Hawaii committee calls for Obama statue in his birth state

  • FILE—In this Jan. 1, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama waves to people along the 18th green at Mid-Pacific County Club in Kailua, Hawaii. A state Senate committee in Hawaii is calling for a statue of former President Barack Obama to be erected in the state where he was born.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, file)

HONOLULU — A state Senate committee on Tuesday called for a statue of former President Barack Obama to be erected in the state where he was born.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously for a resolution requesting that the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts commission the statue.

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Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961 and graduated from Punahou School.

The resolution will be referred to the Hawaii Senate’s Ways and Means committee for consideration.

The resolution called for an art advisory committee to be formed that would select a location for the statue, review design proposals and select an artist.

It did not specify how the statue would be funded.

The resolution said the U.S. thrived under Obama’s presidency, noting that the national deficit shrank by two-thirds and 16 million Americans were able to obtain health care through the Affordable Care Act adopted during his administration.

It noted Obama was only the third African-American to hold a U.S. Senate seat since Reconstruction after he was elected from Illinois.

Statues of several prominent Hawaii historical figures populate the area around the Hawaii State Capitol in downtown Honolulu.

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A statue of King Kamehameha the Great, who unified the Hawaiian Islands under his rule in the early 1800s, stands in front of the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Statues of Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last monarch, and Saint Damien, a Catholic priest who cared for leprosy patients, stand outside the State Capitol building.