An effort to teach Kansas kids about how an idea becomes state law and get them excited about the legislative process is bearing fruit.

Fourth and Fifth graders from 24 different schools voted on making the Sandhill Plum the State Fruit of Kansas, wrote the bill, got it introduced, voted out of committee and now passed by the Kansas House.

According to the Kansas Forest Service, the Sandhill or Chickasaw Plum is native in much of Kansas. It is the most common wild plum in western Kansas. It is found naturally on sandy prairies where it is very effective in stopping blowing sand.

State lawmakers say the kids weren't the only ones to learn something new in the process of passing this bill.

"I will admit that before Jobi Wertenbeger, a Sabetha elementary school teacher, called me I had no idea there was such a thing as a Sandhill Plum," said Rep. Garber, R Sabetha, who carried the bill. "So I've learned a lot. I've learned that you can make jelly and pies and even wine."

Rep. Louis Ruiz, D Kansas City, said, "The school children... were very passionate about this. They made jelly and sent recipes in."

"I really do commend students who come to the legislature and advocate for the passage of legislation. I have a particular fondness for Sandhill Plums...I love the jelly and I love the jam," Carmichael said.

But he became one of seven lawmakers to vote against the bill. His opposition, he added, was for the kids, not against them.

"When I was a kid we had to memorize the state flower, the state animal, the state bird. And we had to be able to spell them all. A few years ago we had the state fossil, I think it was, and it was something I couldn't pronounce and something I couldn't spell," Carmichael said. "So I have concluded that, as much as I want to commend everyone involved in advocating for this legislation, I'm probably not going to be voting for bills that increase the number of things kids in elementary school have to be able to know and spell."

Rep. Blaine Finch said the seven who voted against making the Sandhill Plum the state fruit voted "to break those children's hearts" to the laugher of the 114 who voted for the bill.

The bill is now headed to the Kansas Senate.