State government of Illinois appointed a holiday in the name of the former President Barack Obama.
Reportedly, August 4th will be celebrated as “Barack Obama Day” starting this year, after Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law that gave the ex president his holiday.
The Senate Bill 55 stated that, the holiday “observed throughout the State as a day set apart to honor the 44th President of the United States of America who began his career serving the People of Illinois in both the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate, and dedicated his life to protecting the rights of Americans and building bridges across communities.”
According to a report from NBC : While several lawmakers abstained from voting on the measure, it passed both houses earlier this year without a single vote against.
The report stated that SB 55 was introduced by Sen. Emil Jones III, the son of former Senate President Emil Jones, Jr., who was one of the biggest supporters of Barack Obama’s campaign and considered himself to be the political “godfather” of the former president.
This holiday, joins the list of other commemorative holidays for which workplaces don’t close like “Adlai Stevenson Day”,” Ronald Reagan Day” and “Jane Addams Day”.
After it was pointed by some lawmakers that other Illinois presidents like Reagan have holidays during which schools and other state offices continue their work regularly, Democrats didn’t got their wish to make Obama’s birthday a legal state holiday that will seize all activity in the state in appreciation to their icon.
Rauner and some other Republicans also brought to attention the fact that closing all state buildings for a day would come at a great economic cost.
Rauner said last February : “It’s incredibly proud for Illinois that the president came from Illinois. I think it’s awesome, and I think we should celebrate it.”
However, he expressed his belief saying “I don’t think it should be a formal holiday with paid, forced time off, but I think it should be a day of acknowledgment and celebration.”
Another vote from legislators last July also gave Obama his own part of a Chicago-area. Namely, they labeled the stretch of Interstate 55 from the Tri-State Tollway south to mile marker 202 near Pontiac as the “Barack Obama Presidential Expressway.”