Cuomo signs executive order, makes Juneteenth state holiday

Cuomo signs executive order, makes Juneteenth state holiday

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has signed an executive order that recognizes juneteenth as a public holiday for state employees to commemorate the emancipation of slave trade in the United States.

The governor also said that he would propose a legislation that makes Juneteenth an official state holiday. 

Disclosing this in a press briefing on Wednesday, Cuomo said, "Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of slavery in the United States. It is a day that we should all reflect upon. It's a day that's especially relevant in this moment and history," Cuomo said. 

"I'm going to sign an executive order today recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees, and I'm going to propose legislation for next year making it an official state holiday," he added.

The governor’s announcement came following weeks of protests over the death of an unarmed African-American man, George Floyd who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. 

The announcement came a week after New York Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman, a Democrat, introduced a bill seeking Juneteenth to be declared a public holiday to commemorate black and African-American freedom and achievements.

New York is the latest states to declare Juneteenth a public holiday. Many other states already observe Juneteenth holiday. 

Earlier this week, Virginia governor, Ralph Shearer Northam proposed making Juneteenth a state holiday.

"It's time we elevate this. Not just a celebration by and for some Virginians but one acknowledged and celebrated by all of us." said Northam on Tuesday.

Juneteenth is a combination of June and 19, the day that marks end of slavery in America. The day has its historical root in Texas, which is the first state to declare it a public holiday in 1980, and it is mostly celebrated by African Americans in the United States.