Elorza Makes Juneteenth Paid Holiday for City of Providence Employees

Andrew Cummings
June 16, 2021

Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who dropped his previous objection to the bill.

Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, welcomed the bill's passage on Tuesday in a tweet noting that Juneteenth was already a Texas state holiday. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, passed by unanimous consent. It is expected to easily pass the House, which would send it to President Joe Biden for his signature.

The recognition of Juneteenth as a legal holiday comes amid a broader national reckoning on race and the racism that helped shape America. It has been a state holiday in Texas for 40 years, and at this time another 46 states and the District of Columbia celebrate it in some way on the state level.

The Cornyn-backed bill was first introduced in the Senate in 2020 following nationwide protests against racial injustice after the death of George Floyd.


"While it still seems odd that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter", he said.

"While it still seems unusual that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter", Johnson said.

This year, the bill gained more Republican support and Johnson dropped his objections. "They attempted to pass the bill without debate or amendment process".

"I support celebrating the end of slavery, emancipation", Johnson told the Huffington Post.


"While it still seems odd that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is not required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter", he added.

Juneteenth marks the day on 19 June 1865 when enslaved black people in Texas learned they had been freed. "Therefore, I do not intend to object", Johnson said in a statement before Tuesday's vote.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has officially declared Juneteenth an official paid holiday for city employees. All 50 states except South Dakota honor and celebrate Juneteenth as a holiday.


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