the sperm whale), the state mineral (the garnet) and the state tartan (a blue, gray, green, red and yellow plaid).
Also up for consideration this year are bills to designate a state fruit (the apple), a state polka (the ballroom polka), a state aviation pioneer (Igor Sikorsky) and a state statesman (Samuel Huntington).
Sen. Judith Freedman, R-Westport and a member of the committee that heard testimony Monday, said such bills should be saved for odd-numbered years, when the legislature is in session five months rather than three.
“After all, the bill designating the chocolate oatmeal drop cookie will be just as delectable” next year, she said. “Other things, like bills dealing with state spending and taxing, cannot wait.”
But Sen. Don DeFronzo, D-New Britain, and Rep. Christopher Caruso, D-Bridgeport, co-chairmen of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, said the state cookie bill and others like it help to engage children in the democratic process.
“Rep. Caruso and I both feel that this is a very worthwhile exercise for young students to come up here,” DeFronzo said.
Designating a state cookie would not be unprecedented. New Mexico has biscochitos, and chocolate chip is the state cookie of both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Massachusetts also has a state muffin, the corn muffin, and a state dessert, Boston cream pie.
The oatmeal chocolate drop cookie was the brain child of sixth-graders studying civics at St. Mary’s School in Simsbury, who came up with three different variations and then asked their classmates to vote.
It’s described in the bill as a cookie made from chocolate, oats, flour, eggs, butter, sugar and nutmeg. (For the record, though Connecticut is the nutmeg state and the state cantata is “The Nutmeg,” no one has yet designated nutmeg as the state spice.)
Sharing a chair and speaking in unison, sixth-graders Leanne Oleasz and Caroline Pluta led legislators through a power point presentation explaining the project as about 30 of their classmates looked on. They also handed out samples of their cookies, which Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, declared “awesome.”
Students plan to follow the bill as it makes its way through the legislature.
“It was a good project to just learn about the way government works,” Caroline said.
Children weren’t the only ones pushing for state designations Monday. Thomas Pelc dressed as Samuel Huntington, a Connecticut native who was president of the Continental Congress when the Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1781. Pelc and others associated with the Gov. Samuel Huntington Trust in Scotland want Huntington designated the state statesman.
Then there was Peter Danielczuk of Ansonia, a radio DJ known for playing polkas. He wants the official state polka to be the ballroom polka, written by Connecticut native Ray Henry.
“This is for the history of the state,” Danielczuk said. “Polka musicals are very popular in the Polish community. We were blessed to have so many great polka bands.”
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