Lawmakers vote today on the controversial name of our state tree.
After hearing testimony last week from both sides, members of the Assembly State Affairs Committee are set to decide whether our 35-foot Balsam Fir is a ‘holiday’ tree or a ‘Christmas’ tree. State Representative Marlin Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) authored the measure (Assembly Joint Resolution 5).
“See, if it looks like a Christmas tree and it smells like a Christmas tree and it’s decorated like a Christmas tree and it has presents under it like a Christmas tree it’s a Christmas tree! It’s not a holiday tree.”
Governor Jim Doyle says there are better things to be doing at the state capitol than arguing about the name of a tree, like making sure all kids have health insurance and a good education.
“The idea of the Christmas season is that you’re sort of not supposed to be picking fights with people. You’re supposed to be finding a way to have peace on earth so people should call the tree whatever they want to. In my family we call it a Christmas tree.”
Doyle says you can call it what you want, he’ll call it what he wants. But, the question is, what should the state call it?
Doyle laughs, “I couldn’t care less.”
Even the governor’s festive tie gets a little attention from reporters during this controversial debate.
The governor says, “It’s a tree.” Simultaneously the reporters jokingly reply, “What kind of tree?!”
Committee Chair Karl Van Roy ( R-Green Bay ) hopes to approve this resolution and send it through the full Assembly before Christmas.