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Brewer: no state holiday for centennial

Arizona will have a grand celebration for its centennial in 2012. But it won’t have a paid state holiday.

Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday vetoed HB2700, which would have given state government employees a paid holiday every Feb. 14 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Arizona statehood. It would have been Arizona’s 11th paid state holiday.

Brewer said it would send the “wrong message” to taxpayers if state government shut down to celebrate the centennial.

“For the vast majority of Arizonans, Feb. 14, 2012, will be a regular work day and school day,” Brewer wrote in her veto letter. “Regardless of the legitimate celebratory nature of the day, it does not make sense to tell the public that state government officers are closed while the rest of Arizona is open for business.”

Brewer said she appreciates the dedication state employees have shown during the budget and salary cuts of the past few years and said her veto does not signify a lack of support for state employees. But, she wrote, the state can celebrate and service the public at the same by keeping government offices open.

“In fact, it is appropriate that we do just that,” she said.

Rep. J.D. Mesnard sponsored the bill.

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