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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: October 6, 2021 02:47 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Removing Columbus Day as a Holiday and Replacing it with an Election Day Holiday
According to the newly released National Monument Audit, Christopher Columbus is the individual most memorialized by monuments who never stepped foot on what is now the United States of America mainland (let alone on the tribal lands of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Lenape, Shawnee and Susquehannock peoples on which our great commonwealth exists). In fact, out of the 50,000 monuments documented in this report, Harriet Tubman who ranks #24 spent more time in Pennsylvania than even its founder, William Penn (ranked #40).
Monuments aside, we have arrived at a time when more people have come to acknowledge the simple fact that we need no longer celebrate a man who got lost in search of a place on behalf of Spain that had already been discovered by other people at least 21,000 years ago.
A more broadly embraced choice that is both deeply symbolic and highly practical, would be to repurpose this day to honor our commonwealth as the home of modern democracy by making Election Day an official holiday.
So, let us boldly and unapologetically use our collective authority as state legislators to provide even greater opportunity for hard-working Pennsylvanians across our commonwealth to exercise the sacrosanct right to vote.


Document #1

Introduced as HB2112

Description: The first bill removes references to Columbus Day in the Banking Code of 1965 (P.L. 847, No. 356) and repeals the act of August 13, 1963 (P.L. 660, No. 345), which currently provides for the observance of October 12 of each year as Columbus Day(Formerly HB 2338).

Document #2

Introduced as HB2113

Description: The second bill removes references to Columbus Day in the Legal Holiday Law of 1893 (P.L. 188, No. 138)(Formerly HB 2339).

Document #3

Introduced as HB2114

Description: The third bill would require that the governor issue an annual proclamation designating Election Day as a legal holiday and stipulate that public employers, private employers, and public-school entities may provide employees sufficient time to exercise their right to vote on Election Day (Formerly HB 2340).