After a quick debate over a “delicious” topic, the Government Administration and Elections Committee on Wednesday sent a bill naming pizza the Connecticut state food to the Senate for consideration.
This year, a group of largely New Haven-based legislators are hoping to succeed where a similar effort fell short in 2021, when the House adopted a proposal to designate pizza the state food with bipartisan support only to see the bill expire on the Senate calendar.
The legislation’s prospects looked good on Wednesday as the government administration panel advanced it out of the committee with endorsements from members of both parties.
“This is a bill that would declare Connecticut pizza — the best pizza in the world — the state food of Connecticut,” Rep. Matt Blumenthal, a Stamord Democrat who co-chairs the committee, said as he introduced the legislation. “Are there any remarks from the committee?”
There were remarks, however, and even some dissent. Sen. Rob Sampson and Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco, both Republicans from Wolcott, voted against the bill.
Mastrofrancesco said she loved pizza but questioned whether the legislature should be making such a call for the entire state.
“Are we the ones, really, to make the decision of what the state food is?” she asked. “There’s, what? 3.6 million people in this state? I’m thinking, have we ever done a survey to decide what they like? If it was up to me I’d have pasta fazool or macaroni or pasta or something to be state food.”
Blumenthal thanked her for her comments.
“Let the record show, Representative Mastrofrancesco: in favor of direct democracy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sampson also declared Connecticut’s pizza the best in the world, a distinction he said may be diminished by a legislative vote. Sampson said the proposal seemed a trivial matter compared to other items on the panel’s agenda including legislation to implement early voting in Connecticut.
“[Early voting] may be the most serious thing that I have the opportunity to participate in in my whole time in politics and to have ‘pizza as the state food’ on the same agenda is a little ironic in my opinion, so I’ll be voting ‘no,’” Sampson said.