Legislation

New York Senate passes bill making yogurt official state snack

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2012, file photo, Chobani Greek Yogurt is seen at the Chobani plant in South Edmeston, N.Y. Chobani says it's issuing a recall of some of its Greek yogurt cups that were affected by mold, according to the company, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. The recall comes after some customers reported claims of illnesses. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2012, file photo, Chobani Greek Yogurt is seen at the Chobani plant in South Edmeston, N.Y. Chobani says it's issuing a recall of some of its Greek yogurt cups that were affected by mold, according to the company, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. The recall comes after some customers reported claims of illnesses. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)  (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

The New York Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would designate yogurt as the official state snack after a lengthy, and often humorous, debate over the bill.

The bill’s sponsor, Michael Ranzenhofer, a Republican, said the proposal was the idea of a fourth-grade class, The New York Times reported. The bills calls yogurt "an important economic driver" for the state.

"New York is now the number one processor of yogurt in the country," the bill states. "Increasing demand for milk, the primary component in yogurt, has helped to support and grow our dairy industry and provide important economic growth to our rural communities."

Razenhofer's proposal was lightly mocked by fellow lawmakers. One senator, Liz Krueger, a Democrat, suggested the official designation might be inconsiderate to people who are lactose intolerant, according to the Times.

Some senators offered other ideas, such as fruit and candy, Newsday reported.

Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Republican, joked that he would soon introduce legislation to make the wood frog the state's official amphibian. 

The Senate voted 52 to 8 in favor of the bill, which now heads to the State Assembly.