After Juneteenth confusion, Utah lawmaker to tweak her own bill

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Posted at 7:58 PM, Jun 19, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — Representative Sandra Hollins was happy to see Juneteenth celebrated and marked in Utah with a state holiday.

But she's already planning to change her bill after confusion and criticism was leveled at the Utah State Legislature for meeting on Wednesday, the federal holiday that Juneteenth is observed. Her bill required the nearest Monday to Juneteenth to be the day the state recognized it.

"It was my bill that set it as a Monday and the thought was it would give us a three day weekend," Rep. Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, told FOX 13 News on Wednesday. "Which is a good thing and that would give us three days to celebrate. What I did not realize was the mass confusion that it would cause individuals. So this next session, in the 2025 session I have opened a bill file to clarify and bring it in line with the federal holiday."

Rep. Hollins, who is the Utah State Legislature's only Black lawmaker, said it is not the legislature's fault. Utah has already observed Juneteenth and government was closed. But she said she will move the Juneteenth observation for Utah to match the federal holiday.