Since Donald Trump was elected, President Obama’s legacy has been steadily unraveled. With a government completely controlled by Republicans, many Obama era policies have begun to be completely dismantled. It’s a welcome change after eight years of government overreach that damaged the lives of millions of Americans.Not everyone wants to hammer the Obama legacy, however. In fact, one Democrat in Illinois even wanted to make the former president’s birthday an official state holiday. You’d think Obama’s home state would jump on the idea. However, just like Obama’s policies, the idea was firmly rejected.
From The Blaze:Illinois lawmakers failed this week to rally enough votes to pass a measure in the state legislature that would have made former President Barack Obama’s birthday a statewide holiday.
The bill would have observed Aug. 4, Obama’s birthday, as a legal holiday in the Land of Lincoln. However, according to the Chicago Tribune, the legislation received 54 votes — six votes shy of what it needed to send the bill to the Illinois Senate, where Obama once served as a senator.
Unsurprisingly, Democrats failed to account for how much adding a state holiday would cost the economy:Opponents of the bill have raised concerns about the economic impact such a holiday would have on the state, and Republicans have noted the “inconsistent way” in which presidents from Illinois are recognized.
The bill would cost taxpayers nearly $20 million, according to Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget office. The legislation would cost roughly $3.2 million in personnel expenses to state employees for holiday pay and the state would lose around $16 million in productivity from state workers benefiting from a paid non-working holiday.
Ultimately, sound fiscal policy won and the bill was defeated. However, the cost of the legislation wasn’t the only reason to reject it. Some lawmakers pointed out that Ronald Reagan, a former president actually born and raised in the state, did not have a similar day to honor him:State Rep. Tom Hemmer, a Republican, said he believes it’s “totally appropriate to recognize people from the state of Illinois who have risen to positions of global influence,” but pointed to the fact that former President Ronald Reagan, who was born in Tampico, Illinois, does not have a state holiday in his honor.
“I represent…the hometown of President Ronald Reagan,” he said. “President Reagan is the only president who was born in the state of Illinois, the only president who went to grade school and high school and college in the state of Illinois, the only president to spend his formative years among the people of the great state of Illinois, but we don’t have a holiday for President Reagan.”
If the state wants to incur the cost of another holiday, doing it for someone born and raised in the state would seem to make more sense. Of course, common sense doesn’t always win in today’s political climate. But in Obama’s home state of Illinois, it did.[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]