Scott a secret Santa — gives state workers an extra day offby John Kennedy | December 16th, 2011
Gov. Rick Scott has had a rocky relationship with state workers, 120,000 Floridians who haven’t seen a pay raise since 2006.
They campaigned against him as a candidate. And public employees’ unions are suing him for the 3 percent salary contributions he and the Republican-led Legislature ordered workers to pay this year to belong to the Florida Retirement System.
But in the spirit of the season, Scott on Friday ordered all state government buildings closed on Dec. 23 — giving workers an extra day off and an early start on the egg nog.
“On the day before a weekend during which Christmas falls, historically, there has been an extremely low business volume, and a large number of State employees take annual leave to be with their families,” Scott noted in a letter to Department of Management Services Secretary Jack Miles, ordering the closure.
“I also note that the Supreme Court of Florida has declared December 23 to be a Court holiday, and that both the Florida House of Representatives and the Senate have no business whatsoever scheduled for that date. Considering the low utilization of State executive buildings on these days, closing these buildings will also result in a savings of utilities and management costs,” the governor added.
Then he exclaimed, “I wish you and your family a joyous holiday season.”
Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, suggested a similar step last year to outgoing Gov. Charlie Crist, but it didn’t go anywhere. Williams said giving workers off the Friday before Christmas could help the economy.
“It’s a good idea,” Williams said. “I’ve got to figure nine out of 10 workers will be out in the stores spending, because they’re not at work that day.”