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A bill in the Illinois state legislature that would create “Barack Obama Day” earned praise from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday.

“It’s incredibly proud for Illinois that the president came from Illinois. I think it’s awesome, and I think we should celebrate it,” Rauner said at an event.

There are three bills being debated in the Illinois state legislature that would create a holiday on Aug. 4 (Obama’s birthday) in honor of the 44th president; two in the House that would make a state holiday, closing schools and the government, and another in the Senate that would devise a commemorative holiday.

Rauner voiced support for the Senate bill, which would create Barack Obama Day.

“I don’t think it should be a formal holiday with paid, forced time off, but I think it should be a day of acknowledgment and celebration,” he said.

Other bills have been proposed in the Land of Lincoln that seek to honor Obama, who before becoming president, worked as a community organizer in Chicago and later served as a state senator and U.S. senator from Illinois.

One piece of legislation in the works would rename a 270-mile stretch of Interstate 55 as the “Barack Obama Expressway.” Another bill would rename the Tri-State Tollway after Obama.



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