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Juneteenth

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An emotional debate over a new state holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States took place in the Connecticut House of Representatives. Black legislators spoke Wednesday about the racial intolerance they’ve seen in their lives and the importance of “Juneteenth,” or June 19th, as a holiday to Black people. The bill passed in the House 148-1 on Wednesday night, after clearing the Senate 30-1 a day earlier. It now heads to Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, who will likely sign it.  Rep. Anthony Nolan of New London, who is Black, said the legislation means more than a holiday, representing freedom for Black people that has been delayed.

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Connecticut lawmakers have wrapped up the 2022 legislative session. They spent the final hours advancing bills to Gov. Ned Lamont that address juvenile crime, make changes to the state’s new recreational cannabis law and recognize Juneteenth Independence Day as an official state holiday. While hundreds of bills were expected to die on the vine, per usual, many of the major bills of the three-month-long session have already cleared the Democratic controlled General Assembly. The list includes one of the first abortion rights bills to pass in years and a revised one-year $24.2 billion budget that benefits from the state’s best fiscal figures in decades.

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Tennessee lawmakers have finished their annual legislative session after tackling topics ranging from tax cuts and Tennessee Titans stadium funding to restrictions on transgender athletes and scrutiny of school libraries. Lawmakers have sent Republican Gov. Bill Lee plenty of bills to consider, though he has never vetoed anything as governor. He has already signed some this year. Others have become law without his signature. Lawmakers passed a $52.8 billion budget, Lee's new public school funding formula, campaign finance reforms, criminal penalties on homeless camps, additional limits on COVID-19 safety measures and more. The Republican-supermajority Legislature began its election-year lawmaking session in January.

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