Craig Reintroduces Bill to Make Juneteenth a Paid Holiday
February 23, 2021
Today, state Senators Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) and Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) introduced legislation to declare Juneteenth a paid state holiday in Ohio. Senate Bill 78 is a reintroduction of Senate Bill 334 from the past General Assembly, which passed unanimously through the Senate.
“Juneteenth was celebrated more widely across the country in 2020. By declaring it a paid state holiday, I hope this renewed awareness and celebration of Black history will continue to increase in the years to come,” Craig said. “We still have a long way to go to achieve racial justice, but this bill will help us honor those who have paved the way to where we are today.”
Juneteenth, which began as a Texas holiday in 1980, is currently recognized in 47 states, including Ohio. However, Texas is the only state where Juneteenth is a state paid holiday. Last year, a federal movement to make Juneteenth a federal holiday 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.
“I was encouraged that the Senate passed this legislation last year, but we need to continue to work in the Ohio House to have it signed into law,” Craig said. “In doing so, we can position Ohio as a leader in the quest to honor Black history and the movement toward a more equitable world for all.”