Governor declares June 16 a legal holiday in Connecticut – NBC Connecticut
Governor Ned Lamont on Friday signed legislation declaring June 19 a legal holiday beginning next year.
Juneteenth Independence Day occurs on June 19 each year – it’s the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, according to the governor’s office.
“June 19 marks an important day in our country that for far too long has been under-recognized and not truly appreciated to the point where it should be as an important part of United States history. United,” Lamont said. “As some elected officials in other states work to block efforts to teach our nation’s true history, it fills me with pride that here in Connecticut, we are embracing that history and working to educate everyone. about how our nation was built and the significance of what this day means.”
The law will not go into effect until October 1, 2022. This means that the first time June 19 will be legally recognized as a public holiday in Connecticut will be in 2023.
The governor said the decision to close schools on June 16 will be made by each school district. Lamont’s office said each local and regional school board that remains open will be required to provide an “appropriate educational program” to observe the holiday.
“I firmly believe that ignoring the reality of slavery and the impact it had on the United States for many, many decades after it was banned is unfair and does not benefit anyone, of any race or ethnicity. Honoring and celebrating June 19 is a reaffirmation that a democratic society is not great because it is the ideal way to govern people, but because people have the ability to correct the imperfections of government and to create a stronger, fairer and fairer future,” Lamont continued.
The legislation passed with near unanimous support in the General Assembly, with a vote of 148 to 1 in the House and 35 to 1 in the Senate.
“I especially want to thank the black members of the Connecticut General Assembly for working to move this bill forward through the legislature. I watched the debate in the House the day this bill passed, and it was without a doubt one of the most moving discussions I have seen in either House since a very long time,” the governor said.