According to the CBS 12 in Providence, Providence is looking to give their city workers a paid day off for Juneteenth, a holiday honoring the end of slavery, but there is pushback beng received from some of their city council member.
Juneteenth, the shortened name for June 19th, is the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to ensure slaves were freed.
The council finance committee on Tuesday discussed adding Juneteenth to the list of paid holidays for Providence city employees, including police, fire, communications, and union workers. Community members have been calling for the city to make June 19th a holiday for more than a year following the events of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. Many companies have already offered the day to the list of the paid holidays for workers, but some committee members took issue with the cost associated with adding another paid holiday.
“It’s an outright request to inflate our budget,” Jo-Ann Ryan, chairwoman of the council finance committee, said. City Treasurer, Jim Lombardi also stated that the issue lies with the cost of workers not coming in. Lombardi and Ryan estimated adding another paid holiday would cost approximately $460,000 with a possibility for the cost to increase.
There is no clear indication if the holiday will be worked out for June 19th of this year, which takes place next Saturday. If it is to pass before next Saturday, the paid holiday would be conducted on Friday the 18th.