Some state lawmakers want to swap one holiday for another. Monday was Columbus Day, and a pair of bills would get rid of Columbus Day and make Indigenous Peoples Day a state holiday instead.
“More and more residents are coming around to the idea that rather than celebrate the barbarous history of Columbus, we should instead celebrate the very real and present and positive history of native people here in Michigan,” says bill sponsor, Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor).
Another bill in the package would not only make Indigenous Peoples Day a state holiday, it would also make Election Day a state holiday. Bill sponsor, Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) says state employees would get the day off if Election Day is made a state holiday. She hopes the move would motivate other employers to give their employees time off to go vote.
“I think it’s something as we see more participation and encouragement, if we can do that from a state level on down, I would really encourage more employers to take advantage of it as well,” McMorrow says.