Illinois House Defeats “Obama Day” Bill

AP Photo/Evan Vucci (file)

(AP) – Barack Obama’s name is revered in his home state. But the Illinois House has rejected making his birthday a state holiday.

Legislation to make the 44th president’s Aug. 4 birthday a state holiday fell six votes short of approval Tuesday. Chicago Democratic Rep. Sonya Harper says it would honor a man who adopted Chicago as his home and served in the Illinois State Senate.

“Just because of what he means to the state of Illinois. Just because of what he has done for this entire country,” Harper said.

But, Republican floor leader Steven Anderson of Geneva suggested it be honorary. Anderson said another state holiday with people staying home from work or school would cost the state millions of dollars.

“I’m not sure even (Obama) would want us spending money we don’t have,” Anderson said.

Anderson noted that Tampico native and 40th president Ronald Reagan’s Feb. 6th birthday isn’t a holiday.

Harper used a procedure allowing another vote later.

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