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UPDATE: State Fruit Debate Bill Inspired by Students

UPDATE: State Fruit Debate Bill Inspired by Students

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Mar 18, 2014 - UPDATED: Mar 18, 2014

UPDATE: Turns out, a couple of bills before a Senate Committee in Michigan Tuesday were inspired by students from two school districts.

When FOX 47 got to the hearing, we discovered nearly 100 students-- half dressed in red shirts and half dressed in blue shirts, presenting their arguments for the cherry or blueberry.

We talked to Senator Dave Hildenbrand (R-Grand Rapids) following Tuesday's testimony about why this came up and what response he had in regards to all the negativity. He said it was a chance for students to see how government works.

"We deal with a lot of issues and this is more about the kids and the students, to give them a good lesson," said Hildenbrand. "They're the future of our state and to bring them to Lansing and the capitol to have this experience is invaluable. So we took an hour of our time to honor them and help support them and their education and learning."

Lawmakers did not vote on the bills today. They were tabled until the next time the committee meets. If they make it out of committee, they would still have to go before the full House & Senate for a vote.


Which side of the fruit debate do you fall on?

Lawmakers are expected to debate two bills that would designate either the cherry or the blueberry as Michigan's official state fruit Tuesday.

The Senate Government Operations committee is listening to testimony Tuesday afternoon from Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) that would make the cherry the state fruit. Also expected to testify, Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton), who thinks the blueberry should be the state fruit.

Cherries are popular in the northern part of the state, while the west side of Michigan has several blueberry farms.

The committee will also discuss a bill sponsored by Sen. Bert Johnson (D-Detroit), which would designate Mackinac Island fudge as the official state sweet.