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Word circulated through the Capitol today that Assembly and Senate staffers don't get to take Columbus Day, which falls this year on Oct. 12, as a paid holiday.

SBX3 8, passed with the February budget package, strips Columbus Day and Lincoln's Birthday from the schedule of paid days off for state workers. The statutory change doesn't apply to legislative employees, but the holiday calendar for Capitol staffers was changed so it would be "consistent with the state workers' holidays," said Alicia Trost, a spokesperson for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

"It's done in parallel with the state basically. They're not getting that holiday, so we're not recognizing that day as a holiday either," echoed Assembly Rules Committee Chief Administrative Officer Jon Waldie.

Staffers weren't officially notified of the lost holiday until today, when the Assembly and Senate Rules committees sent out memos designating Oct. 12 a "regular work day."

Could the missed holiday unleash a Capitol-wide "case of the Mondays" that chips away at staff morale?

Trost said she thinks Senate employees "will understand the big picture of being consistent with state employees."

"And they can always take their furlough day that day, if they've already made plans," she added.

No such luck on that front for employees of the Assembly, which hasn't issued staff furloughs.

Related: Check out The State Worker blog for more on a contract dispute set off by the lost holiday.


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