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.