ILLINOIS — Sounds crazy doesn’t it. Chicago, Illinois its own state? We just cut it off from the rest of the world and say sorry big fella, you’re on you’re own now? Good luck?
Some say it would be a good thing. Actually, a great thing.
Some say residents in downstate Illinois disagree with City of Chicago residents on key issues such as gun ownership, abortion, immigration, and other policy issues. They want to make Chicago its own state.
State Representative Brad Halbrook of Shelbyville introduced the legislation on February 7th and he urges the U.S. Congress to make Chicago its own state and not a part of Illinois. But we’ve heard this before haven’t we.
The City of Chicago passed a resolution in 1925 to form the State of Chicago. Western Illinoisans declared their region as the “Republic of Forgottonia” in the 1970’s; and in 1981, State Senator Howard Carroll passed a Cook County state split bill through both chambers of the state.
It happened in June 2018 with House Resolution 1138 urging Congress to declare Chicago its own state. The measure stated the city is treated as a separate region and is often “bailed out” by taxpayers from other parts of Illinois. That bill died January 9th of this year.
HR0101 however, has not been assigned to a committee for discussion because it does not need approval from the Senate or Governor since it is a House Resolution. That bill reads in part;
“The divide between the City of Chicago and 10 downstate Illinois is frequently manifested in electoral results such as the 2010 gubernatorial election in which the Democrat candidate won the election despite only carrying four counties out of 102 counties, and, in fact, did not need to carry any other counties to win because of the margin of victory in Chicago and Cook County; and
WHEREAS, The City of Chicago is frequently treated as a separate region of the State and has often been exempted from major legislative initiatives the General Assembly enacts in law because of this fact; and
WHEREAS, The City of Chicago is often bailed out by taxpayers in the rest of the State, such as the $221 million
WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States provides in part: “New States may be admitted by Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”
Illinois Policy wrote in June of 2018 while frustration toward Chicago – a city where political and financial dysfunction can have outsized effects on the rest of the state – can sometimes be valid, energy spent on separating it from the rest of Illinois is a rather non-serious use of time. Instead of focusing on farfetched resolutions divvying up the state, politicians would be better served focusing on reforms that make the entire state competitive.
Halbrook, who introduced HR0101, said the resolution is also meant to put the spotlight on what he calls “intrusive and overreaching” regulations. Halbrook specifically identified gun regulations, saying that issues with gun dealers in the Chicago area should be policed there and that Chicago politicians should refrain from forcing such regulations on the rest of the state.
Halbrook said Gov. J.B. Pritzker has already initiated executive orders that reflect the ideals of the northeastern portion of the state early in his term. Halbrook pointed to Pritzker’s recent executive order directing state agencies to fully enforce House Bill 40, which funds abortions for state employees and people on Medicaid.
The resolution filed Feb. 7, is co-sponsored by State Reps. Darren Bailey, R-Louisville, and Chris Miller, R-Robinson.
What do you think? You can read the full bill here.