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How does something become a state symbol?
By Cynthia Kirkeby
May 26, 2006, 10:02

How does something become a state symbol?

Having a state symbol approved by the legislature is a great way to watch the process of a state bill. In order for a state symbol to become official here are the steps:
  • A school, class, organization, or individual writes a letter submitting the idea to one of their Senators or Congressmen.
  • The representative writes a bill and sponsors it in the legislature.
  • The bill is assigned to a committee and assigned a code, usually a combination of letters and numbers. If it's in the Senate it might be SB-345 (Short for Senate Bill 345).
  • If the committee approves, the bill will be sent on to the legislature for a first reading. If they don't approve, the bill will be rejected.
  • Then the bill is reviewed by a rules committee. If they approve, it is sent to the Legislature for a vote from the entire Senate or Congress.
  • If the vote is in favor of the bill, then the other legislative body (The House or the Senate) will start the process all over again. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate must vote the bill through the system.
  • If both the House and the Senate vote to approve the bill, then the bill is sent to the state's Governor for final approval. He can either approve it or veto it.

There are many places a bill can fail. There are at least three steps in both the House and the Senate where the bill can be rejected. Then the final hurdle is the Governor's approval. If the bill makes it all the way to the Governor and he rejects it, the bill may still be approved if both the House and the Senate approve the bill with a majority of their member.

I hope this clears up the process for you. There are many classes that have picked an animal or other symbol for their state, and sent it off to their state representative so that they can watch the process of their government in action.

Cynthia Kirkeby
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