tampabay.com

Legislators welcome orange to state books

The state House passed a bill Wednesday making the orange Florida's official state fruit.

By ALISA ULFERTS
Published May 4, 2005


TALLAHASSEE - With major issues like growth management and Medicaid sill unresolved, lawmakers Wednesday took the time to make the orange Florida's official state fruit.

How the orange escaped the Legislature's attention till now is unclear, but some Sarasota fourth graders noticed the oversight last year and Rep. Donna Clarke, R-Sarasota, agreed to sponsor a bill, and Gov. Jeb Bush Bush is expected to sign it.

With a gaggle of orange-shirted Tallahassee school children watching, House members had a little fun before passing the bill.

Rep. Fred Brummer, R-Apopka, offered an amendment to designate "Orange Blossom Special" the official state fiddle tune. Rep. Ron Greenstein, D-Coconut Creek, suggested the official state orchestra be Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band.

And Rep. Mitch Needelman, R-Melbourne, offered an amendment making key lime pie Florida's official state pie. That recalled a fight pitting South Florida lawmakers against North Florida lawmakers, who favored pecan pie. Florida still has no state pie.

"It is time for us to bring this battle between North and South Florida to an end," Needelman said.

Eventually they withdrew their amendments and passed the bill.

- ALISA ULFERTS