Lawmakers revive bills to fight racism, honor Juneteenth

State News

A woman holds up a sign during q protest, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in Cleveland. Racism would be declared a public health crisis in Ohio and the day celebrating the official end of slavery would become a paid state holiday under racial justice measures reintroduced Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, after unsuccessful efforts to pass them during the last legislative session. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Racism would be declared a public health crisis in Ohio and the day celebrating the official end of slavery would become a paid state holiday under racial justice measures reintroduced Tuesday.

The measures were originally introduced in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked nationwide protests in the summer.

Efforts to pass the measures last legislative session were unsuccessful.

Democratic Sen. Sandra Williams, a co-sponsor, said racism needs to be declared “a public health crisis to assure every Ohioan that the legislature is working to make Ohio a fairer, more equitable state.”

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