Tuesday, August 4th20.2°C
27107

How a bill becomes a laugh: NY Senate's great yogurt debate fodder for Letterman, Stewart

ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York Senate's debate about declaring yogurt the state's official snack was intended to teach a fourth-grade class about government. But it became a lesson on legislative silliness from David Lettermen and Jon Stewart.

The Senate spent 45 minutes this week debating the merits of the legislation, which was introduced at the urging of students from a dairy-producing area in western New York.

Before passing the bill, senators mulled the distinction between snacks and meals and whether other snacks were more deserving.

"What exactly are we defining as a snack?" asked Sen. Gustavo Rivera, a Democrat from the Bronx.

"I think it's self-explanatory. I mean, you have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then you have snacks," said the bill's Republican sponsor, Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer.

"Did you consider, say, the potato chip?" Rivera asked, posing the same question about raisins and pretzels. He then asked: "What if the pretzel was dipped in yogurt?"

Letterman and Stewart skewered the exchange on their shows, with Letterman playing video from the debate as part of a segment called "New York State: Your Tax Dollars at Work."

Stewart called the deliberations "maybe the best 40 minutes" of legislative debate ever.

"Even the fourth graders who brought this up in the first place are like, 'They're still talking about the state snack?'" Stewart said.

Some of the frivolity was staged as a parliamentary protest.

Sen. Liz Krueger, a Democrat from Manhattan, wrote on Facebook that she asked silly questions — including one about the bill's implications for lactose-intolerant New Yorkers — to criticize the priorities of Senate leaders. If Senate leaders "make us talk about yogurt, then that's what we'll talk about until they give us something better to do," she wrote.

New York is America's largest yogurt producer. Genesee County, home to the elementary students who suggested the bill, is home to dairy farms and yogurt plants that employ hundreds.

"We're a dairy farming community, and there's huge pride in that," said Casey Kosiorek, the local superintendent of schools. "This has been a chance for some true authentic learning."

Ranzenhofer, of Amherst, took the ribbing in stride.

"I'm sure every employee at the yogurt plant is gratified to see the attention," he said. "Even it's at my expense."

There's no word on when the state Assembly may take up the bill.

Other states with official state snacks include Texas (chips and salsa), Illinois (popcorn) and South Carolina (boiled peanuts).

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14485.89+17.16
S&P CDNX592.45-1.86
DJIA17578.02-20.18
Nasdaq5104.49-10.89
S&P 5002096.28-1.76
CDN Dollar0.7624+0.0024
Gold1091.10+1.70
Oil46.39+0.83
Lumber258.80-1.50
Natural Gas2.816+0.039

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.17-0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.40-0.02
Cantex0.035-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences1.39+0.25
Metalex Ventures0.05+0.00
Russel Metals19.43+0.03
Copper Mountain Mining0.79+0.00
Colorado Resources0.085+0.020
ReliaBrand Inc0.0049+0.0004
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.03+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.085-0.010
Decisive Dividend Corp2.55+0.05

 





FEATURED Property
22986392625 Wellington Road
4 bedrooms 2 baths
$479,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Mortgage policy changes?

There are rumours circulating again that the federal government may move to tighten mortgage insurance criteria. This is prompted by a recent article in the Financial Post. The housing market while b...


Chasing ducks

Photo: Thinkstock.comWhen businessmen tell me that being low priced is the only way to stay in business, I am skeptical. Price is the simplest way for a consumer to compare and is overused as the basi...


Taking care of business

Photo: Thinkstock.comRetirement as a goal has changed a lot over the years. There was a time, it was the only goal. You’d punch the clock and count the years until you could stop punching that t...

_



26376




Member of BC Press Council


26708