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California’s Government Holidays and Designated Days

The Governor is required to proclaim designated days

By Chris Micheli, August 23, 2020 8:13 am

Government Code Title 1, Division 7, Chapter 7 deals with holidays. Chapter 7, which contains Section 6700 to 6730, was added to state law in 1951. Section 6700 provides that the holidays in the State of California are the following:

  • Every Sunday.
  • January 1st.
  • The third Monday in January, known as “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.”
  • February 12th, known as “Lincoln Day.”
  • The third Monday in February.
  • March 31st, known as “Cesar Chavez Day.”
  • The last Monday in May.
  • July 4th.
  • The first Monday in September.
  • September 9th, known as “Admission Day.”
  • The fourth Friday in September, known as “Native American Day.”
  • The second Monday in October, known as “Columbus Day.”
  • November 11th, known as “Veterans Day.”
  • December 25th.
  • Good Friday from 12 noon until 3 p.m.

In addition, state holidays include every day appointed by the President or Governor for a public fast, thanksgiving, or holiday. Nonetheless, a memorandum of understanding for public employees is controlling without further legislative action, except that if those provisions of a memorandum of understanding require the expenditure of funds, the provisions do not become effective unless approved by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act.  

Pursuant to Section 6701, If January 1, February 12, March 31, July 4, September 9, November 11, or December 25 falls upon a Sunday, the Monday following is a holiday. In addition, if November 11 falls upon a Saturday, the preceding Friday is a holiday. And, if March 31 falls upon a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, the Legislature may observe the holiday a Friday or Monday.

Section 6702 specifies that every Saturday from noon to midnight is a holiday for the transaction of business in the public offices of the state and political divisions where laws, ordinances, or charters provide that public offices are closed on holidays.

Pursuant to Section 6703, all public offices of the state, state institutions, and the University of California are closed on Admission Day. In addition, public offices of the state and state institutions, including, but not limited to, all state agencies and the Legislature, are closed on November 11, Veterans Day.

Section 6704 authorizes the legislative body of any city or district to provide that every Saturday is a holiday as respects the transaction of business in the public offices of such cities or districts.

Section 6707 provides that, when the last day for filing any instrument or other document with a state agency falls upon a Saturday or holiday, such act may be performed upon the next business day with the same effect as if it had been performed upon the day appointed.

The Governor is required to proclaim the following:

  • September 28th as “Cabrillo Day” (Section 6708)
  • January 15 as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Section 6709)
  • March 7 as “Arbor Day” (Section 6710)
  • February 19 as “A Day of Remembrance: Japanese American Evacuation: (Section 6711)
  • The fourth Friday in September as “Native American Day” (Section 6712)
  • The first Sunday in October as “Stepparents Day” (Section 6713)
  • April 21st as “John Muir Day” (Section 6714)
  • March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day (Section 6715)
  • December 7 as “Pearl Harbor Day” (Section 6716)
  • March 31 as “Cesar Chavez Day” (Section 6717)
  • The month of February as Black History Month (Section 6718)
  • The third Saturday in June as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day: A day of observance” (Section 6719)
  • April 24 as “California Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide” (Section 6720)
  • May 22 as Harvey Milk Day (Section 6721)
  • January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution (Section 6722)
  • February 6 as Ronald Reagan Day (Section 6723)
  • January 23 as Ed Roberts Day (Section 6724)
  • October 25 as Larry Itliong Day (Section 6725)
  • The first Friday in May Space Day (Section 6726)
  • March 20 or the following day as Nowruz Day (Section 6727)
  • The month of June as LGBT Pride Month (Section 6728)
  • April 10 as Dolores Huerta Day (Section 6729)
  • The date corresponding with the second new moon following the winter solstice as the Lunar New Year (Section 6730)
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