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Question of the day

Friday, Apr 12, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sen. Seth Lewis…

With students from the Prairie School of DuPage watching remotely from their classroom in Wheaton, State Senator Seth Lewis (R-Bartlett) gained unanimous Senate approval on Thursday of a state symbol bill they worked on together.

Through Lewis’ Senate Bill 3514, the Calvatia Gigantea, or “Giant Puffball” is officially designated as the state mushroom.

“Since November, all 25 Upper Elementary scholars collected qualitative and quantitative data, surveyed over 100 Illinois stakeholders, and even held a school wide election,” said Prairie School of DuPage Teacher Erin Hemmer. “With the guidance of their two teachers, the change-makers have been working through the process with rigor, integrity, and passion.”

As part of their educational experience, students from the school traveled to Springfield when the bill was heard before the Senate State Government Committee last month. Hemmer and a student testified before the committee. As the bill was presented, committee members learned that 174 witness slips in favor of the bill had been properly filed by students, parents, and others in support of the new state symbol.

The original idea for a mushroom as a state symbol came from a class discussion on the different state symbols in Illinois.

“I met with these bright students earlier this year, and they expressed an interest in having a new state symbol of a mushroom,” said Lewis. “I was impressed with the amount of work they had already done and filed SB 3514 on their behalf in mid-February. The students continued to be involved as the bill was heard in committee, and it was my pleasure to bring it across the finish line in the Senate on Thursday.”

SB 3514 now moves to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Michele Mussman is carrying the bill.

* Here’s some pics…



* The Question: Giant Puffball or morels? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


[Isabel Miller contributed to this post.]

       

27 Comments
  1. - Chito - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 11:44 am:

    Morels are way more flavorful. If you’ve never had them, I urge you to head to Maldaner’s for their Morel pie or one of their morel dishes.


  2. - Siualum - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 11:50 am:

    Sorry kids, I voted for the tastier morel. Because, well, they taste better.


  3. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 11:56 am:

    Giant Puffball for sure - anything that goes from a tiny spore to what’s pictured with the kids is super cool. Plus Lewis is a nice guy who works his district effectively.


  4. - Matty - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:06 pm:

    Speaking of…. when will the Springfield restaurants be getting their morels? It seems like it’s about that time of year for the pie at Maldaner’s and tacos at Tacology.


  5. - loyal virus - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:06 pm:

    Morels are delish and fun to hunt. Giant puffballs too easy to find. Plus they are just spore bomb waiting to spread.


  6. - Isabel Miller - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:09 pm:

    == It seems like it’s about that time of year for the pie at Maldaner’s==
    The pie is in at Maldaner’s!


  7. - Frida's boss - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:11 pm:

    Not sure what a giant puffball is?
    I only know the small mushrooms that every so often show up on my lawn that I’ve got to dig out or the ones that live on downed trees I see when walking through the woods.


  8. - NotMe - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:14 pm:

    Because pie.


  9. - George Ryan Reynolds - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:17 pm:

    Wasn’t Calvatia Gigantea part of Phil Leotardo’s crew on “The Sopranos”?


  10. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:19 pm:

    Maldaner’s Morels…

    Our first morel mushroom dinner is almost here! Join us on Friday, April 19th for a delectable four-course meal featuring Chef Michael Higgins’ exquisite morel culinary creations. 🍴✨
    If you cannot attend on this date don’t worry we have two other dates coming up!
    Friday April 26th
    Thursday May 9th
    Don’t miss this unforgettable dining experience!


  11. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:25 pm:

    Giant puffball. Could be a mushroom. Could describe a bloviating pol. we have lots of those.


  12. - @misterjayem - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:28 pm:

    From Wikipedia: “To distinguish puffballs from such poisonous fungi, they must be cut open; edible puffballs will have a solid white interior and have no gills or other imperfections.”

    I learn something new every day.

    – MrJM


  13. - ArchPundit - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:34 pm:

    Puffballs are way cooler.


  14. - NIU Grad - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:36 pm:

    I imagine the only lone vote was Sen. Ventura, who is advocating for a different type of mushroom to be legalized…


  15. - Bigtwich - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:37 pm:

    Just had the pie at Maldaner’s last night. Several other dishes featured them also. Never nibbled on a Giant Puffball so Morels have my vote. Still remember Charles Kuralt on the road show covering mushroom hunting in central Illinois.


  16. - Flapdoodle - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:53 pm:

    Morels . . . because sautéd and smothering a steak


  17. - sewer thoughts - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:00 pm:

    I am a morels & values voter


  18. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:12 pm:

    I voted for morels. I’ve never heard of anyone poaching giant puffballs.

    What a misguided piece of bipartisan legislation.

    “Illinois: The Giant Puffball State” sounds more like the title of a paper addressing soaring obesity rates than celebrating a state mushroom that no one has ever paid under the table cash to obtain like the morel.


  19. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:14 pm:

    ===“Illinois: The Giant Puffball State”===

    Never mind my criticism, I want this bill to succeed so I can see what late night writers rooms do with the story and how our local morning news reporters cover it. No friend of the Governor would put this bill in front of him.


  20. - Rabid - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:19 pm:

    Puffballs are sliced and cooked like steak. They have to be fresh and white inside. Very good. It is a fall mushroom. Is there a state spring mushroom


  21. - H-W - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:28 pm:

    Come on, people. Think of the kids.

    Puffballs for Kids Sake.


  22. - Butter Cow - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:50 pm:

    I love morels, but those kids put a lot of work into this so I voted for the Giant Puffball.

    For the children!


  23. - H-W - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:50 pm:

    Dogood for the win.


  24. - Dysfunction Junction - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:51 pm:

    Voted Morels, the elusive delicacy, instead of the ubiquitous and bland basketball of the prairie.


  25. - The Magnificent Purple Walnut - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 1:58 pm:

    I don’t eat mushrooms, but I went with the Puffball. A Morel plays for the Cubs, and I can’t vote for a Cub.


  26. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 2:06 pm:

    Morels get my vote because there was no magic mushroom option.


  27. - FieldMuseumMimi - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 3:57 pm:

    Happy to see the kids getting involved in science and learning about legislation! Puffball it is!


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