Declaration of Juneteenth holiday sparks scramble in states

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Congress and President Joe Biden acted with unusual swiftness this week in approving Juneteenth as a national holiday. That sent many states scrambling to clarify their policies on the celebration of slavery’s end. States have been slow to move beyond proclamations by governors or resolutions passed by lawmakers to formally recognize the date as a paid holiday. This year alone, Juneteenth bills hit roadblocks in Florida, Maryland, Ohio and South Dakota. Some states automatically recognize all federal holidays but have not formally recognized Juneteenth. At least seven states have designated it an official paid state holiday.