An early version of the bill had pushed for the day to be a legal holiday with paid time off and closed government offices, but the final version made it a commemorative holiday.
The legislation declared August 4 "Barack Obama Day" in the state of IL, but did not make the holiday an official legal holiday over concerns the state could not afford the cost of giving state employees a paid holiday. The bill was signed into law on August 6, 2017, making this year the first time it's actually celebrated.
In 2017, under the leadership of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, the state's legislature unanimously voted to pass the measure. "I think it's awesome, and I think we should celebrate it", he said.
Former first lady Michelle Obama also wished her husband a happy birthday on Twitter, saying, "The view is always better with you".
"Our lunches together were a highlight of every week at the White House. Happy birthday to my brother, my friend, @BarackObama".
BARACK Obama has celebrated his 57th birthday surrounded by family and friends, with wife Michelle leading the tributes to the former U.S. president.
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