Critical Thinking: Lee-Jackson Day

A quick update from today. Among other things heard on the floor, we discussed whether or not to replace Lee-Jackson Day with Election Day as a state holiday. This would allow schools to be closed, make it safer for students and allow easier access to the polls for our state employees.

Earlier in the session, I supported a bill, SB176, which required schools to close on Election Day because I thought it was a good safety initiative. When the bill to change the holiday was discussed in subcommittee, there was compelling testimony to move the holiday and little or none against it. There was compelling testimony in subcommittee of how school closures protected students. When I came to the floor, I first supported the bill in an effort to remain consistent with my previous vote. After SB176 was killed in committee despite my vote, SB601 was the remaining alternative. But, after hearing testimony from one of my fellow Senator’s, Senator Peake, about the value of appreciating and valuing our history, I changed my vote to NAY. I wanted to make sure you were kept in the know on how the vote transpired and kept informed of how my thought process unfolded.

I believe that it is best to preserve our history. I have consistently supported protecting our monuments and will continue to do so. Having our schools closed on Election Day is a good decision for school safety, and I support legislation to accomplish that goal.

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