Northam plans to propose legislation to make Juneteenth a state holiday


Gov. Ralph Northam (D) speaks during coronavirus briefing.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Tuesday that he will propose legislation to make Juneteenth, a celebration observed on June 19 commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, be recognized as a paid state holiday during a press conference alongside Virginia native Pharrell Williams.

A release on Tuesday from the governor’s office teased an announcement with the singer, producer and entrepreneur. A person briefed on the decision told 8News about Northam’s plans ahead of the press conference.

8News was informed that Northam planned to make the announcement with Pharrell and black leaders in Virginia, but did not provide details on whether the governor plans to sign an executive order or if the General Assembly would need to pass a resolution making Juneteenth a state holiday.

Pharrell made headlines last week after proposing to have Black Lives Matter painted down on Virginia Beach’s oceanfront boardwalk on social media. Following Pharrell’s Instagram post, Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said he and his staff were discussing the option of getting the artwork done.


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