News Releases

Say’s Firefly Bill Authored by Local Students Passes Senate

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 6, 2018) ― A bill resulting from the work of Kayla Xu, a Cumberland Elementary fifth-grade student, recently passed out of the full Senate by a vote of 48-0, said State Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette).

Senate Bill 236, which Alting is carrying, would designate Pyractomena angulata, also known as “Say’s Firefly,” as Indiana’s official state insect. Students from Cumberland and Happy Hollow Elementary Schools have researched, developed and persistently lobbied for this bill, which is part of Gov. Holcomb’s 2018 legislative agenda.

“History was made today in the Senate,” Alting said. “Students had the chance to experience state government firsthand and share testimony last week in the Senate Committee on Public Policy. I am incredibly proud of Kayla and her classmates’ hard work and dedication to this bill. The support from the governor, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick and the rest of my colleagues shows that our state government really is working for the people, which should make Hoosiers feel proud of our state leaders. These students are also learning the importance of persistence and are seeing their hard work make a difference that could provide a lasting impact on our state.”

Xu began working on this legislation in second grade when she discovered during a social study lesson at Cumberland Elementary School that Indiana is one of two states without an official state insect.

With the help of classmates and her teacher, Maggie Samudio, she wrote letters and shared her proposal with state legislators. Last legislative session, two bills on this topic moved through the General Assembly, resulting in a summer study.

SB 236 will now receive consideration from the House of Representatives.


Contact: Lauren Beatty, Press Secretary