Group is looking to secede the state of Illinois from Chicago
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
One man has started a petition to have the state of Illinois secede from the city of Chicago, allowing every county eligibility to join except for Cook County.
Collin Cliburn proposed this because he said he feels those who are in more rural areas of the state are being given higher taxes they can't afford and are unequally represented.
Now he has a plan for the state to secede from the city of Chicago.
He has a Facebook group called The Illinois Separation and thousands of people have started to get on board with the group. Including voting in a poll with a little under 10,000 votes to see how many people in the group want to keep Chicago as a part of the state.
"Myself, I'm a White Sox fan and I hate giving up that territory. But when it comes down to it, this state is a sinking ship," Cliburn said.
Cliburn said the separation is coming from a result of years of frustration of feeling as though their voices are being drowned out by those who live in Chicago and the surrounding areas.
He said there are many differing opinions between Chicago and the rest of the state, which has led to this point. The handout with information about the state said they would believe in low taxes as well as limited government.
"You know we have so many failing communities because the people up there that are used to the city life, don't understand how to get by down here," Cliburn said.
This isn't the first time a plan for succeeding has been proposed for the state of Illinois.
"This is something that has come up from time to time in recent years and it's an issue that goes back as far as statehood," University of Illinois Chicago Political Science Professor Christopher Mooney said.
Cliburn said his proposal will be different that those that have been released in the past.
He claims it will do well large in part due to the Funding Loyalty Act, which according to a layout Cliburn provided said making a new state from a pre-existing one must have approval of the legislature. He is hoping a member of Congress will feel enough fire at their feet from voters and will introduce it.
Cliburn believes this is a movement that many people who are tired of paying high taxes will get behind over time.
"We don't want $578 sticker for our car and we don't want a new progressive income tax and we don't want a recommended one percent property tax," Cliburn said.
Past attempts at a state secession have never truly made an impact.
"It's almost certainly never going to happen. It could legally, it could happen but the state has to agree to it and the only time any state has ever divided up into pieces was when Virginia had West Virginia lopped off of it," Mooney said.
Cliburn said all counties except for Cook are eligible to be admitted to this hypothetical new state and if there is someone who is for the movement but lives in Cook, they would have to move outside of the county before being eligible for state residency.
While he has an attorney, Cliburn said all he needs is for one county to vote this into effect with a majority on their Illinois county ballot before he would take it to the federal level.
The state would be named Lincoln and Cliburn compared the break as what happened to Virginia and West Virginia as well as Maine and Massachusetts.