Nixon proposes eliminating Truman Day, 2 other state holidays
By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Jefferson City, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon wants to scrap three state holidays as part of the overall belt-tightening process as Missouri's revenues continue to fall.
Nixon's proposal would eliminate Truman Day (May 8th) and the day after Thanksgiving as state holidays.
Truman Day was established in honor of Harry Truman, the only Missourian elected President of the United States. This year it's scheduled to be observed May 7th, as the 8th falls on a Saturday.
Nixon also wants the state to observe one Presidents Day in February, as the federal government does, instead of observing both Lincoln and Washington's birthdays.
"Every holiday costs us about 1.2 million dollars, especially in overtime and comp time, so we're talking about real savings...Harry Truman's a hard one for me, but as a fiscally conservative Democrat, Harry, you've got to understand!" Nixon said to laughs during a speech today in Springfield.
The holiday eliminations are part of an effort to reduce the current state budget by an extra $126 million and next year's proposed budget by half a billion dollars.
Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the move would save the state more than $3 million a year.
"For example, the guards in our prisons, if they work a state holiday, we have to pay them extra...on top of that, having state employees work, the productivity will be up, so it's a combination of both of those things that will save us money," Luebbering said.
The holiday eliminations would need legislative approval. Governor Nixon wants lawmakers to act on it before this year's Truman Day takes place.