Editorials

Celebrate Obama Day by handing a state employee pay for not working

President Barack Obama on Jan. 18 speaks during his final presidential news conference in Washington. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner declared Obama’s birthday on Aug. 4 a day to commemorate the 44th president, but not a day off with pay for state workers.
President Barack Obama on Jan. 18 speaks during his final presidential news conference in Washington. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner declared Obama’s birthday on Aug. 4 a day to commemorate the 44th president, but not a day off with pay for state workers. AP

Can you feel the excitement? Only 355 more days until we can wish each other “Happy Obama Day!”

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a plan to mark the birthday of our 44th president, Barack Obama, on Aug. 4 starting in 2018. We are to reflect on the achievements of our neighbohood organizer turned state lawmaker turned U.S. Sentor turned two-term president.

Now, Rauner did not agree that Obama Day should be a state holiday. That would have been the most appropriate way for our very blue, very broke state to honor its favorite liberal son.

A state holiday would mean lots of people getting paid for not working. For Illinois state workers who had to work, it could be one of the super holidays like Labor Day or Christmas when they get double and one-half time.

Illinois state workers who are part of AFSCME already get 13 paid state holidays, while the feds only mark 10 holidays. The fact that our nation’s highest-paid state workers couldn’t get Rauner to make Obama Day the 14th state holiday is a costly one: Each of their members forced to work might have been paid $633 that day rather than the $253 they will average without the designation.

Reflect on that until Aug. 4.

  Comments