ORLANDO, Fla. — On Wednesday, Congress approved a bill that would make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
Channel 9 sat down with State Rep. Geraldine Thompson to talk about the holiday.
“It means freedom,” Thompson said. “It means we are closer to a journey where we are all treated equal.”
The bill passed the Senate unanimously, but 14 House Republicans voted against it.
“I know that there were some concerns about federal offices being closed, banks, post offices, any federal building would be closed and the cost of that,” Thompson said.
Although it’s a federal holiday, it is still up to each state to make it a state holiday. Florida lawmakers will make that decision in the next legislative session.
“Juneteenth has been one of those optional holidays since 1994 and because people didn’t really learn about Juneteenth even though it’s been celebrated since 1865 they did not necessarily take advantage of that,” Thompson said.