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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Next Illinois Government Holiday Could Be Obama's Birthday

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A group of Illinois House Democrats are proposing President Barack Obama's birthday become the next state holiday.

The proposal says Aug. 4 would be considered a "legal holiday'' in which state government offices, schools and businesses can close.

Bill sponsor Rep. Andre Thapedi says President Obama's distinctions as a Nobel Peace Prize winner and first black president of the United States are reasons to honor him.

Obama served eight years as a state senator and four years as a U.S. senator.

Presidents Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson are the only former presidents that have their own state holidays.

Illinois recognizes 13 state and federal holidays. If successful, the plan would be the first bill to establish a state holiday since 1977.