The Illinois GOP has a new idea to work around Democrats: kick the blue counties out of the state.
Republican State Reps. Bill Mitchell and Adam Brown introduced a House Joint Resolution Tuesday looking to separate Cook County, a primarily Democratic county that includes Chicago, from the state's other 101 counties.
According to The Decatur Tribune, Rep. Brown says the needs of downstate residents are being overshadowed Chicago's influence on the statehouse, noting recent laws regarding civil unions, abolishing the state's death penalty, and the hold up of concealed weapons legislation. "These liberal policies are an insult to the traditional values of downstate families," Brown says. Rep. Mitchell called the current leadership in the statehouse "dismal," and said the state seen nearly a decade of "pro-Chicago legistlation" that has caused downstate residents to suffer.
Making Cook County the 51st state would face many hurdles, needing approval from a majority in the state, then the U.S. Congress, but it would not be a precedent; the representatives cite West Virginia, Maine, Vermont and Kentucky as past examples.
"I don't feel this is a radical concept," Rep. Mitchell said in a news conference Tuesday, adding that in his district, people always ask him if they can "get rid" of Chicago. WAND-TV has the whole news conference here.