Pritzker 042621.jpg photo by Mark Harrington

Governor J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday signed legislation making Juneteenth an official Illinois Holiday. It will be recognized as National Freedom Day in Illinois on June 19th. The day marks the abolition of slavery in the United States in 1865. The holiday will now be considered a paid holiday for state workers when it falls on a weekday. The law goes into effect in 2022. Juneteenth falls on a Sunday that year, so the first paid state holiday will be in 2023.

Governor Prtizker says it brings him exceptional pride to declare Juneteenth as a state holiday, making Illinois one of the few states to give the holiday the full status it deserves.