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States that celebrate (or don't try) Juneteenth
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: June 17, 2022 10:55AM
Hopefully, this highlighted state behavior is a lagging indicator for the next great American holiday.

from this AP article:
[apnews.com]

Last year, Congress and President Joe Biden moved swiftly to make Juneteenth a national holiday. It was the first time the federal government had designated a new national holiday since approving Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. Yet the move didn’t result in an automatic adoption from most states.

In Alabama, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey issued another proclamation marking Juneteenth a state holiday earlier this week after state lawmakers refused to take action on a bill during their legislative session even after she voiced strong support for making it a permanent holiday back in 2021. The state closes down for Confederate Memorial Days in April.

Similarly, Wyoming’s Republican Gov. Mark Gordon issued a statement last June saying he would work with lawmakers to make it a state holiday but no legislation was filed during the 2022 session.

In Tennessee, Republican Gov. Bill Lee quietly tucked enough funding — roughly $700,000 — to make Juneteenth a state paid holiday in his initial spending plan for the upcoming year.

Despite the bill gaining traction in the state Senate, GOP legislative leaders maintained there wasn’t enough support for the idea even as Tennessee law currently designates special observances for Robert E. Lee Day, Confederate Decoration Day and Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.

“I asked many people in my district over the last few days, well over 100 people, if they knew what Juneteenth was and only two of them knew,” said Republican Sen. Joey Hensley, who is white and voted against the proposal. “I just think we’re putting the cart before the horse making a holiday that people don’t know about.”

In South Carolina, instead of working to approve Juneteenth as a holiday, Senate lawmakers unanimously advanced a bill that would allow state employees to choose any day they want to take off instead of the Confederate Memorial Day currently enshrined as a paid holiday in state law. However, the House sent the bill to a committee where it died without a hearing when the Legislature adjourned for the session.

At the same time, many of these Republican-led areas have advanced bills limiting what can be taught about systematic racism in classrooms, while also spiking proposals aimed at expanding voting rights and police reform.

This year, nearly 20 states are expected to close state offices and give most of their public employees time off. At least six states officially adopted the holiday over the past few months, including Connecticut, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, South Dakota, Utah and Washington. A bill introduced in California passed the Assembly and moved to the Senate this month, and individual cities such as Los Angeles have already signed proclamations making Juneteenth official.

“Becoming a state holiday will not merely give employees a day off, it will also give residents a day to think about the future that we want, while remembering the inequities of the past,” said Democratic Del. Andrea Harrison, who sponsored the Juneteenth legislation in Maryland this year. “It will help us to reflect how far we’ve come as a nation, how much more we need to do as humankind.”
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Re: States that celebrate (or don't try) Juneteenth
Posted by: graylocks
Date: June 17, 2022 12:36PM
It took a number of years for all the states to recognize MLK Day.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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