Lawmakers celebrate Evacuation Day

BOSTON (WWLP) — Some people got to extend their St. Patrick's Day weekend in the eastern part of the state.

Evacuation Day is being observed in Suffolk County Monday to commemorate the evacuation of the British from Boston during the Revolutionary War. 
 
Critics have dubbed it a "hack holiday" because it gives public workers the day off only in the eastern part of the state.

In 2010, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill that requires government agencies to keep a skeleton staff to prevent them from completely shutting down, but that could cost taxpayers more because it gives public employees overtime pay and a floating holiday.

State lawmakers held informal meetings at the State House.

According to Sen. Kenneth Donnely (D-Arlington), "What needs to be done is it get phased out and also it has to be phased out through the contractual obligations because I think in the end it costs some of the communities money because it was in the contract."
 
Evacuation Day is on March 17, but it's being observed Monday because March 17 was a Sunday.

The coincidence of it falling on St. Patrick's Day was not lost on Governor Leverett Saltonstall, who signed the holiday into law in 1941 with green ink.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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