Barack Obama is being honored with a new state holiday in his former state of Illinois.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a measure Friday to make Aug. 4 “Barack Obama Day” in the state, according to NBC Chicago. The holiday will be celebrated each year on Obama’s birthday beginning in 2018.
The day is “set apart to honor the 44th President of the United States of America who began his career serving the People of Illinois in both the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate, and dedicated his life to protecting the rights of Americans and building bridges across communities.”
Senate Bill 55 was passed by both state houses with no votes against it.
Rauner praised the idea behind the bill earlier this year after a previous version, which would have made the day a legal state holiday, failed. The new holiday is commemorative.
“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 the time, according to NBC Chicago. “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.”
Obama celebrated his 56th birthday on Friday, his first since leaving the White House. He and former first lady Michelle Obama were spotted at Rasika West End in Washington, D.C. celebrating.
Former Vice President Joe Biden wished Obama happy birthday on Twitter Friday morning.
“Your service has been a great gift to the country, and your friendship and brotherhood are a great gift to me. Happy birthday, Barack,” Biden tweeted.