Skip to main content

Hennepin County will make Juneteenth a "floating" holiday

The board's decision will not add a paid holiday for county employees.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to make Juneteenth an official holiday, but county employees won’t actually get an additional day off.

The board voted 4-3 to make June 19, Juneteenth, a “floating” holiday, meaning county employees can choose to take the day off in lieu of Christmas Eve. County employees can still take off Christmas Eve or use the floating holiday to take off another day of choice.

The decision would not add to the 11 paid holidays Hennepin County employees are currently allotted.

Commissioners Angela Conley, Marion Greene and Irene Fernando voted against the motion. They instead voiced support for making Juneteenth a new paid holiday for the county. But a motion to do so failed to receive majority support from the board.

Commissioners including Mike Opat of District 1 raised concerns over budget issues caused by adding another paid holiday.

“Budgets are moral decisions too, how you spend people’s money,” Opat said.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Conley argued making Juneteenth a paid holiday is important when the county also recognizes July 4 as a paid holiday.

“If you’re going to pay us for a holiday that is based on the freedom of American white folks from Britain, then think about the other people,” Conley said. “Think about the Black people who built the White House. Think about the Black people who built this country from the ground up.”

Juneteenth celebrates the anniversary of July 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. The holiday is celebrated across the country as a recognition of the end of slavery in America.

State leaders including Gov. Tim Walz and U.S. Sen. Tina Smith have also pushed to recognize Juneteenth as an official holiday.  

Next Up

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Minneapolis teen charged in carjacking, chase that left 2 dead

Two 16-year-olds died when the SUV they crashed in was split in half.


Minnesota woman who pointed gun at officer sentenced to 10 years in prison

The sheriff's deputy shot the woman multiple times in the incident.


Who left tires all over the road in Forest Lake?

Authorities said they would "love to chat" with the people responsible.


Ex-cop Kueng sentenced to 3½ years in prison in killing of George Floyd

Kueng pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in October.


Effort to support flu-stricken boy who spent his birthday on ventilator

The 10-year-old has been on a ventilator after complications followed.


What's the latest on next week's major snowstorm system?

The storm is coming. It's just a matter of where the biggest snow totals occur.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.01.44 PM

Twin Cities radio host Matt McNeil seriously injured in crash

A post on his social media account says he'll recover.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.48.55 PM

Marshalls in downtown Minneapolis to close its doors to shoppers

The company confirmed it will be open until mid-January.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 9.45.35 AM

Boys aged 12 and 14 arrested after fleeing police in stolen car

The two boys were charged with felony fleeing in a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property.


Heavy snow brings multiple crashes to southern Minnesota roads

The snowfall is expected to end sometime Friday morning.

Cheetah Pizza

Edina pizza joint quietly closes after 38 years

The restaurant was located at 5125 Edina Industrial Blvd.



Gov. Walz calls on MN Legislature to make Juneteenth a state holiday

June 19 marks the annual commemoration of the ending of slavery.

Hennepin County Government Center

Hennepin County could institute $20 minimum wage for county employees

The full Board of Commissioners will vote on the measure next week.

Hennepin County Government Center

Hennepin County slammed for treatment of sidelined clerical workers

This comes after the closure of libraries and service centers due to coronavirus.

Screen Shot 2021-03-11 at 8.07.13 AM

Hennepin County libraries eliminate late fees

Hennepin County Board commissioners said the move will increase accessibility.


Teen birth rate continues to plummet in Hennepin County

There were 339 teen births in Hennepin County in 2018.

Target store

Target makes Juneteenth an annual company holiday

Workers will be given either the day off or time-and-a-half pay.

covid, vaccine

Hennepin County approves $100,000 budget for vaccine incentives

The resolution will invest $100,000 in federal funding for the vaccine incentive program.