A bill that would honor the late president Ronald Reagan with a special day of state recognition advanced with a unanimous vote in the California assembly Monday.
According to the Associated Press, Democrats sought to memorialize the more liberal aspects of the former president and Republican governor of California, who died in 2004.
"Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego, said the late conservative icon should be remembered for once heading a labor union - the Screen Actors Guild - and for approving tax increases as governor," reported the AP. "He supported giving illegal immigrants a way to become citizens and signed into law a bill allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest."
President Reagan, who held office during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, came under withering criticism for failure to address the emerging crisis, such as chronicled by the late gay journalist Randy Shilts in the book And the Band Played On.
If approved by the senate, the bill would mark every February 6 as Ronald Reagan Day and encourage schools to commemorate his life. Other special recognition days approved by the state remember conservationist John Muir and San Francisco gay supervisor Harvey Milk.
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