CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner has approved measures designating Illinois’ official exercise, wildflower and pet.

They are cycling, milkweed and dogs and cats adopted from shelters.

The state symbols came in a package of more than 150 bills the Republican governor acted on Friday.

Illinois has had official symbols for over a century. The violet became the state flower in 1908 after school children voted on it. Popcorn was designated as Illinois’ official snack in 2003.

But not everyone likes the idea.

Republican state Sen. Tom Rooney of Rolling Meadows has proposed repealing designations saying they’re overused and their meaning gets diluted. His measure is in a committee.


The legislation is HB2895, HB2568, HB812 and SB690.

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