With Halloween just a week away, Rep. Tim Larson, D- East Hartford, issued as statement calling for Connecticut to officially designate the holiday as the last Saturday of October.
Halloween is not an official state holiday but has traditionally been observed on Oct. 31. This year if falls on a Monday.
Larson said after talking with parents of small children, he believes it’s problematic when the holiday falls on a weeknight. It’s difficult for parents to get their sugar-saturated trick-or-treaters off to bed in time for school the next morning, he said.
Moving the festivities to a Saturday would also enable the younger children to kick off their trick-or-treating earlier in the day when visibility is better, he said.
“Halloween is fun night for the whole family, but not so much when you have to race home from work, get the kids ready for trick or treating, welcome the neighborhood children, and then try to get everyone to bed for an early school and work morning,” Larson said. “Halloween has also become one of the top holidays for retailers selling candy, decorations, costumes and general party supplies. Jobs are created by this holiday, so let’s make it a little more fun and safe for everyone, and create some jobs too.”
The designation would be similar to the governor’s proclamation each year that Thanksgiving be observed on the fourth Thursday of November, he said.
But Gov. Dannel P. Malloy likes Halloween where it is.
“Governor Malloy is afraid that ghouls, goblins and witches might get confused. So with all due respect to Representative Larson, the governor is going to keep Halloween on Oct. 31,” Malloy’s spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan said.
Still, Larson is hopeful the legislature might take up the idea, though he admitted it the proposal was an unlikely candidate for Wednesday’s jobs-focused special session. He said he hopes to see it considered during the 2012 legislative session.
“This would be good for the economy and make Halloween a more family-friendly event every year,” he said. “Everyone looks forward to Halloween a little more when it falls on the weekend.”
Sen. Rob Kane, R- Watertown, lead Republican on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, contested that moving Halloween would do nothing to help the state’s economy.
“While well-intentioned, this proposal symbolizes what’s wrong with Connecticut government,” he said. “Less government is the answer to our fiscal problems. You want to create jobs in Connecticut? Start by getting government out of the private sector’s way. Start by lowering taxes and regulations. More laws like these will continue to take Connecticut in the wrong direction.”