Springfield, Illinois — Republican Sen. Tom Rooney of Rolling Meadows has proposed a bill that would get rid of state symbols, such as the state bird, flower and state animal, among many others.
Rooney says too many state symbols has decreased the value of the “important” ones, according the The State Journal-Register.
“I think that by overuse, the value of a state designation drops every time we add a new one,” Rooney said. “I thought maybe, except a flag, a seal and a slogan and a state song, pretty much anything beyond that is something that’s overused. Therefore, we need to push a little value back into these things.”
Rooney’s legislation would only keep the state flag, seal, motto and song.
“It’s not my personal intention to insult anyone’s work in the past,” he said. “Just the accumulation of them is the problem, and the only way to fix that is scrub them out.”
Republican Sen. Sam McCann of Plainview sponsored successful legislation in 2015 that was prompted by a group of fourth-graders at Chatham Elementary School to make sweet corn the official state vegetable. McCann defended the use of the various state symbols in a statement, saying he feels the state symbol bills grow organically within regions and communities throughout Illinois.
Two legislators are hoping to add more state symbols. Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, R-Leland Grove, introduced a bill that hopes to make shelter dogs and cats the state’s official pet, and Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, is seeking to make corn the official state grain of Illinois.
Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com