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Personal Assistance 5


Recommendation

Texas should declare September 11 a Day of Remembrance.


Summary

The Texas Legislature should enact and the governor sign a concurrent resolution to declare September 11 a Day of Remembrance. The Legislature has the option to decide if state employees would be allowed to take paid or unpaid leave to observe all or part of the day.


Legislative Changes Required

The Legislature routinely passes concurrent resolutions to commemorate special days of the year. These resolutions do not have the effect of law.[1] Their scope is usually limited to the one-time observance of a special day. Occasionally, a concurrent resolution will address whether state employees may be allowed paid time off to observe the day. If no mention of time off is made in the resolution, none is given.

Section 662.003 of the Texas Government Code enumerates national, state and optional holidays recognized by the state. If the Legislature were to formalize the ongoing observance of September 11 as a Day of Remembrance, this section must be amended.

In the event state employees were to be granted leave for the day, the time would be counted as an employee benefit.

The state auditor counted 308,614 state and higher education employees on the payroll as of September 19, 2001.[2]



Fiscal Impact

This recommendation has no fiscal impact.


[1] Interview with Walter Fisher, parliamentarian, Texas Senate, Austin, Texas, October 5, 2001.

[2] Interview with Frank Wagner, State Auditor’s Office, Austin, Texas, September 19, 2001.