Seth Lewis


Seth Lewis


Lewis’ Bipartisan Bill Creating Official State Mushroom Heads to Governor

With widespread bipartisan support received in both chambers of the General Assembly, legislation sponsored by State Senator Seth Lewis (R-Bartlett) to designate an official state mushroom now moves to the Governor’s desk for final action.

Through Senate Bill 3514, the Calvatia Gigantea, or “Giant Puffball” is officially designated as Illinois’ state mushroom. The idea for the bill was brought to the Senator by 3rd through 5th grade students from the Prairie School of DuPage, a Wheaton private school that offers an environmentally focused education for pre-K through 8th grade students.

“I visited with the students last fall, and they expressed their interest in Illinois having a state mushroom,” said Lewis. “They explained how they collected qualitative and quantitative data and surveyed large groups of people. They also outlined how they narrowed the field of finalists through an election process and ultimately came to consensus that the Calvatia Gigantea should be this state’s newest symbol. I was impressed with the depth of their research, and it was a pleasure to carry SB 3514 on their behalf.”

When the bill was heard before the Senate State Government Committee in early March, 25 students from the school joined Lewis for the bill presentation, with one student and one teacher offering testimony. The bill received a unanimous vote for recommended approval. SB 3514 then cleared the full Senate with a unanimous floor vote on April 10.

State Representative Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) served as the bill’s Chief Sponsor in the House, and said it was a pleasure to bring the legislation across the finish line after its passage in the Senate.

“This was such a valuable learning experience for these students,” said Mussman. “Well beyond their research on the mushrooms found in Illinois, these scholars received hands-on experience in how the legislative process works in Springfield. They saw firsthand how an idea can be shaped into a bill and how that bill can be debated and ultimately become a law. As a result of their efforts, they will forever have a place in Illinois history.”

Once signed by the Governor, the state mushroom will be added to this list of state symbols for the State of Illinois.

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