This year, for Barack Obama‘s birthday, the former president got his own state holiday.
On Friday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure into law designating Aug. 4 as “Barack Obama Day,” to celebrated across the state of Illinois starting in 2018.
According to Senate Bill 55, the holiday is to 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 passed without a single dissenting vote from both houses, though a few lawmakers abstained from voting on the measure during the vote earlier in the year.
While the measure was discussed as a possible paid holiday, several people noted that other presidents’ holidays are not paid days off, such as Reagan’s, and that there was an economic cost associated with a paid 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,” Rauner told reporters in February. “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.”