When White County voters go to the polls this November, they will be asked if they're in favor of forming a new state separate from Cook County. The referendum will appear on the November 3 ballot after the White County Board Monday approved the question. The move comes after residents of many mainly rural Illinois counties say they are tired of being overshadowed politically and economically by big cities – specifically Chicago. The U.S. Constitution allows a new state to be created out of an existing state through the approval of both the state legislature and Congress.
The questioning of forming a new state separate from Chicago and Cook County has already appeared on the ballot in some downstate counties. In Jefferson County during the March General Primary, voters approved the referendum by a margin of 74% to 26%.
If approved, it wouldn't be the first time a new state was created from an existing one. In 1820, Maine split from Massachusetts. And during the Civil War, West Virginia separated from Virginia, forming their own state. The White County referendum will appear on the Tuesday, November 3 General Election ballot.
In other White County Board news, Don Hoffman with the accounting firm of Emling and Hoffman appeared at Monday's board meeting, discussing the 2019 audit. Hoffman informed the board that the county ended 2019 with a profit of $690,000. However, because the county's tax bills were slow to be distributed, the county's year-end balance was down $1 million from the previous year. Hoffman explained that the difference comes from the fact that county real estate tax bills were not due until January of 2020. With tax collections still underway, officials expect much of the cash balance deficit will be replenished.
For the rest of the story, check out this week's Chronicle.