Lawmakers pass bill to make yogurt official state snack

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – Though the legislation was resoundingly mocked on late night TV, it didn’t stop the State Assembly from passing a bill making yogurt the official snack of New York State.

In May, the State Senate spent 45 minutes debating the merits of the bill, which was sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. The legislation was proposed by Byron-Bergen fourth-grade student Craig Schroth, who lives in a dairy-producing area of Western New York.

MORE | Find a list of official state items, such as the state insect, muffin or gem, here

Before passing the bill last month, senators mulled the distinction between snacks and meals and whether other snacks were more deserving.

“What exactly are we defining as a snack?” asked Sen. Gustavo Rivera, a Democrat from the Bronx.

“I think it’s self-explanatory. I mean, you have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then you have snacks,” said Sen. Ranzenhofer.

“Did you consider, say, the potato chip?” Rivera asked, posing the same question about raisins and pretzels. He then asked: “What if the pretzel was dipped in yogurt?”

RELATED | The State Senate passed a bill this week to make the wood frog the official amphibian of New York State

David Letterman and Jon Stewart skewered the exchange on their shows, with Letterman playing video from the debate as part of a segment called “New York State: Your Tax Dollars at Work.”

Stewart called the deliberations “maybe the best 40 minutes” of legislative debate ever. Watch a clip from “The Daily Show” here.

The bill sailed through the State Assembly, which passed it 85-1 on Wednesday without any debate. The legislation now moves to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signature. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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