April 9, 2021 – Rep. Melanie Morgan’s (D-Parkland) bill to make Juneteenth a legal state holiday, HB 1016, passed on the Senate floor today with bipartisan support.
“I am so proud of the State of Washington. I asked my fellow legislators to pass this bill so that we can show the country that we are serious about equity in this state. Recognizing Juneteenth as a legal state holiday is a down payment towards racial reconciliation and healing. This is just a continuation of dismantling racism, just as when in 2020 the legislature passed the State Office of Equity to bring parity to communities of color. There is more work to be done and I am excited to bring more civil rights legislation to our legislature,” said Morgan.
“When I spoke before the Senate Committee on State Government & Elections on March 10, I stressed the impact of chattel slavery on those who were enslaved, and how it has impacted us today. I want to thank Senator T’wina Nobles for delivering that message and sharing my words so beautifully during final passage in the Senate,” Morgan continued. “Juneteenth is a recognition, a true acknowledgement, that chattel slavery happened in this country. This is how we begin to advocate for true racial equity and real inclusion.”
HB 1016, making Juneteenth a state holiday, now heads to the governor to be signed into law.
Rep. Morgan serves as both Deputy Majority Floor Leader and Chair of the Members of Color Caucus (MOCC). The MOCC seeks to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes and to provide equity, access, and opportunity for all communities of color, representing one-third of the House Democratic Caucus. Passing the Juneteenth bill was a legislative priority for the MOCC.