Senator Collins with Barack ObamaThe Peoria Journal-Star - Feb. 3, 2017 | Original article

by Brian Robbins

President Barack Obama's birthday may become the next state holiday, if some Illinois Democrats have their way.

House Bills 231 and 503 and Senate Bill 55 all make Obama's birthday, Aug. 4, an official holiday.

Both House bills would make Aug. 4 a "legal holiday," in which state government offices shut down, and schools and businesses have the option of closing. The Senate bill's "Barack Obama Day" would be commemorative only.

Rep. Andre Thapedi, a Chicago Democrat who is sponsoring HB 231, had tried making Obama's birthday a state holiday last year, but the bill stalled in a House committee.

The chief co-sponsor of SB 55, Sen. Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago, said she hopes Republicans can appreciate the achievements of the former president.

"I hope we don't descend to what we see at the federal level," Collins said. "As a Democrat, I have no problem honoring President Lincoln. There should be reciprocity between parties, Obama belongs to Illinois, and Illinois belongs to all people, Republicans and Democrats."

See the full article at the Peoria Journal-Star.

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