By Micha Green
D.C. Editor
mgreen@afro.com

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan might not be Santa Claus, but he shared a special gift for state government employees: time off.

On Dec. 20, Hogan announced that Maryland state offices and agencies would be closed on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) in addition to the Christmas Day observance.

“I am declaring Christmas Eve a state holiday this year to give our dedicated employees more time to spend with their families and loved ones,” Hogan said in a statement which was officially posted to the Governor’s official website and Twitter account.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (pictured with wife Yumi Hogan) declared Christmas Eve a state holiday, allowing state government offices and agencies to be officially closed on Dec. 24. (Courtesy Photo)

“We hope that our hardworking state workers, and all Marylanders have a merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season,” he added.

“Under this declaration, December 24, 2019 will be treated like any other state employee holiday,” according to the final sentence of the press release.

The Governor’s declaration came a few hours after his announcement that the state had experienced a major employment rate increase.

“Maryland has added 32,000 jobs since August and is experiencing the strongest stretch in employment growth since 2010, and the lowest unemployment rate since 2008,” Hogan tweeted. “More businesses are open and more people are working than ever before in Maryland history!”

After celebrating the fact that there are more businesses open and people working, the governor’s declaration to offer time off, served as a major treat for Maryland state government employees.

Despite the gesture, a couple Twitter users seemed to express concern in Hogan’s decision to make Christmas Eve a state holiday.

“Church and state,” wrote Twitter user Esskay DaKine, referring to the concept that religion should be distinct from politics and not directly influence governmental decisions and rulings.

However, for the most part, Twitter followers were ecstatic about the Governor’s declaration and thanked him for his consideration during the holiday season.

“We all can enjoy an end of the year paid holiday,” Marilyn Pierre, a community organizer and legal expert who is running for Montgomery County Circuit Judge, wrote on Twitter.

Another Twitter user, Michelle, wrote in jest, “Makes perfect sense for Mary’s Land,” referencing the name of the state and the Mother of Jesus Christ.

“Well done, sir.  Merry Christmas,” Twitter user W.W. Neal wrote.

Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor