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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thanksgiving holiday could get longer

New Jersey legislators are actively devising legislation that would make the day following Thanksgiving an official holiday, after the issue came to light when Gov. Jon S. Corzine made state employees work that day, breaking a long-standing tradition of having the day off.

Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, D-Camden, is said to be working on the bill, which would call the holiday "Family Day."

"Thanksgiving has become the most family-oriented holiday on the calendar, with many people traveling long distances to gather with loved one," said Mr. Greenwald last week. "New Jersey should join the growing number of other state that recognize the Thanksgiving weekend as a time to spend with family and close friends."

The bill would not, however, simply legitimize the day after holiday, but would swap it with the state's current Lincoln's Birthday holiday on Feb. 12. That holiday has generally gone into disuse, except for state employees, with the following week containing the Presidents Day holiday on the federal calendar.

Following an edict by Gov. Corzine earlier in the year that said state employees would no longer get the day as a sort of unofficial holiday, the executive's office was deluged with thousands of phone calls from angry workers irate over the removal of another holiday given to the state's public servants.

Officials from the Democratic Assembly office said last week that nearly half the states in the nation recognize the day following Thanksgiving as a holiday, while the continued use of Feb 12 as a state holiday is only shared with five other states.

State law listing all of the state holidays have not been amended since 1986, according to a statement from the Assembly office.

1 comment:

Irving Bertrand Clean said...

Family Day? FAMILY DAY?!? I can see how the term "Thanksgiving" can offend the sensibilities of many, but how about all those State workers who don't have Families? I'm guessing this never crossed the mind of Rep. Greenwald.

Wishing you all a fun and non-offensive Winter Solstice season,
IBC