Illinois makes 'Barack Obama Day' a state holiday

Former President Obama is being honored with a new state holiday in his former state of Illinois.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a measure Friday to make Aug. 4 “Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaLive coverage: Gillum clashes with DeSantis in Florida debate Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Republicans bail on Coffman to invest in Miami seat MORE Day” in the state, according to NBC Chicago. The holiday will be celebrated each year on Obama’s birthday beginning in 2018.

The day is “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.”

Senate Bill 55 was passed by both state houses with no votes against it.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rauner praised the idea behind the bill earlier this year after a previous version, which would have made the day a legal state holiday, failed. The new holiday is commemorative. 

"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 said at the time, according to NBC Chicago. "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."

Obama celebrated his 56th birthday on Friday, his first since leaving the White House. He and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaTrump rebukes Holder, Clinton with 'jobs not mobs' refrain Nikki Haley powerfully rebuts Trump Eric Trump calls out Holder on kicking comments: 'Who says this?' MORE were spotted at Rasika West End in Washington, D.C. celebrating.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBig Dem donors stick to sidelines as 2020 approaches Biden: American values being 'shredded' under Trump Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue MORE wished Obama happy birthday on Twitter Friday morning.

"Your service has been a great gift to the country, and your friendship and brotherhood are a great gift to me. Happy birthday, Barack," Biden tweeted.