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Gov. Kay Ivey Declares Juneteenth a State Holiday in Alabama for 2024


The State of the State address will be delivered by Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, in Montgomery, Alabama during the event.

According to a message that Governor Kay Ivey wrote to the heads of state departments on Monday, the day of Juneteenth will be recognized as a holiday for state employees.

In the memo, the state holidays for the remaining months of the year are listed. One of these holidays is Juneteenth, which is celebrated on June 19 and commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States.

On the dates listed above, all state offices will be closed, except those that are located in regions where it is absolutely necessary to keep workers. According to what Ivey wrote in the message that she penned, “If it is necessary for any employee to work on any of these holidays, they should be allowed time off as soon as possible after the holiday.”

Additional holidays include not only Thanksgiving Day but also the Friday following Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas and New Year’s Day. In addition, Thanksgiving Day is a holiday.

The communications director for Ivey, Gina Maiola, stated on Monday that the email did not mention all of the state holidays; however, the governor did add a couple of days, including Juneteenth and the day after Thanksgiving.

A measure that made Juneteenth a federal holiday was signed into law by President Joe Biden in the year 2021. However, it has been challenging to make the decision to make Juneteenth a state holiday in Alabama, which was the state in which 435,000 people, including men, women, and children, were held in slavery before to the Civil War.

A proposal that was changed to resemble House Bill 367, which was sponsored by Representative Chris Sells, Republican of Greenville, was approved by the Alabama House of Representatives in April. House Bill 4 was sponsored by Representative Juandalynn Givan, a Democrat from Birmingham.

The bill that was passed by the House of Representatives would have mandated that state employees take either Juneteenth off or Jefferson Davis’ Birthday on June 3, which is a statutory holiday that honors the former president of the Confederacy and slaveholder George Washington.

Additionally, the option was not included in the initial draft of Givan’s bill. Sells stated in an interview that employees already had thirteen holidays, and he did not want to add another day. As a result, his legislation would provide state employees with the choice to choose which of those holidays they would like to take off.

There was no vote on the bill in the Senate, hence it was not passed.

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