Will the Buck Stop Here For Truman Day?

May 4, 2010 at 8:20 am
Happy birthday dear Harry! (Maybe for the very last time...) Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday dear Harry! (Maybe for the very last time...) Happy birthday to you!

Though Missouri has produced only one President, we made sure he was a good one. Which is more than Pennsylvania, home of James Buchanan, can say. And unlike our neighbor, the Land of Lincoln, we don't have to fight to claim our guy. (Abe, you may recall, was born in Kentucky.)

Harry S Truman was born here, died here, and lived almost all the years in between, except when he was in Washington being a Senator, Vice-President and President, in the vicinity of Independence. So it makes sense that May 8, his birthday -- or the working day closest to it -- would be a holiday for Missouri government workers. This year, we honor Harry on Friday, May 7.

But will 2010 mark the end of Truman Day as we know it? If Governor Jay Nixon gets his way, yes.

The governor has proposed a bill in the General Assembly that would eliminate Truman Day as a holiday for government workers. It's not that Nixon has a political beef against Truman -- they are/were both Democrats. It's just that Truman Day is just too darned expensive.

The St. Louis Business Journal reports that each state holiday ends up costing $1.5 million because of the necessity of paying overtime for workers at 24-hour services and other state offices that absolutely must remain open.

Not content to merely be the Grinch Who Stole Truman Day, Nixon has also proposed stripping the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday) of its holiday status.

In order to finance this year's Truman Day (and three-day weekend!), state budget director Linda Luebbering told the Business Journal, the state has decided to lower its in-state travel reimbursement to 37 cents per mile, a decrease of a nickel.

The buck really does stop here.

For a list of other state holidays, observed and unobserved (Helloooo Bird Appreciation Day -- March 21), go here.