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Brazil's parliamentary culture commission has approved the Projeto de Lei 296/15 which would convert the November 20, Dia Nacional da Consciência Negra, into a full-fledged annual non-working public holiday in Brazil.
The "Dia Nacional de Zumbi e da Consciência Negra", was made a national commemoration by the "nº 10.639, de janeiro de 2003", but leaves it up to each municipality and state to decide whether to declare it as a non-working public holiday. Currently, November 20, is already a non-working public holiday in around 300 of the main cities of Brazil, including São Paulo (SP), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Campinas (SP), Marabá (PA) and Vilhena (RO), and has been on the legislative roster many times over the years (2007-07-29, 2008-09-05, 2008-11-16, 2008-11-24, 2008-12-02, 2009-01-28).
In his last year in office (2009-11-22), Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, had promised that beginning in 2010, November 20th, Dia da Consciência Negra, would be a full-fledged national public holiday. But, nothing came of it.
A year later, Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff, signed into law the watered-down bill making November 20 a new annual national holiday in Brazil, commemorating the "Dia Nacional de Zumbi e da Consciência Negra". The aforementioned bill (Lei 12.519) had been put on the Senate's Social Affairs Committee (BAC) roster last fall (2010-09-14), approved in commission last spring (2011-03-24), and approved by the full Brazilian Senate last month (2011-10-21).
The aforementioned bill now moves to the Comissão de Constituição e Justiça e de Cidadania for consideration, where it is likely to die quietly as has been the case for many similar bills in the past.
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