Make Obama's birthday a state holiday?

 
By Mary Hansen
mhansen@dailyherald.com
Updated 2/3/2016 4:15 PM
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  • President Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama Associated Press

Several Illinois lawmakers want to declare President Barack Obama's birthday, Aug. 4, a state holiday.

Rep. André Thapedi, a Chicago Democrat, introduced legislation this week calling for the state to observe the 44th President's birthday the same way Illinois observes Abraham Lincoln's birthday or Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with schools and state offices closed.

The move comes ahead of Obama's address to the Illinois General Assembly next week in Springfield. The president is expected to talk about bipartisanship at a time when Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner remain at odds over a state budget.

Illinois, where Obama started his political career, is the birthplace of former President Ronald Reagan. But the state does not commemorate his Feb. 6 birthday with a state holiday.

Neither Thapedi nor state Rep. Rita Mayfield, a Waukegan Democrat, returned messages seeking comment.

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