Frequently Asked Questions
New Illinois is a nonprofit organization that educates Illinois citizens about their right to pursue the creation of new state from the State of Illinois. We are seeking a state split, following the process provided in the U.S. Constitution (Article IV, Sec. 3). This is the same way that West Virginia split from Virginia.
The goal of New Illinois is to see a new state established that truly represents its rural, small town and suburban citizens—a state free from the stranglehold of corruption in Illinois government, which grants disproportionate representation to certain cronies, groups such as public sector unions, and urban areas—in particular, Chicago and Cook County.
Illinois is a failed state that does not fulfill its responsibilities to its citizens. The biggest problem is that it does not represent our constitutional rights (Article IV, Sec. 4).
The U.S. Constitution guarantees a republican form of government—this means for the benefit of the citizens rather than for the benefit of a ruler. James Madison described this type of government as one that obtains all its power from the people (Federalist Papers Number 39).
Though representative government is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, Illinois favors certain people, groups, and urban areas—most notably, Chicago and Cook County—which means that the rest of the state experiences a disproportionate lack of power. Rural, small town and suburban state residents are not experiencing the benefits of a republican form of government. The State of Illinois’ legendary government corruption, fiscal mismanagement and pay-to-play politics have harmed the residents of the rest of the state—rural, small town and suburban citizens outside of the northeastern urban hub.
This government corruption has led to Illinois’ current financial crisis. The State of Illinois has driven us down the road to ruin and is unwilling or unable (by virtue of the Pension Protection Clause of the Illinois Constitution) to stop and address the coming financial collapse. Illinoisans are leaving the state in droves because of its high taxes, high regulations and corruption.
The U.S. Declaration of Independence declares that people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and can alter or abolish a government destructive of those rights. We believe the situation in Illinois is beyond reformation and will only be remedied through the state split process given to us in the U.S. Constitution.
We focus on three issues: the lack of representative government, the fiscal disaster in our state, and the systemic government corruption that has caused these things.
The State of Illinois has the highest state and local tax burden in the country, and yet it ranks dead last in economic health. Corruption in the state of Illinois is legendary and systemic. It has flourished under both parties. Corruption is a huge factor in our state’s fiscal incompetence.
Tyranny means oppressive power, especially when it comes from the government. In a tyrannical government, the leaders aren’t restrained by the law or the Constitution. They seize more power than they have a right to. In our country, the people are supposed to be sovereign.
Corruption means dishonest or illegal behavior, especially by powerful people such as government officials.
Insurrection means an act or instance of open revolt, defiance or rebellion against civil authority or an established government. Illinois violated the U.S. Constitution when it became a sanctuary state.
People have voted, written, called and demonstrated for years, but the situation has gotten worse. The corruption in Illinois is such that conventional methods are ineffective.
The state government has allowed certain people, groups and local governments to have control to the point that the rest of us are not experiencing representative government. When Chicago introduced its new city ID, which is for citizens, non-citizens, legal and illegal—it was declared to be valid for voter registration. The State of Illinois did nothing to stand up for us.
To see a new state created that provides Illinoisans with representative government and to save ourselves from being driven over a financial cliff.
Citizens of Illinois are living under a tyrannical form of government that does not follow the Illinois and U.S. Constitutions. The new state will have a NEW state constitution that will restore liberty and rights under the U.S. Constitution.
If the effort to split the state succeeds, the residents of New Illinois will gain:
- A new state government that represents ALL OF US and works for OUR benefit
- A new state government not acting in defiance of the federal government
- An opportunity to stop the flood of debt Old Illinois continues to generate
- A healthier economy without Old Illinois’ tax and regulatory burdens
- A more valuable, powerful vote that has not been diluted by State of Illinois corruption, city ID cards used for voter registration, and other vote fraud.
New Illinois educates Illinoisans about the right to pursue a state split. Locally, this educational mission is carried out by county committees. They also elect representatives to the state organization and work to create an organizational infrastructure for a new state.
Once enough counties committees had been established, we made a formal, public Declaration of Independence from Illinois. Obviously, this didn’t mean we became a new state that day. It was a step in the process and a means of notifying the State of Illinois of our intentions.
After the Declaration, we began to publicize grievances against the State of Illinois, reading them aloud on the county courthouse steps. Our Founders included grievances in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, but 244 years later, our grievances would not have fit in a short document. The next step is to begin sessions of a constitutional convention.
Eventually, the Illinois General Assembly will have to pass a resolution consenting to the state split. After this, the U.S. Congress will need to approve it.
It depends on a few things—first and foremost, winning the hearts and minds of the people of Illinois. The process is not simple, and it isn’t quick. New Illinois was founded in June 2018, and since then has established committees in 28 counties. The process will take a few more years.
A vote of the people—a referendum—is not part of the constitutional process for splitting the state. A referendum only gives an opinion.
The constitutional process includes getting the consent of the state legislature and the consent of the U.S. Congress. The people of Illinois need to vote for state representatives and senators who support this movement. They should also contact their state representatives and senators who are already in office to urge them to support it.
Neither the Illinois courts nor the Governor have a role in this process.
It’s not as impossible as it seems. In 1981, the Illinois General Assembly passed an almost identical resolution.
Some of the problems we face today could be seen as solutions to this obstacle; that is, they can provide us with leverage to negotiate a split. Illinois has violated the U.S. Constitution, the state constitution, and our rights. These facts demonstrate that the State of Illinois is a failed state and has lost its legitimacy. They can make our case to the federal government that Illinois has broken the compact that bound us together.
Illinois is financially incompetent–if it were a business, it would have filed for bankruptcy long ago. In terms of the state legislature, Illinois’ massive debt could provide us with leverage for a split. Looking at the debt in terms of per person GDP, the New Illinois share would be about 15% lower than that of Old Illinois. Finance expert Chriss Street believes that New Illinois could negotiate its way to a split by increasing its share of the debt—essentially buying its way out (as Vermont did to leave New York). This could be done safely because, with a lower tax and regulatory burden, the new state would experience strong economic growth.
Some people talk about kicking Chicago out of Illinois to become its own state. Rather than kicking Chicago out of Illinois, we want to kick ourselves out! We want a new start with a new state and a new constitution.
It may seem like a “distinction without a difference,” because Chicago would not be eligible to be a part of New Illinois. (New Illinois is addressing the urban vs. rural, small town and suburban divide.) The new state would consist of the areas (counties, townships, towns) that wanted to be part of it. Old Illinois would include Chicago and whatever areas wanted to maintain the status quo. This would probably include much of Cook County. However, many people on the fringes of Cook County want out.
In the end, there would be a negotiation process between New Illinois, Old Illinois and the federal government to determine the exact location of the state line. We would like to see all the other 101 counties join New Illinois. Our hope and expectation are that the state line would reflect the will of the people.
We have been told by financial experts that, by itself, the southern 1/3 of the counties would not be viable as a state in terms of population and economy. Including as much of the state as possible gives the state split movement the best chance of success. If all 101 counties outside of Cook join the new state, it would have a population and an economy exceeding that of Indiana.
Southern Illinois is culturally and economically different from Chicago and Cook County. So is Northern Illinois. Like Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois is mostly rural, small town and suburban. Like the people of Southern Illinois, the people of Northern Illinois have been deprived of representative government through things like vote fraud and gerrymandering.
People from Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois have a whole lot in common and many shared values. Our best chance of achieving the goal of a new state is if we all pull together.
No—as mentioned above, separated from Chicago and Cook County, New Illinois would have a population and economy greater than that of Indiana.
In addition, by stopping the flood of irresponsible spending, we can stop the growth of the debt. The urban “economic driver” of the state is also the source of much of the debt problem—while controlling our purse strings. For instance, in 2017, the residents of the rest of Illinois bailed out Chicago’s public school pension system with $221 million of OUR tax money.
By freeing ourselves from burdensome taxes and regulations, we can create a healthier economy.
The most likely way to divide the debt and the assets would be according to per person GDP of any particular area. There would also be a negotiation process between New Illinois, Old Illinois, and the federal government.
We were advised to incorporate outside of the State of Illinois to avoid potential problems with the government. A nonprofit attorney assured us that this is totally legal and not even unusual.
NO! This process, known as a “state split,” is in accordance with the U.S. Constitution (Article IV, Sec. 3). Kentucky, Maine and West Virginia became states through this process. Vermont split from New York, but the process was a little different.
No. New Illinois is opposed to Illinois declaring itself a sanctuary state. Our state is broke but paying $3.85 billion per year of our tax dollars for people in the country illegally.
No. Our mission is to educate Illinoisans about their right to representative government and their right to seek a state split. However, the 2nd Amendment is a key illustration of how the State of Illinois seeks to impose the views of the northeastern urban hub on the rest of the state.
No. New Illinois is a nonpartisan organization. We complain about politicians from both parties. It is likely that many Republicans support New Illinois because more of them live in the area that is disenfranchised.
We believe that our real foe is the legendary, systemic corruption in the Illinois state government. It has existed for decades under both parties and is bigger than any individual. Regardless of party, nobody benefits from a lack of representation, government corruption, and a state that is broke.
Yes! Many people in the rest of the state resent one-size-fits-all decisions that may be right for urban areas but are imposed on everyone. Chicago has different needs and interests than the rest of the state. They need to do what is best for their constituents. Following a state split, Chicago/Cook County could focus on the needs of their 5.2 million people without having to accommodate the 7.6 million rural, small town and suburban folks in the other 101 counties. Instead of being an unhappy couple, we’d like an amicable divorce. We’d like to be friendly next-door neighbors.
Several names have been suggested—for example, Southern Illinois, The State of Lincoln, Winnebago, Reagan, etc. The name of the state is for the people to decide. “New Illinois” is the name of this nonprofit organization. We are using the name “New Illinois” to refer to the new state for the time being, until the citizens can select the official name.
New Illinois and The Illinois Separation are two different, distinct organizations. Both are concerned about many of the same problems in the State of Illinois and would like to see the state split. Our organizations have different visions, strategies and methods for reaching this shared goal. We wish them well as we both strive for a better future for our state and its people.