Illinois the home state of former President Barack Obama commemorated his birthday under a new state law.
The bill marking Aug. 4 as “Barack Obama Day” throughout the state was enacted without making the date a full-scale holiday.
The Illinois House narrowly rejected a plan to make Obama’s birthday a state holiday amid worries that the cash-strapped state could not afford to give state state employees another paid day off.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 4, 2018
The law hailed Obama’s efforts to protect the rights of Americans and build “bridges across communities.”
“It’s incredibly proud for Illinois that the president came from Illinois. I think it’s awesome, and I think we should celebrate it,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said in signing the measure into law, according to TheHill. “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.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, wished Obama a happy birthday on Twitter, saying “57 never looked so good,” according to the publication.
Former first lady Michelle Obama also wished her husband a happy birthday on Twitter, saying, “The view is always better with you.”
Illinois, California and Wisconsin celebrate Ronald Reagan Day every Feb. 6 in honor of the late Republican president’s birthday, USA Today reported.
An Obama spokeswoman said Obama plans to celebrate his birthday with a family dinner in Washington on Saturday night, according to the paper.