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Analysis: Pennsylvania House, Senate In A 'Salamandoff'

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) -- With the state budget battle finally over for this year, the Pennsylvania House and Senate have found something new to fight about. This time, it's which critter should have bragging rights as the 'state amphibian.'

It's a looming "salamander standoff." Call it a "salamandoff?" This past week, the Senate voted for a bill that would make a salamander called the eastern hellbender the official state amphibian. Republican Gene Yaw, the sponsor, says doing so would symbolize the high value Pennsylvania places on clean water.

"Hellbenders are 'indicator species,' Yaw said. "They're natural barometers of the quality of our waterways."

And you thought a hellbender was a South Street pub crawl. Or maybe not.

Anyway, before the ink was dry on the Senate roll call sheet, House majority leader Dave Reed declared that he wants the state amphibian to be Wehrle's salamander, a beastie discovered by a naturalist from Reed's native Indiana County.

Maybe it's just good natured rivalry. But maybe, it's just, you know…Pennsylvania.

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