Friday, October 18, 2013

Missouri Bill To Restore School Christmas Celebrations Takes Effect After Override of Governor's Veto

As previously reported, last July Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed HB 278 that 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.
The bill was particularly aimed at restoring Christmas celebrations. Last week's St. Louis Jewish Light reports however that in an action largely unnoticed by the media (see this coverage), on Sept. 11 the state legislature voted to override the governor's veto.  The bill went into effect Oct. 11. In a letter sent to Missouri school administrators and board members, the bill's sponsor Rep. Rick Brattin wrote:
It is an honor for me to play a role in this process and to stand in defense to celebrate our holidays in the same ways that our parents and grandparents did. My hope is that HB 278 will help reverse the chilling effect we have seen on the ability of teachers and students to observe these holidays.
[Thanks to Joe Bernstein for the lead.]