South Carolina considers replacing Confederate Memorial Day
A bill giving state employees a floating holiday to replace Confederate Memorial Day is heading to the South Carolina Senate floor.
The bill started as a proposal to add the Juneteenth celebration on June 19 as a new state holiday. But instead of adding a 14th holiday, the members of the Senate Family and Veterans Services Committee voted Wednesday to create a holiday state employees could take any time they want.
To not spend any additional money, the bill would remove Confederate Memorial Day on May 10 from the holiday list. If employees want that day off, or Juneteenth, they would have to use the floating holiday.
"This kind of spreads out the holidays so everybody wouldn't be missing from the DMV on the same day," said committee chairwoman Katrina Shealy, a Republican from Lexington.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers told enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, they were free. It was two months after the Confederacy surrendered and more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The federal government made it an official holiday last year.