Missouri state government employees will get an extra holiday this year — Dec. 24.
Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order Friday, closing state offices on that day.
“With Christmas Eve falling on a Monday, I have signed Executive Order 18-11 declaring state offices to be closed on Dec. 24, 2018, so that our state employees will have time to celebrate and be with their loved ones,” Parson said in a statement.
State law sets 12 official holidays — New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day), Truman’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Historically — but not always — governors also have made the day after Thanksgiving a holiday.
Making Christmas Eve an extra holiday affects most state employees — but doesn’t change the work requirements or schedules of the Highway Patrol, Capital Police, Corrections officers, and state employees in veterans homes and mental health facilities.
However, the holiday declaration generally makes it easier for those employees to earn overtime pay.
The executive order was issued hours before the governor and Mrs. Parson hosted the Christmas Candlelight Tours at the Governor’s Mansion for their first time, after Parson became governor June 1, following the resignation of former Gov. Eric Greitens.
“As we begin the Christmas season with the lighting of the People’s Mansion, let us take time to rejoice, give thanks and help those in need,” Parson said. “May we also pause to reflect on the important relationships that we have in our lives. For it is our family and friends close to our hearts who make this a joyful season.”
Parson ended his statement with a message: “From my family to yours, we wish everyone peace, joy, goodwill and a very Merry Christmas.”