PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A bill to officially mark Juneteenth, the day that on June 19, 1865, enslaved people in Galveston, Texas finally received word that the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln, has passed in the South Dakota House of Representatives Thursday.
The bill passed with a vote of 47 in favor, 21 against and 2 excused.
This year does not mark the first occasion on which the state legislature has seen this bill, though previous versions of the legislation had failed to make it through the legislature.
In 2020, Gov. Kristi Noem issued a proclamation recognizing the holiday, and in 2021, after President Joe Biden signed a bill making it a federal holiday, giving state employees the day off in honor of Juneteenth.
This year’s bill, introduced at the request of the state Bureau of Human Resources, cleared the House of Representatives on January 24, before going on to pass in the Senate House Affairs Committee.
Upon reaching the Senate, the bill was amended to clarify language and passed with a vote of 23-11. Due to the addition of the amendment, the bill was sent back to the House, where it was passed Thursday afternoon.
Having passed the legislature 23 days after its introduction, the bill will now head to the desk of Governor Kristi Noem to be signed into law.