'Juneteenth' observance passes House | Prairie Public Broadcasting

'Juneteenth' observance passes House

Apr 7, 2021

The North Dakota House has voted in favor of the state observing “Juneteenth.”

The day is called that because on June 19th, 1865, slavery officially ended in Texas. And it is observed by 47 other states.

Rep. Austen Schauer (R-West Fargo) said this does not involve a mandatory day off for private of public employees.

"It is meant to bring unity to a sometimes, if not often, divided country," Schauer said.

Schauer said it is also meant as a day to condemn human trafficking.

"That's a modern form of slavery, where women and children are recruited with false claims, only to be exploited in the awful world of sex trafficking," Schauer said.

Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck) stood in opposition.

"The concern that I have  is that this is more of a movement in lines of being 'woke,'" Becker said. "It comes from the left."

The bill passed 70 to 22. It now goes to Gov. Doug Burgum’s desk.