Former President Barack Obama has been honored with his very own holiday in the state of Illinois.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law Friday a measure to designate August 4th as “Barack Obama Day.” The holiday will be celebrated on President Obama’s birthday, beginning in 2018.
Gov. Rauner praised the commemorative holiday but stopped short of making it a legal holiday. “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.”
Senate Bill 55 reads 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 dedicated his life to protecting the rights of Americans and building bridges across communities.”
The bill was introduced by Sen. Emil Jones III who helped launched Obama’s Senate campaign in 2004. Jones also considers himself to be Obama’s political godfather.