Illinois gets official state snake

Governor JB Pritzker on June 16 designated the eastern milksnake as the official snake of the State of Illinois.

House Bill 4821 began as an initiative led by Gentry Heiple, a seventh grader at Carterville Junior High School. Heiple was inspired to advocate for this legislation after reaching out to State Rep. Dave Severin to inquire about how a bill becomes a law. Heiple conducted all the research and ultimately chose the eastern milksnake. He presented his idea to the House of Representatives State Government Administration Committee who gave unanimous consent.

For more on the state snake, please see this week’s print edition.