Northport City Council tables vote on Juneteenth holiday

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Johnson

The Northport City Council deferred voting to grant city workers a Juneteenth holiday in a special administrative meeting Monday night.

Council members Christy Bobo and John Hinton spoke out in favor to push back the vote on the holiday.

They said the holiday would cost the city almost $250,000 if budgeted into the 2023 fiscal year.

“It’s not in our budget this year and it’s not an essential or an emergency function that has to be taken care of right now,” said Hinton, who represents District 3.

The council proposed Juneteenth could serve as a floating holiday, which would allow workers eight hours of holiday pay to use on any holiday they choose.

The vote to acknowledge the now federal holiday will be revisited in September.

Observed on June 19, Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States in 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed enslaved Black people there that they were free.

While President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed those enslaved in the Confederate States in January 1863, slavery did not formally end until the passage of the 13th Amendment in December 1865.

The holiday gained federal recognition last year.

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