State Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) thinks it’s about time California got an official dinosaur.
Bloom, who sat on the Santa Monica City Council from 1999 until 2012, has introduced AB 1504, which would make Augustynolophus morissi — a duck-billed dinosaur that roamed California 66 million years ago — the official dinosaur of California.
“Dinosaurs are cool and highlighting a dinosaur that has such a deep connection to our state will stimulate interest in paleontology and science overall, particularly with children,” Bloom said in an official statement released Wednesday.
“Having an interest in one branch of science often leads a child to be interested in other areas of science so this bill aligns with the investment we have made in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, also known as S.T.E.M, programs,” Bloom said.
Aside from the dinosaur bill, this legislative season, Bloom has introduced 32 bills. Eleven of them are related to tackling the state’s housing crisis, including AB 1506, a bill which would repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which put statewide limits on rent control.
Bloom is also sponsoring nine bills to strengthen environmental conservation and wildlife protection laws throughout the state.
The dinosaur bill, Bloom said, is meant to encourage the next generation to take a stronger interest in science.
“With science disbelievers occupying key positions in our federal government, it is more important than ever to remind our children of the important role scientific discovery has had on our way of life and encourage them to continue to learn, discover, and innovate,” Bloom said.
If the bill is passed and signed into law, the Augustynolophus will join the ranks of California’s 33 other official state symbols, including the Square Dance (California’s official state folk dance), the California Poppy (state flower), the California Grizzly (state bear), and the California redwood (state tree).