ANNAPOLIS - The cookie crumbled, the Patuxent River agate sank,
walking took a hike and a new state song hit a sour note, as four
out of four proposed state symbols died during the 2002 General
The proposals never even made it out of committee before the
Assembly adjourned Monday.
The failure may be due to legislators' resistance to state
designations, said Delegate William A. Bronrott, D-Montgomery, who
sponsored the bill that would have made walking the state exercise.
Of the four bills, Bronrott's did the best -- just one vote shy of
going to the full House of Delegates.
"Like any bill, it's very
tough to get it passed the first year it's introduced,"
Bronrott said, who plans to pursue it next year.
from East Silver Spring Elementary who backed the measure were
disappointed, Bronrott said, but they received a hands-on lesson in
government and policymaking -- learning that legislation takes
"patience and persistence."
And Bronrott was named
Delegate of the Year by the Maryland Public Health Association for
Another group of students also received a disappointing
lesson in policy-making, said Delegate James G. Crouse, D-Cecil,
co-sponsor of the failed apple-oatmeal cookie bill.
fifth-graders from Cecil County's Tome School chose this cookie
because apples and oatmeal are grown locally.
The students' research
supporting the bill was impressive, Crouse said.
co-sponsored the bill, Crouse said he is concerned the Legislature
is being flooded with state symbol suggestions.
A task force to
designate categories for symbols is being considered, Crouse said.
Each year, he said, the Legislature's time is consumed with state
Next year will be no exception: In addition to
Bronrott's walking bill, the state song debate is also likely to
come up again.
Song sponsor Sen. Jennie M. Forehand, D-Montgomery,
tried to replace Maryland's Confederate call-to-arms state
song with a less belligerent one. Next year, she said she might try
to add a second state song.
That way, she said, traditionalists can
keep their "war song" and Marylanders might get a song
they could be proud to sing.
Another failed bill that keeps popping
up would name the Patuxent River agate as the state gem.
third consecutive year, the proposal received an unfavorable report.
Perhaps four will be its lucky number.
Only found in Maryland and
made from dinosaur bone, the gem can be used to celebrate the
state's geological history, said bill sponsor Delegate James W.
Hubbard, D-Prince George's, in written testimony.
So at least for
this year, Maryland holds state symbols to the current 19.