Former President Obama did accomplish many things during his two term presidency, but was it important enough to have a holiday made for him?
During his birthday this year, Governor Bruce Rauner made it known that August 4th would be recognized as “Barack Obama Day” all across the state of Illinois. The holiday will be celebrated on the former President’s birthday starting in 2018.
Senate Bill 55 reads the following regarding the holiday:
“[The holiday will be] 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 dedicating his life to protecting the rights of Americans and building bridges across communities.”
Sen. Emil Jones III introduced SB 55 which many lawmakers simply didn’t vote on, allowing it to pass both houses without a single vote against. Jones’ father, former Senate President Jones, Jr., helped launch the Obama into the U.S. Senate in 2004. The day will be just like several other days including Ronald Reagan Day, Adlai Stevenson Day, and Jane Addams Day.
Keeping it a state day is fine seeing as it respects a United States President, but Democrats are also trying to make his birthday a legal state holiday which closes schools and state offices. However, concerns have been voiced seeing as former officials, such as Ronald Reagan, has not gotten the same thing.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said in February that while they want to celebrate where Obama came from, giving him a state holiday wouldn’t be cost effective:
“It’s incredibly proud for Illinois that the president came from Illinois. I think it’s awesome, and I think we should celebrate it. 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.”
Do you think Obama deserves a state holiday where everything is forced to close? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Credit: NBC Chicago