Metro

State considers date change for Halloween

By
Contributing Writer
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Watch out Wriston Rising — Halloween could fall on Brown’s Halloweekend every year. That is, if a new bill permanently rescheduling Halloween to the last Saturday of October passes the state legislature.

Legislation recently introduced by State Rep. Donald Lally Jr., D-Narragansett, North Kingstown and South Kingstown, would make Halloween the last Saturday of the month, regardless of whether that day is Oct. 31.

According to a Jan. 29 Providence Journal article, Lally introduced the bill after a constituent approached him about its potential impact on the state’s economy. He told the Journal he has not decided to support the proposal but wants it to be considered during the current session of the General Assembly.

The bill is the first in Rhode Island history to propose changing the date of Halloween, according to State Rep. Edith Ajello, D-Providence.

“To the best of my knowledge, it’s brand new,” Ajello said.

When asked about how the bill fits into the General Assembly’s priorities, Ajello said it is simply one of the issues the state legislature considers.

“The Assembly ought to be able to chew gum and walk at the same time,” she said. “We are able to deal with a variety of issues. While some believe that this bill is not of the highest priority, it still deserves to be addressed.”

Students expressed mixed opinions on the bill.

“I can see how the bill would benefit businesses and families,” Brisa Pena ’13 said.

Scheduling Halloween on Saturdays would also impact students’ Halloween revelry. Since Halloween will be on a Monday in 2011, the legislation could affect celebrations this year.

“Friday and Saturday nights are when Brown students go out,” Frank Muci ’14 said. “With Halloween on a weekend, there won’t be that extra night to party.”

Rachel Connor ’14 said she is unconvinced that devoting valuable time to this issue would outweigh the intended benefits.

“I think that (the General Assembly) should spend more of their time and resources on other things than the date of Halloween,” she said.

While people might question the bill’s importance, the reason for introducing it is obvious, Ajello said.

“It would be better for schoolchildren to be out on weekends rather than school nights,” she said. “The streets would be safer, and so would commuting. It could also start earlier since most people are home on the weekends.”

A hearing on the bill has yet to be scheduled, but will be posted two days in advance on the General Assembly website, Ajello said.

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