DENVER — The Colorado legislature voted to designate Juneteenth as an official state holiday Monday, sending the proposal to Gov. Jared Polis for its final approval.
The state House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 139 recognizing the holiday in a 61-2 vote. The bill received substantial bipartisan support — previously passing the state Senate in a 32-1 vote last month — though all three lawmakers who voted against the bill are Republicans.
> Video above: Commentary: The historical significance of Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday
“This is not a partisan issue. This is an American issue,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “We have to reckon with our very tough past of slavery and what this country was built upon. But we also have to honor the freedoms that have come and the liberation that is here.”
Herod led the bill with two other Black lawmakers: Aurora Democrat Sen. Janet Buckner and Denver Democrat Sen. James Coleman.
Video below: Denver celebrates Juneteenth with annual parade, aired in June 2021:
RELATED: What is Juneteenth?
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