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Juneteenth would become a paid holiday for California state workers under new proposal

Sacramento Bee logo Sacramento Bee 1/17/2022 Wes Venteicher, The Sacramento Bee

Jan. 17—Juneteenth could become a California state holiday under a new proposal from Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles.

Jones-Sawyer on Friday introduced the proposal, which would give state workers a 12th paid holiday. California has recognized Juneteenth as a holiday since 2003, but hasn't given state workers the day off.

The holiday would fall on June 19, the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas learned they had been freed.

"We really should celebrate how great this country is in knowing it made a mistake in the form of slavery, but most important, it rectified it," Jones-Sawyer said.

If the proposal receives approval in the Legislature and from Gov. Gavin Newsom, it would take effect in 2023, according to Jones-Sawyer's office.

Juneteenth became a federal holiday last year, after President Joseph Biden issued a proclamation making it so on June 18.

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