Illinois already has one president’s birthday as a state holiday, Abraham Lincoln. They moved a bill through the legislature to do the same thing for Barack Obama. Rep. Sonya Harper wrote the bill to honor what she considers to be one of the greatest presidents of all time, Barack Hussein Obama. The bill was proposed on January 20th, the day Obama left office and President Donald Trump took over.
Stating; “The fourth day of August of each year shall be a legal holiday to be known as Barack Obama’s Birthday to be observed as a day on which to hold appropriate exercises in commemoration of our illustrious President. When August fourth shall fall on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be held and considered the holiday,” the text of the bill states.
Thankfully the measure failed to pass the House by 6-votes, opponents of the bill cited economic issues in declaring another state holiday, which would cost the state $3.2 million in personnel expenses, with another $16 million in lost productivity.
Harper who sponsored the measure disagreed, saying “if nothing more, the stores have good sales on President’s Day and Washington Day.” She also said it is important to formally recognize the nation’s first African-American president.
I think Rep Harper made a mistake by pushing to make Obama’s birthday a holiday on August 4th. I’m sure the bill would have gotten much more support had the decided on the January 20th date to celebrate the day he was evicted from the White House. I know a lot of people who could support a bill like that. Wouldn’t you?