The state of Illinois is in the middle of a budget crisis, and the State House naturally considered an incredibly important proposal that ended up falling short by only six votes: making former President Barack Obama’s birthday a state holiday. The bill failed 54-57, six short of the 60 it needed to send it to the State Senate, but its sponsor used a procedural tactic that allows it to be brought up at a later date.
There are, of course, no shortage of days, schools, roads, and beyond named after former presidents, but those mostly occur after the president has died.
I’ve already written about how jealous I am that Obama has a fish named after him, but in addition to Tosanoides obama, Obama has no shortage of things already named after him, from America to Tanzania.
One of the main problems with making his birthday a state holiday is that it would cost around $20 million, according to estimates from Governor Bruce Rauner’s office, with the breakdown being “$3.2 million in personnel expenses, with another $16 million in lost productivity.”
House Republicans aren’t opposed to the concept of a day commemorating Obama’s contributions to the state, but are opposed to having an official day off for state workers:
Several GOP members saying they could support the measure if it was changed from a state holiday to a more informal day of recognition, in which schools and state buildings would stay open.
There is no word on any attempts to create a state holiday on February 6th to commemorate Tampico, Illinois native Ronald Reagan.