Gov. Rick Scott is giving state employees a gift this holiday season — a couple of extra days off this month. Scott announced Friday morning that state offices will be closed on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, two days that employees were scheduled to work, in recognition of their hard work throughout the year, including the response and recovery from Hurricane Michael.
Scott credits state workers with helping in the state’s economic turnaround during his eight years in office. During that time, more than 1.64 million private-sector jobs were created and Florida’s unemployment fell to the lowest point since January 2007.
“During my time as governor, we have experienced an incredible economic turnaround in Florida and that turnaround would not be possible without the hard work of state employees,” said Scott in a written statement. “I hope that every Florida family has a wonderful holiday spent with friends and loved ones.”
Scott has been known to give state workers extra time off around the holidays during his tenure as governor. He said, this year, the two extra days are well deserved.
“I’m proud to give state employees Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve off this year in recognition of all their hard work, especially their work to help Florida families recover from Hurricane Michael,” said Scott. “Following the devastating impact of this storm, I witnessed Floridians coming together to help each other, and I saw thousands of state employees working around the clock to support families in the Panhandle. These two additional holidays are well-deserved and a small way to show our appreciation for their efforts.”
This holiday season will be Scott’s last as governor having served eight years and being term-limited. Last month, Scott defeated Bill Nelson to earn a seat in the U.S. Senate. He’ll leave office at the end of his term on Inauguration Day, Jan. 8. Earlier this week, Scott announced he would serve out his full term and would not resign early to be sworn in to the Senate on Jan. 3. Instead, he will remain in office for the inauguration and then fly to Washington, D.C., that afternoon to take the oath of office for the Senate.
Office closures on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are in addition to regular office closures on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.