Former president Barack Obama is being honored in the state of Illinois with a new holiday in his name.
On Friday Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a measure making August 4 “Barack Obama Day” in his state, according to NBC Chicago. Every year, this new state holiday, which also falls on Obama's birthday, will be celebrated throughout the state.
The holiday is intended to honor the former president of the United States, who began his political career in Illinois.
According to Senate Bill 55, 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.”
Some Illinois lawmakers abstained from voting on the measure, but it still passed both houses earlier this year without a single 'no' vote. The bill was introduced by Senator Emil Jones III, the son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr., who helped then-state Senator Obama get into the U.S. Senate.
NBC Chicago reports that "Barack Obama Day" joins other holidays, including Ronald Reagan Day. There was an effort by some lawmakers, however, to make Obama’s birthday a legal state holiday, which would mean that schools and state offices would close. However, this effort was unsuccessful when some lawmakers voiced concern that other US presidents, including Ronald Reagan, do not have similarly elevated holidays.
The legislators also voted in July to rename part of a Chicago-area highway after the former president.
In related news, Obama is making headlines for encouraging this Democrat to run for office against Donald Trump in 2020. Some have even said that this is "Obama's pick for president." You can read more about Obama's pick for 2020 here.