Pensions, budget cuts, taxes....and pies? Yes, these are the major issues being debated by our Illinois State legislators in Springfield.All these serious issues are affecting our state and the only one our elected representatives have resolved thus far is the pie issue. On April 16th the House of Representatives voted 108-3 to make the pumpkin pie the official pie of Illinois. The bill has not yet passed the Senate or been signed by Governor Rauner.

So you may ask yourself with so many other urgent issues to deal with, how did this idea come to pass?

Reboot Illinois reports that Illinois is the nation’s No. 1 producer of pumpkins (both cooking and jack-o-lantern varieties).

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says the state has the most land devoted to pumpkin production in the country at nearly 13,000 acres. Illinois made up 29 percent of all pumpkin-growing land in the U.S in 2005 and yields 95 percent of all pumpkins processed in the U.S. That’s nearly 5 million pounds of pumpkins. Tazewell County is responsible for the most pumpkin growing in the state, with 48 farms dedicated to the big orange orbs.

Did you know that Nestle’s Libby’s in Morton and Seneca Foods near Peoria produce most of the country’s canned pumpkin used in traditional fall dishes. Items like

  • pumpkin pie
  • pumpkin bread
  • pumpkin muffins

Illinois might as well change its name from the Prairie State to the Pumpkin State.

Further proving Illinois’ pumpkin pride, a Moline woman even bought a year’s supply of pumpkin spice lattes last October, says Fox News in the Quad Cities.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the bill sponsor, Rep. Keith Sommer he wants to "commemorate the state’s pumpkin king status."

However, this measure did not pass without lively debate. The Tribune reports that Rep. Ken Dunkin opposed the measure, because he favors blueberries.

In the matter of public interest, it should also be noted that our elected leaders in the state Senate are busy working to designating "sweet corn" as Illinois' official vegetable.

Whew! I'm glad our well paid state legislators have solved all of Illinois' problems so that we can work out these issues.