State Reps. Bill
Mitchell, R-Forsyth, and Adam Brown, R-Decatur, have introduced a
House joint resolution that seeks to separate Cook County from the
rest of Illinois and authorizes a statewide referendum on the issue.
"When I talk to constituents, one of the biggest things I hear is,
'Chicago should be its own state,'" said Mitchell. "Downstate
families are tired of Chicago dictating its views to the rest of us.
You only have to look at the election results from last year's
governor's race to see the problem. Cook County carried Pat Quinn,
while almost every downstate county supported Bill Brady. Our
voters' voices were drowned out by Chicago,"
Illinois state government is almost entirely controlled by
Chicago Democrats. Gov. Pat Quinn, Secretary of State Jesse White
and Attorney General Lisa Madigan are all from Chicago, as are
Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan,
who has ruled the Illinois House for more than two decades.
Brown believes Chicago's domination of state government has hurt
"Our downstate values are being overshadowed by Chicago's
influence over the legislative process," Brown said. "The 2010
election swept a number of downstate Republicans into office, but
the lame-duck Democrats passed a 67 percent income tax increase,
along with civil unions and the abolition of the death penalty in
Illinois. These liberal policies are an insult to the traditional
values of downstate families.
"It's the same thing with guns," he added. "Chicago politicians
continue to block passage of concealed-carry legislation supported
by the overwhelming majority of downstate voters and legislators.
It's time to look at a two-state solution. Downstate deserves to
have its voice heard."
[to top of second column]
The proposed resolution states that Illinois is functional to the
extent that its people agree on politics, society and economics. The
people who constitute a majority of Cook County and the people who
constitute a majority of the other 101 counties in Illinois hold
different and firmly seated views on these important questions. Cook
County and the other 101 counties are roughly equal in population,
and both groups should enjoy the chance to govern themselves with
their firmly seated values.
The resolution seeks to separate Cook County and the rest of
Illinois into two separate states and authorizes a statewide
referendum on the issue. Following adoption of the referendum, the
General Assembly would urge the U.S. Congress to pass a bill that
consents to the division of Cook County and the other 101 counties
of Illinois into two separate states.
Mitchell indicated that Cook County, with a population of over 5
million, is larger than many states.
"There are 29 states with a population smaller than Cook County,"
Mitchell said. "There is no reason why Cook County cannot become its
own state. Chicago can run its own affairs and leave the rest of
Illinois to govern itself, based upon our shared downstate values."
[Text from file received from