In a move deemed controversial by many, the House of Representatives today passed HR2017104 and will potentially do away with Leap Year. Nicknamed the Birthday Bill, among other things, it levels the playing field for all the leap year babies born on February 29. Permanently lengthening the shortest month of the year, the Birthday Bill languished in committee but after review of potential commercial benefits both for business and tax revenues, bipartisan support for the bill grew.
In a statement made Thursday, Representative Anne Hannigan confirmed the bill would provide many positive changes for the calendar, opening up opportunities “…for many areas of business including tourism, retail and real estate sales. The bill will also benefit families through increased opportunities for education and increased income.”
Interestingly, the original sponsor of the bill presented the legislation in 1932. Congressman Richard Steer Aldrich (R-RI) had high hopes for the bill 85 years ago, and while the bill made it through committee, through a scheduling error, it was never presented to the public. The public hearing was scheduled for February 29, 1933. Aldrich left office before the hearing could be rescheduled and with no sponsor to carry the bill, it died.
Through the years the dust built up on the old Birthday Bill, but it’s not been forgotten. The economic benefits, even if slight, seem to be tantalizing enough to motivate another go at adding a day to the calendar and making a minor civil rights statement on the part of leap year babies. Whatever the motivation, what was once old is new again with HR-20170104.
What will you do with an extra day every year?
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