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The House unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would allow prosecutors to charge organized shoplifting as a felony. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, targets organized theft rings that steal items, such as iPods or baby formula, to later sell on the black market. "This will not affect someone who shoplifts a candy bar," Ray said. "This will affect people who steal on a massive level and try to sell it later." Next step: goes to Senate floor for vote.

- Dustin Gardiner

moves to a Senate Committee for debate.

- Matt Canham

New holiday

The House passed a bill Tuesday creating a state holiday commemorating the freeing of the slaves following the Civil War.

Representatives voted 44 to 24 to create Juneteenth Independence Day, which would be observed on the third Saturday in June each year.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger read the proclamation freeing slaves in Galveston, Texas.

The holiday is observed nationally.

Next Step: to a Senate Committee for debate

- Matt Canham

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