SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A bill is moving through the Illinois legislature to make Juneteenth a statewide holiday.
Juneteenth is observed each year on June 19. As History.com explains, the holiday recognizes the end of slavery in the United States and specifically marks the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Texas to ensure all enslaved people were freed.
As of Thursday, May 27, Senate Bill 1965 has passed both houses.
If signed into law, Juneteenth would be a paid holiday for state employees and would be a day off school. If June 19 were to fall on a Sunday, it would be observed on the following Monday.
Other states in the union that recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday for state workers are: Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Virginia.
According to the Illinois Bureau of Personnel, the following are recognized as state holidays in Illinois: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Lincoln's Birthday, Washington's Birthday (President's Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, General Election Day, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.