State Holiday Bill Fails On House Floor

WAFB has the story on HB 1478, Rep. John Schroeder’s bill which would allow the Governor to eliminate paid state holidays at his discretion and save the state some $8 million per holiday. It didn’t do so well on the House floor tonight…

State workers currently get around ten paid holidays throughout the year. The debate Monday was over a cost-cutting bill that would allow the Governor to take away some of those day.

The bill was extremely unpopular amongst state employees for obvious reasons. The bill was soundly defeated 66 to 23.

The House of Representatives made quick work of the bill that would have allowed the Governor to cash in on the paid days off.

“It could be one day it could be two days, these are for classified or unclassified workers,” said Representative John Schroder. “Is there a limit on how many days they could declare on this stateside?” asked Representative Hunter Greene. “No sir,” replied Schroder.

The bill could have saved the state $8 million a day. Currently, state employees enjoy nine regular days off and an additional four that is traditionally given.

Why not just look at the holiday or two and just say this is not gonna be a holiday anymore,” Greene said. “Then it gives the state employee some certainty I wonder if we’re not gonna get paid that holiday.”

The bill would only have been on the books for fiscal year 2011-2012, which is expected to be an even tighter budget year than this one. Schroder says that is why he brought the measure for the legislature’s consideration.

“My goal was to try and give us as many tools as possible,” said Schroder. “If we don’t get any stimulus money were gonna be looking at layoffs or many other ways that we can find to offset layoffs this is just one.”

HB 1478 wasn’t the only potential cost-saver which died in the Legislature Monday. The House killed HB 401, which would have freed the state’s colleges and universities up to set their own tuition rates, by a 57-29 vote.



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