Bill Analysis and Fiscal Impact
of the proposed Repair Florida's Legal Holidays Bill
DRAFT BILL PROPOSAL ANALYSIS AND FISCAL IMPACT STATEMENT
SUBJECT: Legal holidays (FS 683.01 S1)
BILL: Repair Legal Holidays of Confederates and Colonizers
PROPOSED BY: The Green Party of Florida
DATE: July 30, 2020 (Revised August 30, 2020)
The proposed bill provides for the correction in Florida Statutes of five official legal state holidays that celebrate exploitative colonizers and supporters of Confederate slavery. Five holidays will be renamed for historical accuracy. These holidays will be refocused on populations and persons that these events have affected who exemplify the courage that has been required for a united democracy.
The bill provides for renaming and refocusing of five legal holidays without date change:
683.01 S1 Legal holidays.—
(d) Birthday of Robert E. Lee to John Lewis Advance Voting Rights Day, January 19.
The Honorable U.S. Representative John Lewis was a civilian general who fought for a united democracy through courageous nonviolent actions defending constitutional rights in the civil rights movement of the latter half of the twentieth century. He became a tireless legislator who worked for all people and against disenfranchisement at the ballot box. John Lewis Voting Rights Day will serve as an annual opportunity for Florida citizens, schools and communities to gather in education, planning and perpetuating the democratic and civil rights ideals enshrined in our nation’s constitution. It is a day to celebrate the brave Congressman John Lewis, who often spoke about the vote being, “the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union.”
(i) Pascua Florida Day to Pascua Florida Indigenous Peoples’ of Florida Day, April 2.
Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in these lands inhabited by indigenous tribes renaming it Pascua Florida, Feast of Flowers. He brought disadvantaged Spanish as foot-soldiers for the economic conquest of the islands and of Florida. The experience of most immigrants, slaves and native peoples was one of hardship, disease, war and even extinction. Their fortitude helped shape our beginning. On Pascua Florida and Indigenous Peoples’ of Florida Day, the Governor of Florida may annually issue a proclamation designating April 2 as our state day and designating the week preceding or following as “Pascua Florida and Indigenous Peoples’ of Florida Week” calling on public schools and citizens to recognize and include indigenous tribes of Florida, early immigrants, slaves and persons of color who shaped events in the preColumbian and early history of Florida.
(j) Confederate Memorial Day to Slave Ancestors Day, April 26.
Revisionist history incorrectly omits slavery as a principal issue of the American Civil War. Reunited in solemn remembrance, Florida citizens will commemorate the millions of slaves whose strength and endurance, under untold hardships, built the foundations of our state and prosperous nation on Slave Ancestors Day.
(l) Birthday of Jefferson Davis to Juneteenth Month Jubilee, June 3.
Floridians will begin the month-long jubilee of Juneteenth, long also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, to celebrate the joyful time when, across our state and country, location by location, day by glorious day, the last of the enslaved peoples in America received official notice of their inalienable right of freedom reuniting America in liberty for all.
(p) Columbus Day and Farmers’ Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Small Farmers’ Day, second Monday in October.
The legal holiday will recognize the Columbian Exchange, a pivotal event in the history of our nation. The indigenous peoples of the Americas suffered terrible harm even to the extinction of many tribes from European colonization. Indigenous Peoples’ Day has been an officially recognized legal holiday in countless communities, cities and states across the nation for over thirty years. The holiday will honor Native American peoples, their history, heritage, cultures and contributions to our continent, country and state. Sovereign First Nations, indigenous Florida tribes, immigrants and small farmers over the centuries have helped shape the bountiful landscape of Florida and America from sea to sea, an invaluable heritage for our posterity.
The present situation in our state and nation recognizes the exigency for removal of supporters of slavery and colonial exploitation from public celebration and commemoration for domestic tranquility and the general welfare of our citizens, for the accurate recording of the history of our state and nation, and for upholding the inalienable rights of all persons.
No existing official legal state holiday dates will change, so no fiscal impact is expected.
This bill will rectify state legal holidays to redress years of historical omission. The bill will promote historical accuracy, commemoration and remembrance of events and individuals affected which exemplify the courage that has been required for a united democracy.