Senate District 19
Andrew O. Brenner
Senate Passes Brenner, Craig Bill Establishing Juneteenth as a Legal Holiday
December 2, 2020

COLUMBUS—State Senators Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) and Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) announced today the Senate passed Senate Bill 334, which would declare Juneteenth a paid, state holiday in Ohio. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when slaves in Galveston, Texas were told they were free, marking the official end of slavery in the United States.

"Ohioans need a time to come together to recognize and reflect on Juneteenth," Brenner said. "We owe it to future generations to remind them that we were once a nation deeply divided, and landmark the moments where we began to come together as one."

There has been a nationwide call to recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday to memorialize this crucial step towards racial equality, and other states such as New York and Virginia are moving to make it a state holiday. Although recognized in 47 states including Ohio, Texas is currently the only state where Juneteenth is a state paid holiday.

"We cannot lose sight of how far racial equity has come and how long the road is ahead for racial justice. Ohio has a history of Black empowerment and I am heartened by the passage of Senate Bill 334 by the Ohio Senate," Craig said. "By declaring Juneteenth a paid state holiday, we can allow Ohioans to celebrate everyone’s independence and reflect on the spirit and hopes of American abolitionists, trailblazers, Reconstruction heroes and Civil Rights activists. I encourage my colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass this legislation so it can be signed by Governor DeWine before the end of the year.”
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