As the Minnesota State Legislature ended its regular session, it passed a bill to create a position of state poet laureate. The House voted in favor of the measure 126 to 6 and the Senate did likewise by a 52 to 8 to vote.
Minnesota has a state muffin - the blueberry muffin. It has a state photograph, titled "Grace" and, Oh my God!!! a state mushroom! Yep, it has an official toadstool!
Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, however, said no to the poet laureate idea. If signed into law, the bill would have allowed him to appoint a poet laureate after receiving recommendations from the nonprofit Minnesota Humanities Commission. Many thought the timing was perfect to start such a endeavor, as the state will be celebrating it's sesquicentennial in 2008 and a laureate would have been called on to provide verse for ceremonies and celebrations thoughout the state. Additionally, no state funds would have gone with the job.
Pawlenty suggested that the measure could lead to "requests for a state mime, interpretive dancer or potter." In this case a mime for a Governor wouldn't be such a bad idea.
According to the Library of Congress, some 34 states have such a position. Several are presently vacant however.
Unrelated - but worth thinking about:
The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~James Bryce