Alabama lawmaker to push for permanent Juneteenth state holiday again

Alabama lawmaker to push for permanent Juneteenth state holiday again

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – While Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021, and Gov. Kay Ivey proclaimed it a state holiday this year, Rep. Juandalynn Givan says something more concrete is needed – a law.

Her bill to solidify Juneteenth as a permanent state holiday got lost in the legislature this year.

“The gaming bill was an issue, of course the Birmingham-Southern situation,” Givan said. “There was a lot of tug of wars that were going on between both houses.”

That is why the lawmaker plans to bring it up again. She says she is optimistic it will pass in 2025.

The Democrat says many of her Republican colleagues have also shown support.

“Of course, for many of my colleagues, there’s not an appetite to add another holiday because I think we have 13 or 14 holidays on the books here in the State of Alabama,” Givan said.

A potential compromise has been made. State employees could have to choose between taking off on Juneteenth or Jefferson Davis’ birthday, which is also recognized in June.

Regardless of what happens, the state lawmaker says she just does not want history to be forgotten.

“We know about CRT here, and an attempt to strip Black History, but the realization is that those things do exist,” Givan said. “Slavery did exist.”

Alabama does have three Confederate-related state holidays which close state offices. Those include Confederate Memorial Day, Jefferson Davis’ birthday, and Robert E. Lee Day.

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