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Illinois Dems want Obama to be honored with state holiday



Barack Obama announced his intention to run for president Feb 10, 2007 in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Democrats Andre Thapedi, Thaddeus Jones, Rita Mayfield and Arthur Turner want to declare August 4th as a state holiday to celebrate President Barack Obama's birthday. Obama, who was born in Hawaii, left his adopted home Chicago for the White House in 2009.

The four House members introduced the legislation this week in anticipation of President Obama's return to Springfield next week, and days before Illinois native Ronald Reagan's 105th birthday.

"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," the text for HB 4654 says. 

The only president thus far that was actually born in Illinois is Ronald Reagan, on February 6th, 1911. His birthday has not been suggested in the legislature to be a state holiday. Even an effort by former State Senator Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) to include a statue of the Republican hero among those at the State Capitol fell on deaf ears in the Democrat-controlled state legislature. 

Currently, the Capitol features prominent statues of Lincoln and Grant, two other Illinois-related presidents, but no recognition of Ronald Reagan.

SR 1242 requested that the Capitol architect locate a place on Capitol grounds to display a statue that would have been privately funded. 

“We are keenly aware of the state’s fiscal condition, which is why we want to emphasize the need to raise private funds for this Reagan memorial at the Capitol,” LaHood said at the time. “Let me make it abundantly clear that this Reagan tribute will not be funded by any taxpayer monies.”

LaHood's legislation was not heard in committee, brought to a vote, or moved in any way.

President Obama will return to Springfield February 10 to mark nine years since Obama's 2007 announcement as a candidate for president on the steps of the Old State Capitol.


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  1. We might as well include Ronald Reagan in for a state holiday, his birthday is Saturday. Maybe we could add 365 state holidays and just eliminate working.
    With all do respect to Mr OBAMA, another paid holiday will only cost tax payers millions of dollars. Perhaps a fitting legacy as many believe his presidency has cost us billions of dollars of debt, deficit, and lost freedoms.
    I would start eliminating a few paid holidayscas we cannot afford them. We are becoming Greece, that is bankrupt. These lawmakers should be thrown out if office and run out if town. There is no money, why do they not get it?
    Happy Birthday.