Nevada Legislature bill would recognize Juneteenth Day as state holiday

Nevada state legislature image
Nevada state legislature image
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:33 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Nevada Legislature is considering a bill that, if passed, would make Juneteenth Day an officially recognized holiday in the state.

AB140 would change Juneteenth to a legal holiday rather than a day of observance.

With some exceptions, all state, county, and city offices, courts, public schools and the Nevada System of Higher Education would close on June 19 in observance of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth is the celebration of the abolition of slavery in the United States, after the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865.

In a work session Wednesday, the bill was amended to change the observance of Juneteenth to “the Monday following June 19 if it is a Sunday, or the Friday preceding June 19 if it is a Saturday.”

Currently, Nevada has 11 legal holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Washington’s birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day Nevada Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Family Day (Friday after Thanksgiving), and Christmas Day. Juneteenth Day would be the 12th legal holiday for the state of Nevada.

In a fiscal note on the bill, it is estimated the personnel services cost if passed would be $482,924 for the 2023-2024 fiscal year as payment for holiday premium pay for state workers.

In support for the bill, Jyoti Chopra, CPISO for MGM Resorts International, submitted a letter to the assembly stating the organization’s encouragement for the bill’s passage.

“By elevating Juneteenth Day to a legal state holiday, passage of Assembly Bill 140 would provide an important opportunity to reflect on the past, create hope for the future, and send a powerful and enduring message that -- as we continue our unwavering duty as Americans to form a more perfect union -- Nevada recognizes there is no greater promise than freedom, justice, and equality for all,” she wrote.

If passed, the bill would go into effect immediately.