Illinois lawmakers did not pass a bill that would have designated former President Barack Obama’s birthday a state holiday, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.
Republicans voiced concern over the other Illinois presidents, such as Ronald Reagan, not having similar holidays, the newspaper reported. They also noted the economic cost of closing state buildings on such a holiday.
Under the original proposal, schools and state offices would have closed, while banks and businesses could have, but would not be required to close.
The bills were introduced by Reps. André Thapedi and Sonya Harper, Democrats representing districts in Chicago. Both were referred to the State Government Administration committee.
If the bill had been signed into law, Obama’s Birthday would have joined 13 other state holidays, including the birthdays of fellow former president Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Casimir Pulaski.
The measure could, sponsored by Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, could get another chance if enough members of the House support it, the Tribune reported, noting a dozen members didn’t vote.
“Personally, to me, he helped me to get motivated, get up in my community and organize my community to be the change that we want to see, and we are seeing right now on the ground,” Harper said, according to the newspaper.
Published 2 hours ago | Updated 22 minutes ago