Illinois lawmakers want to split from Chicago (VIDEO)


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during his swearing-in ceremony in Grant Park in Chicago on May 16, 2011.


Frank Polich

A pair of central Illinois lawmakers who are fed up with state leaders and liberal values from Chicago want to eject the Windy City from the rest of Illinois, the Chicagoist reported.

According to the Chicagoist, State Representatives Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) and Adam Brown (R-Decatur) announced at a press conference late last month that they had filed a petition to de-annex Cook County, where Chicago is located.

"Downstate families are tired of Chicago dictating its views to the rest of us," Mitchell said at the news conference, The Associated Press reported. South of Chicago, citizens are typically more conservative and disagree with the state’s recent moves to increase income taxes, approve civil unions and abolish the death penalty, according to the AP.

“I don’t feel this is a radical concept,” Mitchell said at the news conference. “It’s been done before in the history of the country – of course, West Virginia was once part of Virginia. Maine was once part of Massachusetts. Vermont was once part of New York state. And Kentucky was part of Virginia.”

It is unlikely that the proposal will succeed, the AP reported. In order to kick Chicago out of Illinois, the resolution will need to win the votes of the Democratic governor, Democratic-controlled Legislature and Congress.

According to the AP:

Even if a split were possible, it could be financially disastrous for downstate Illinois. Cook County — which with 5 million residents is the nation’s second most-populous county — is the state’s economic engine and key tax generator, providing substantial contributions to the state’s other 101 counties for everything from schools to roads, colleges and universities, and prisons.

Gov. Pat Quinn told the AP that he thinks the proposal is a bad one. “We’re all in this together,” he said. “The idea of separating out and dividing us is a bum way to go. It’s definitely not the Illinois way to go.”

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