Craig and Brenner Introduce Bill to Make Juneteenth a Paid Holiday
June 29, 2020
An early celebration of Juneteenth in 1900.
State Senators Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) and Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) introduced today SB 334, which would declare Juneteenth a paid state holiday in Ohio.
“Even though Ohio already recognizes Juneteenth, it is important that workers across the state can have the day off to reflect on and celebrate the official ending of slavery in the United States,” said Craig. “Juneteenth was celebrated more widely across the country this year. By declaring it a state holiday, we hope this movement’s momentum will reverberate through generations to come.”
Juneteenth, which began as a Texas holiday in 1980, is currently recognized in 47 states, including Ohio. However, Texas is currently the only state where Juneteenth is a state paid holiday. SB 334, which has bipartisan support, would make June 19 a permanent state holiday for all Ohio government employees.
Recently, a federal movement to make Juneteenth a state holiday has gained bipartisan support in Congress, and the governors of several states, including New York and Virginia, have vowed to make Juneteenth a state holiday in their respective states.
“Juneteenth will be an annual reminder that although our policies for racial equality have come a long way, it is clear that we have much work to do to overcome the vestiges of systemic racism impacting our state and nation,” said Craig.