#Roommates, it’s only been 24 hours and many throughout the country are still celebrating President Biden officially signing the bill making Juneteenth a national holiday—however, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s decision surrounding the new law has sparked an online debate. Although he was legally required to sign the Georgia proclamation to acknowledge Juneteenth as a national holiday, Governor Brian Kemp also blocked making Juneteenth a paid holiday for all state employees.
While many Georgia residents already planned to take Friday before Juneteenth off from work following President Biden’s recent legislation signing declaring it a national holiday—if any residents are state employees, they will have to enjoy their day off without getting paid. @AJCNews reports, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp confirmed through an official spokesperson, that Juneteenth will not be a paid holiday for any state employees.
Kemp stated that his reasoning is due to Georgia state law only allowing state public offices to be closed on 12 public and legal holidays and the limit has already been reached. In response to the immediate backlash that ensued following Kemp’s decision, the ACLU of Georgia suggested that Juneteenth should be added to the list of the 12 public state holiday closures and instead remove the highly controversial Columbus Day.
You’ll recall that Brian Kemp recently drew even more intense criticism earlier this year when he decided to stop the state unemployment benefit payments at the end of June.
Those payments were initially approved last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but many out-of-work residents say that they still need the financial help because they have yet to return to work.
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