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Connecticut House passes bill to make Juneteenth a state holiday

Jessica Hill
The Connecticut state Assembly

Connecticut lawmakers voted nearly unanimously to make Juneteenth an official state holiday.

The House passed legislation Wednesday to establish June 19 as the 13 state holiday by a vote of 148 to 1.

Juneteenth commemorates the day in which the last African-Americans were freed from slavery in 1865.

The vote did not come without a bit of controversy from Kimberly Fiorello.

The Greenwich GOP state Representative did vote in favor of the holiday, yet she made comments that touched on how the day was more of an American story and not a Black one.

That drew a strong rebuke from New Haven Representative Robyn Porter and Stamford Representative Corey Pavis, who are both Democrats.

State Representative Gale Mastrofranchesko of Wolcott voted against the bill after raising concerns about the estimated price tag of $1.8 million to $2.3 million to give state employees the day off.

The bill now heads to Governor Ned Lamont’s desk for a review and signature.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.