Should Cook County be its own state? While a state representative is pushing a bill to do that, some of Illinois top politicians disagree. State Rep. Bill Mitchell (R- Forsyth) has proposed a bill to make Cook County a separate state from Illinois. His bill says that a state is functional only when the state’s residents agree in large part on “politics, society and economics.” The bill goes on to say that the majority of Cook County’s residents have different views than the rest of the 101 counties.
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But U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who was born in East St. Louis and resides in Springfield, disagrees. “It is to the benefit to every person in Illinois, from Cairo to Zion, that Chicago be a strong thriving city,” Durbin said. “I am honored to represent it and would never consider any suggestion of separating Chicago from Illinois. I think that would be extremely short-sighted.” Gov. Pat Quinn, who was born in Chicago and currently resides there, though he grew up in DuPage County and has lived Downstate, agrees with Durbin, and says Illinois wouldn’t be Illinois without Chicago. “You know, to me, whether you live in Moline or whether you live in Macon County or whether you live in Chicago or the suburbs of Chicago, we’re all Illinoisans and we’re all Americans and we should look for ways to come together rather than divide,” Quinn said. If such a bill were to pass, it would take further action by Congress and the president.