June 16 is not a public holiday in most states – Low Calorie Diets Tips

A year after June 16 became a federal holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States, most states are yet to enact public holidays on June 16.

When President Joe Biden introduced the holiday into federal law on June 17, 2021, only a handful of states had holidays on June 16 with paid time off for state employees: Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington .

At least eight other states have made June 16 a paid state holiday in the past year: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota.

Long celebrated in the black community as Freedom Day, Independence Day, or Emancipation Day, June 16 is a time for gatherings, picnics, concerts, and reflection. The introduction of federal and state public holidays ensures awareness of the painful history of the United States still unknown to many Americans, an annual assessment of racism in society, and celebrations of black culture, history, and achievements.

“It’s a matter of respect,” Lew Frederick, the Oregon state senator who unanimously passed the June 16 law, said in an interview. “We need to understand what our story is about and move on from there. It will raise our awareness of other issues related to the history of racism in this country.”

Juneteenth is the acronym for June 19, the day in 1865 when US Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and delivered General Order Number 3, which informed some 250,000 enslaved people in Texas that they were free . The handwritten order read in part: “All slaves are free. This implies an absolute equality of personal rights and property rights between former masters and slaves, and the link that hitherto existed between them becomes that between employer and hired worker.”

President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in states rebelling against the Union effective January 1, 1863, but Union troops did not reach the westernmost Confederate state for two and a half years to enforce the edict. In January 1865, Congress passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery nationwide. General Robert E. Lee surrendered the last major Confederate army in April, and the 13th Amendment was ratified the following December.

Texas was the first state to have an official holiday on June 16th in 1980. But it wasn’t until the racial bill sparked by the 2020 police killing of George Floyd gained momentum elsewhere for state and federal holidays on June 16.

Each state decides its own public holidays, and there is no centralized tracking of June 16 public holidays.

In some states, the cost of another state holiday has been cited as a barrier, as has a lack of awareness of June 16.

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In Connecticut, where only two lawmakers voted against making June 16 a paid holiday, Republican Gale Mastrofrancesco, a Republican, said in an interview, “My only objection is, it’s another paid holiday.” She added added that state employees can now accrue 46 paid days off a year — 15 vacation days, 15 sick days, three personal days, and now 13 vacation days.

“Nine weeks! I don’t see anyone in the private sector getting that much paid time off,” she said.

Connecticut State Senator Rob Sampson, a Republican and the other no voter, said in an interview, “June 16 is very important to me. Abraham Lincoln is the reason I became a Republican.”

But, he said, the extra leave is “a reach for us.” Lawmakers had just passed 2.5% annual pay rises for each of the four years and bonuses for state employees.

As senior members of the committee overseeing government administration, Mastrofrancesco and Sampson tried to persuade their Republican counterparts to vote against the holiday, but neither did.

“I contend they were wrong, and so were the Democrats,” Sampson said.

For some lawmakers, June 16 is particularly personal. In Connecticut, several state officials shared their experiences of racism and intimidation during an emotional three-hour debate.

“I was pulled in different ways depending on who was speaking,” Democratic Rep. Geraldo Reyes Jr., chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, who chaired the debate, said in an interview.

“I can understand the other side’s argument, but this isn’t just about dollars and cents,” he said. “This is part of the refund that has never been made to People of Color, which I believe everyone will benefit from.”

Several Connecticut lawmakers said they had never heard of June 16, Reyes said, and he himself only found out about it six or seven years ago when there was a local celebration.

In Oregon, during the June 16 holiday debate last year, 70-year-old Frederick spoke about his personal history in the civil rights movement in the South – he was first confronted with tear gas at a demonstration at the age of 8 – and showed pictures of generations of his family.

“A lot of what we’re doing is recognizing that Oregon started off on the wrong foot,” Frederick said state border. In the 1840s, Oregon’s provisional government passed black expulsion laws, prohibiting blacks from settling there. Oregon was admitted to the Union in 1859 with an exclusion clause for blacks, and was the only state to join as whites only.

Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Lee has included funding for a June 16 state holiday in his budget proposal for this year. The paid leave proposal died in the GOP-controlled legislature after Senator Joey Hensley, a Republican, said in a committee hearing in February he asked well over a hundred people in his district what June 16 was and only two of them knew.

“I just think it means putting the cart before the horse to go on a holiday that people don’t know about. We need to educate people first and then take vacations if needed,” Hensley said.

“It was really disappointing,” Tennessee State Senator Raumesh Akbari, a Democrat who sponsored the June 16 bill, said in an interview. “We consider that important enough to recognize it as a state.”

Although Tennessee will not have paid vacation for state employees, Nashville and Chattanooga are among dozens of cities across the country that have announced paid June holidays for city employees.

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The last new federal holiday was created in 1983, when President Ronald Reagan signed into law a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday; it is observed on the third Monday of January. The federal MLK birthday holiday was first celebrated nationwide in 1986, but it was not declared a state holiday in all federal states until 2000.

Some disagreement has arisen as to which states should commemorate Emancipation Day. The District of Columbia now has a paid holiday on April 15, District Emancipation Day, along with June 16.

In Florida, a June 16 holiday law died out after some historians argued that the state should honor Florida’s Emancipation Day instead. A union general read the Emancipation Proclamation in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865.

Other states recognize June 16 as a commemoration or memorial day, but are not public holidays and do not entitle state employees to paid time off. North Dakota was one of the last countries to recognize June 16, and in June 2021 adopted a ceremonial observance of June 16 rather than a state public holiday.

California has had a June 16th since 2003. A bill making June 16 a public holiday is pending before the legislature.

Several governors in states without a permanent June 16 holiday have used their executive power to declare a one-time paid vacation for state employees. Since June 16 falls on a Sunday this year, the holiday will be celebrated on the Friday before or the Monday after.

In both Alabama and Mississippi, the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. and the birthday of Confederate General Robert E. Lee are a joint paid public holiday. Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey declared June 20 a June 16 holiday for 2022 and closed all state offices.

West Virginia’s Republican Gov. Jim Justice made June 17 a paid state holiday this year to be observed on June 17.

And in North Carolina, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order on June 6 granting workers in cabinet agencies in the state government eight hours of personal observation leave to take on June 20 or any other day.

A June 16 holiday law failed in South Carolina, where May 10 Confederate Memorial Day is a state public holiday. A compromise that would have given state employees the choice of June 16, Confederate Memorial Day, or another paid day off did not come out of the committee at that session.

“June 16 is a very important day off, especially in South Carolina because it is the state that started the Civil War, shot at Fort Sumter and is the first state to secede,” said Sen. Darrell Jackson , a Democrat who supported the law. said in an interview.

“There are people like me who don’t feel comfortable celebrating Confederate Memorial Day. How could I?” said Jackson, who traces his family back five generations, including three generations of slaves.

“I’ll bring the bill back in soon,” he said, adding he hopes it will have a better chance when it’s not an election year and lawmakers who may have been hesitant to voice an opinion will feel freer to to do that .

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