You likely missed it, but August 4 was Barack Obama Day in one state. The newly-established day is meant to recognize all of the “accomplishments” of the former President.
We will let you write your own joke there.
The day is being celebrated not in his home state of Hawaii, as you might expect. Rather, it is in Illinois, his adopted home state where he served as Senator before being elected to the White House.
The bill creating Barack Obama Day was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican. Before you call Rauner a RINO, however, it should be noted that the governor had very few choices, and avoided a PR disaster by signing the bill. The day is not a legal holiday, but a ceremonial one, so it doesn’t carry the weight of traditional legal holidays. It was signed into law on President Obama’s birthday, August 4, to become an annual day of note. Had Rauner refused to sign it, on the President’s birthday, it would have been portrayed as incredibly petty and vindictive by the media. There were no dissenting votes in the state legislature from either party to the bill.
Rauner, however, did manage to keep Barack Obama Day from becoming a legal holiday. That would have required all state employees to get the day off, and would have resulted in millions of dollars in lost productivity. Having thousands of government workers sitting around and doing nothing is actually a fitting tribute to the former President. If you think about it.
From now on, August 4 will be recognized every year as Barack Obama Day in the state of Illinois, so if you live there, you might want to start working on new traditions to mark the day.
“August 4th of each year is designated as Barack Obama Day, 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 states.
Legislators tried to pass “Obama Day” back in March but the legislation failed by just six votes in the House. That particular bill would have made the day a legal holiday and cost Illinois taxpayers around $20 million in lost productivity, the Illinois Policy Institute reports,
Additionally, that failed legislation added costs if the holiday fell on a Sunday, so state workers would have Monday off.
Rauner told a Chicago Tribune reporter of the bill, “It’s incredibly proud for Illinois that the president came from Illinois. I think it’s awesome, and I think we should celebrate it.”
He added, “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.”