A Central Illinois lawmaker wants to kick Cook County out of Illinois because of what he calls glaring policy differences. Talk of secession movements in Illinois is nothing new, but State Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) has filed a resolution to start the debate on allowing Cook County to form its own state. Mitchell says years of rule under Chicago Democrats have put the state in a perilous financial situation, and he’s had enough.
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“They want what they want, and what I’m saying as a Downstater is go ahead and do what you want to do,” he says. “Increase your debt, spend more money, add more people on public assistance. The state of Illinois is going a different avenue.” Mitchell says the collar counties would remain part of Illinois, and would be treated similar to the way suburbs of New York City in Connecticut and New Jersey are treated. He’s not worried about Cook County tax and tourism dollars leaving the state as expenses would be different once the county breaks off. Mitchell blames House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) for a lot of the policy differences, saying Madigan has a proverbial iron fist over his members and essentially directs the legislative agenda. He’s not sure if the speaker will consider his measure, HJR52, seriously. Cook County leaving Illinois means no more Cook County tax revenue, tourism dollars or jobs… but Mitchell says it also means no more Cook County leadership in Springfield, and no more Cook County corruption.