Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Missouri Governor Vetoes Bill Protecting Federal Holiday Observance

Apparently in response to what some perceive as an attack on the celebration of Christmas, in May the Missouri General Assembly passed HB 278 (full text) which provides:
No state or local governmental entity, public building, public park, public school, or public setting or place shall ban or otherwise restrict the practice, mention, celebration, or discussion of any federal holiday.
Yesterday Missouri governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill (Veto Message)(News Release), along with SB 265 (Veto Message) that would have prohibited implementation of restrictions that stem from the sustainable development recommendations in United Nations "Agenda 21." Nixon said:
These issues may drive ratings on cable television, but they should not be the basis of public policy in Missouri. While the problems these bills ostensibly aim to fight are only imaginary, the headaches they could create for local governments would be very real and costly.
He said that HB 278 would hamper the enforcement of fireworks bans around the 4th of July and would allow state and local employees to demand time off for federal holidays, creating possible staff shortages for essential governmental functions. AP reports on the governor's action.