Illinois will now recognize a new holiday. Governor JB Pritzker signed HB 3922, a bill that declares June 19th or Juneteenth as an Official state holiday. This holiday commemorates the abolition of slavery throughout the US and its territories in 1865. Juneteenth will be referred to as National Freedom Day in Illinois.
In commemoration of the event, and to recognize Juneteenth, all flags will be lowered to ½ staff, and a Juneteenth flag will fly over the State Capitol in Springfield. The legislation clarifies that Juneteenth will be a paid holiday for state workers and public education professionals when June 19th falls on a weekday.
State Senator Doris Turner spoke at the bill signing saying that this is something that she could not be prouder of.
Senator Turner says this is all something that she has worked hard in Springfield in both city hall and in the Capital.
Senator Turner became emotional thinking about how much this day has grown.
She says that she is so happy to see this as a National Holiday and thanked Governor Pritzker for being on the right side of history.
Many other politicians spoke at the signing including Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, Speaker of the House Chris Welch, and of course Governor Pritzker himself.