When they’re not creating budgets and setting policy, state lawmakers occasionally make time to focus on issues that are a bit less pressing, such as whether Massachusetts should have an official shellfish.

When they’re not creating budgets and setting policy, state lawmakers occasionally make time to focus on issues that are a bit less pressing, such as whether Massachusetts should have an official shellfish.

Massachusetts has 57 official symbols, everything from an official state cat (the tabby cat) to an official state dessert (Boston cream pie), and bills proposing additional state symbols are introduced nearly every legislative session.

 Lawmakers often file the bills on behalf of students in their districts, providing a hands-on civics lesson. Like any other bill, the proposals must pass the House and Senate on majority votes before heading to the governor and becoming law. Oftentimes, they never make it to the chamber floor for a vote.

Massachusetts already has an official rock and an official song, but a new bill from state Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, would make the song “Roadrunner” by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers the state’s official rock song.

Pacheco’s quahog bill, first proposed in 2005 on behalf of a 7th-grade social studies class in Taunton, has been filed every session since but has never come up for a vote. The students argued the quahog’s use as an early trade currency between American Indians and British settlers demonstrates its importance in Massachusetts history.

“I have continued to try to get it done because they backed up their ideas with real research,” Pacheco said. “It’s always a challenge. There’s usually a competing bill, and obviously there are a lot of other things we’re dealing with at the Statehouse that require a significant amount of time. But it’s always a good teaching tool about how a bill becomes a law.”

Calter filed his bill on behalf of a Kingston oyster farmer. Picking the oyster as the official state shellfish, an aide said, would recognize the increasingly important place oyster farming has in the Massachusetts agricultural industry.

Here’s a rundown of proposed new state symbols.

 · Seasoning: Bell’s Seasoning (presented by state Rep. James Murphy, D-Weymouth).

· Textile: Gingham (presented by state Rep. Jay Livingstone, D-Boston)

· Amphibian: Spring peeper (presented by state Sen. Jennifer Flanagan, D-Leominster)

· Cupcake: Boston cream pie cupcake (presented by state Rep. Angelo Puppolo, D-Springfield)

· County song: “14 Counties of Massachusetts” by Alissa Coates and Darci Hamann, as recorded by third- and fourth-grade students at Our Lady’s Academy in Waltham (presented by state Rep. Thomas Stanley, D-Waltham)

· Organic public park: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway (presented by state Sen. Joseph Boncore, D-Boston)

 · Military history museum: Fort Devens Museum (presented by state Rep. Sheila Harrington, R-Groton)

· Patriotic song: “Here’s to America” by Louis and Florenzo DiDonato (presented by state Rep. Sean Garballey, D-Arlington)

· Shellfish: Oyster (presented by state Rep. Thomas Calter, D-Kingston)

· Shellfish: Quahog (presented by state Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton)

· Rock song: “Roadrunner” by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers (presented by state Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick)

Existing official state symbols, according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office are:

· Flower: Mayflower

 · Tree: American elm

· Bird: Chickadee

· Beverage: Cranberry juice

· Horse: Morgan horse

· Insect: Ladybug

· Fish: Cod

· Dog: Boston Terrier

 · Gem: Rhodonite

· Marine mammal: Right whale

· Fossil: Dinosaur track

· Mineral: Babingtonite

· Song: “All Hail to Massachusetts” by Arthur J. Marsh

· Folk song: “Massachusetts” by Arlo Guthrie

· Poem: “Blue Hills of Massachusetts”

 · Rock: Roxbury puddingstone

· Historical rock: Plymouth Rock

· Explorer rock: Dighton Rock

· Building and monument stone: Granite

· Heroine: Deborah Sampson

· Ceremonial march: “The Road to Boston”

· Muffin: Corn muffin

 · Shell: New England Neptune

· Cat: Tabby cat

· Patriotic song: “Massachusetts (Because of You Our Land is Free)”

· Folk dance: Square dance

· Soil: Paxton Soil Series

· Vietnam veterans’ memorial: Worcester Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial

· Designation of residents: Bay Staters

 · Game bird: Wild turkey

· Southwest Asia War Veterans’ Memorial: Worcester Southwest Asia War Veterans’ Memorial

· Bean: Baked Navy bean

· Berry: Cranberry

· Folk hero: Johnny Appleseed

· Dessert: Boston cream pie

· Cookie: Chocolate chip cookie

 · Glee club song: “The Great State of Massachusetts”

· Polka: “Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts”

· Peace statue: Orange Peace Statue

· Korean War memorial: Charlestown Navy Yard Korean War Memorial

· Ode: “Ode to Massachusetts”

· MIA/POW memorial: Massachusetts National Cemetery MIA/POW Memorial

· Children’s book: “Make Way for Ducklings”

 · Children’s author and children’s illustrator: Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

· Doughnut: Boston cream doughnut

· District tartan: Bay State Tartan

· Colors: Blue, green and cranberry

· Blues artist: Taj Mahal

· Sport: Basketball

· Inventor: Benjamin Franklin

 · Reptile: Garter snake

· Artist: Norman Rockwell

· Glacial rock: Rolling Rock, Fall River

· Birthplace of the National Guard: Salem

· Groundhog: Ms. G of the Massachusetts Audubon Society

· Recreational team sport: Volleyball

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