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How the Law Was Won
Citizen Ship
Posted: September 01, 2023
  • 1 How laws are made
    Governor Kay Ivey signs the bill designating the state cookie on June 2, 2023, in Montgomery, Alabama. Mary Claire Cook watches. (Governor’s Office/Hal Yeager)
  • 2 How laws are made
    The United States Constitution tells how the government should be set up. (National Archives via AP)
  • 3 How laws are made
    The Alabama House of Representatives meets in March 2023 in Montgomery, Alabama. (AP/Julie Bennett)
  • 4 How laws are made
    Spectators watch from the gallery as the Alabama Senate meets in March 2023 in Montgomery, Alabama. (AP/Julie Bennett)
  • 1 How laws are made
  • 2 How laws are made
  • 3 How laws are made
  • 4 How laws are made


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How do you go from whipping up a new treat in your kitchen to making it the official cookie of your state?

You have to suggest a new law.

The U.S. Constitution is a set of rules for the nation’s government. It gives people in the states power to make laws that the federal (national) government does not cover. Each state creates its own laws on a number of matters. States make rules for their schools, libraries, roads, and much more.

All state governments have three branches. The legislative branch usually includes a House of Representatives and Senate. They make laws. The executive branch includes the governor. It ratifies the laws the legislature proposes. That means it makes them official. The executive branch also makes sure laws are followed. The judicial branch includes the state supreme court judges. It interprets laws.

Sound familiar? The U.S. government has the same three branches.

Seniors at Trinity Presbyterian School pitched the idea of an official cookie to local Representative Reed Ingram. He wrote a bill. It was called House Bill 421. He submitted it to the state’s House of Representatives. There are 105 elected members in the House. Each person serves a section of the state called a district. Each district has about 40,000 people.

The House approved the bill.

Next, Senator Will Barfoot took the bill to the Senate. A Senate committee passed the cookie bill. Then it went to the full Senate for a vote. The Senate has 35 elected members. Each member serves a district of about 137,000 people. All agreed to make the bill a law!

Finally, the governor had to sign the bill. The New York Post reported Governor Kay Ivey’s reaction to the cookie. “Sweet Home Alabama just got a little sweeter.”