STAND. COM. REP. NO. 745

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 939

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Government Operations and Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 939 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO JUNETEENTH DAY,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish June 19 of each year as Juneteenth Day in recognition of the history and legacy of slavery in the United States and in honor of the significant roles and contributions of African Americans in the history of the United States.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, two members of the Honolulu City Council, one member of the Hawaii County Council, one member of the Kauai County Council, Common Cause Hawaii, Young Progressives Demanding Action, Punahou Black Student Union, Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawaii for Juneteenth Coalition, and nineteen individuals.

 

Your Committees find that Hawaii is one of only three states that have not recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday or special day of observance. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, was the day in 1865 that Union soldiers rode into Galveston, Texas, declaring the end of the Civil War and that all slaves were free. The holiday is a celebration of African American freedom and achievement, encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. Your Committees further find that as a state that prides itself on diversity and inclusivity, it is long overdue for the State to fully live out the Aloha spirit and stand with the forty-six states that have chosen to make Juneteenth an annual day of remembrance and celebration.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Government Operations and Ways and Means that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 939 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Government Operations and Ways and Means,

 

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DONOVAN M. DELA CRUZ, Chair

 

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SHARON MORIWAKI, Chair