If you thought bipartisan cooperation in the NC General Assembly was dead – well, think again: On Tuesday, May 7, state legislators in the NC House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill put forth by state Rep. Jon Hardister and several other sponsors to make the Moravian cookie the official state cookie of North Carolina.   It now looks like the cookie has a clear path to obtaining that lofty status.

The idea, Hardister said, came from 4th grade students at Brooks Global Studies Magnet School.

The students sent letters to Hardister and other Guilford County legislators advocating for the cookie due to the significant role it has played – and continues to play – in the state.  Those students argued that the Moravians have had a big social and economic impact on North Carolina since settling, in 1753, in the city now known as Winston-Salem.  The students also pointed out to the legislators that the cookies are baked and packaged in the state and distributed worldwide.

Hardister did a good job of selling the idea to other legislators in Raleigh:  The bill passed the House on a vote of 115 – 0.

“The Moravians have had a tangible social and economic impact on our state,” Hardister told fellow legislators.

He even made a reference to the Rhino Timesin his speech.  He mentioned a headline the Rhino ran earlier this year when the bill was first proposed.  That headline read, “Oreos suffer blow in chance to be official state cookie.”

During the discussion in Raleigh this week one legislator said he was going to vote instead for the Oreo cookie to be the official state cookie in the name of diversity, however, in the end he went along with the unanimous vote in the House.

“The Moravians have had a long-lasting social, cultural and economic impact on our state,” Hardister said this week.  “Moravian Cookies have become a cultural icon, and the production of these cookies has had a positive economic impact on our economy.  I would like to thank the students at Brooks Global Studies for coming up with this excellent idea.”

Hardister also said this week that he wanted to give special thanks to his cosponsors: state Reps. Ashton Wheeler Clemmons, Holly Grange and Donny Lambeth – who, he said, supplied Moravian Cookies for members of the House.

Clemmons said of the bill he cosponsored: “I am so proud to see the ideas of our Brooks Global Studies students, inspired by their teacher Mr. John Phillips, make it all the way to a successful bill passage on the floor of the NC House.  This is exactly what we want our young leaders to see; learn as much as you can and make an impact where you can.  I thank Rep. Hardister for moving it forward.”