Metro-East News

Legislature OKs honoring Obama birthday; here’s how local lawmakers voted

Former President Barack Obama
Former President Barack Obama AP

The Legislature in Barack Obama’s home state has decided to honor the 44th president’s birthday.

A plan to mark Obama’s Aug. 4 birthday as an honorary holiday gained approval 87-0 in the Illinois House on Friday. The state Senate endorsed the measure in March. It now moves to the Republican governor’s desk.

The proposal would officially recognize Obama’s efforts to protect the rights of Americans and build “bridges across communities.”

All of the metro-east’s House members voted in favor. They are: Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton; Rep. John Cavaletto, R-Salem; Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton; Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis; Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea; Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville; and Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville.

Three metro-east Senate members voted in favor, while one did not cast a vote. Voting in favor were Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville; Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton; and Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo.

Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, did not cast a vote.

Obama began his political career serving in the Illinois Senate in 1997. He served there until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

The Illinois House narrowly rejected a plan to make Obama’s birthday a state holiday in March amid concerns over giving state workers in the cash-strapped state another paid day off.