It’s not Christmas without cookies for Santa.
On Thursday, Ohio lawmakers played the role of jolly Old Saint Nick by stuffing the language to designate the sugar cookie as the state’s official cookie under the branches of Senate Bill 278, considered the Christmas Tree Act because of its many amendments.
The search for an official state cookie began in 2019 with a third grade class at All Saints School in Sycamore Township, near Cincinnati. Students learned in class that unlike Massachusetts (traditional chocolate chips) and New Mexico (biscochitos), Ohio did not have an official cookie.
When discussing which cookie to recommend, the students concluded that a generic sugar cookie could represent a variety of cookies, ranging from frozen or sprinkled sugar cookies to snickerdoodles.
“With so many amazing sugar cookie flavors, almost everyone in our state has a favorite,” the 11 third graders wrote in a letter to lawmakers supporting the bill, which was sponsored by Cincinnati Reps. Brigid Kelly and Jessica Miranda.
Bill would be doing Ohio Burn Awareness Week the first week of February
Underlying legislation would designate the first full week of February as Ohio Burn Awareness Week. Hunter Young, a 17-year-old student at Teays Valley High School in Pickaway County, asked Senator Bob Peterson, R-Sabina, to campaign for the bill because Young sustained burns when his quarter-dwarf race car caught fire.
Young spent 25 days in hospital following the accident in April 2021, lost 6% of his body weight and underwent multiple surgeries. He had to learn to walk again. But that didn’t deter him from his dream of becoming a sprint driver.
Over the past year, Young has used his pain to help others. The Ohio Thunder series now mandates onboard firefighting systems and two-layer suits. Young and his mother collected about 250 toys for patients in the burns department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“Just like with Burn Awareness Week, the sugar cookie legislation was brought to us by some young voters,” Kelly said. “It’s a cute way to engage them and show them how government works.”
The invoice would also:
- Create rules for the assessment of a registered environmental health specialist.
- Permits the Division of Liquor Control to issue a liquor license for the sale of alcohol in single-use containers for on-site consumption by drag racing and food trucks.
- Create the Chardon High School Football State Champs license plate.
- set August 17 as “Eugene ‘Gene’ F. Kranz Day” to honor the Toledan native and senior flight director during NASA’s Apollo 13 mission.
- Declare the last Saturday in September Ohio Public Lands Day.
- refer to the last full week of June as “pollinator week”.
Senate Bill 278 is expected to pass Thursday in the Ohio House of Representatives. Senators would need to approve the changes before the bill could go to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk.
Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jackie Borchardt contributed coverage.
Jessie Balmert is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which oversees the Akron Beacon Journal, the Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.