This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
To the dismay of a class of Utah fourth-graders and dog lovers throughout the state, the golden retriever will not join the list of Utah's favorite things as the official state domestic animal.
"Representatives I want you to picture, if you would, a Dutch oven, a spring quaking aspen, a sprig of sego lily, and a seagull," said the bill's House sponsor, Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem. "Now what's missing from that picture is obviously, we need a dog there. And not just any dog mind you, but the most popular dog, the golden retriever."
But the majority of House members disagreed, defeating the bill with a vote of 27-43 on its last step toward becoming law.
The bill was suggested to sponsor Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, by a fourth-grade class from Daybreak Elementary that was being taught about the process of government. After seeing the success of another fourth-grade class in changing the state tree last year, they wanted to try it.
"We get beat up a lot for these types of bills," said Rep. Jacob Anderegg, R-Lehi. "We are on the taxpayer dollar here. That in and of itself usually leads me to say let's keep these types of bills out. But if you understand the background on this … this was part of an educational process. Let's respect that."
Although the debate ended before anyone spoke against it, some lawmakers have expressed opposition in the past.
"We have significant issues that need to take a lot of our time and brainpower," said House Majority Leader Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, after a committee hearing a couple weeks ago. "I hope we devote our time to that. Maybe someone could ask themselves if there is anything more important than trying to come up with the state animal."