ALABAMA (WKRG) — A bill was introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives Monday that would make Juneteenth a permanent state holiday.

Juandalynn Givan, a Democratic member who represents Jefferson County in the AHR, introduced bill HB427. The bill was read for the first time in the House of Origin Wednesday.

On June 19, 1865, the last enslaved Black Americans were freed in Texas. Those freed celebrated being released from bondage on June 19, therefore, Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19 every year.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey authorized Juneteenth as a holiday for state workers in 2022. This new bill would make Juneteenth a permanent state holiday.

In 2021, President Joe Biden signed bipartisan legislation that established Juneteenth as a Federal holiday. In the proclamation given by President Biden on the 2022 Juneteenth Day of Observance, Biden said, “On Juneteenth, we remember our extraordinary capacity to heal, to hope, and to emerge from our worst moments as a stronger, freer, and more just Nation.”

Givan told WKRG News 5 she is hopeful about this bill.

“I think it would be great to acknowledge Juneteenth in the state of Alabama,” said Givan. “This could be part of Governor Kay Ivey’s legacy.”

As of June 2022, 21 states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday. All state government offices and schools are closed on state holidays.