A local representative is taking the lead on separating down state Illinois. State Representative CD Davidsmeyer is co-sponsoring a bill to urge the United States Congress to make the Chicago-land area the 51st state of the Union.
“The reason I signed on to the bill is because Chicago policy continues to destroy the down state economy.” Davidsmeyer blames recent legislation regarding the $15 per hour minimum wage.
“While it may be standard for a large city like Chicago, New York, or L.A., it’s not the standard for rural Indiana which is who we are competing against. My reason for signing on is that there are two different Illinois in the state. We have to have policies that allow both to compete nationwide.”
Davidsmeyer says the break down in legislation in the House is not necessarily a geographical fight but more of a political, win-at-all-costs mentality. Davidsmeyer believes that the polarization of the two-party system and a lack of organization from prior and current administrations have caused a large part of the break down in communication, as well.
“Unfortunately, there are less moderates in office now. The Republicans, during my first terms, went through the Tea Party Movement and the Democrats are going through the Progressive Movement now. With that, it brings much less willingness to compromise now which is unnecessarily frustrating.”
GOP Representative Brad Halbrook of the 102nd legislative district, based out of Pana, introduced the bill to the floor in February. Halbrook introduced a similar measure that failed last year before the installation of the new Democratic super majority. House Resolution 101 is currently being overlooked in the Rules Committee, where it likely will sit, despite having gained 4 new co-sponsors since April.
Illinois is not the only state facing similar rifts in ideology between large urban centers and more rural populations. Similar votes have come in both California with Los Angeles and parts of Southern California differing in both state debt and politics from the rest of California. A similar measure failed in their state legislative body last summer. New York is also currently facing the issue with New York City and the more rural portions of upstate New York.
The Illinois Legislature will adjourn for the summer on May 31st.