Some Illinois Republicans believe the state's rural areas are not getting fair representation due to the city of Chicago's outsized influence and are now pushing to separate the Windy City from the rest of the state.
On "Fox & Friends" Monday, State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R) explained that in many states, including New York, California and Illinois, "large population centers" dominate state politics.
"The rural portions are not being equally represented," said Halbrook, lamenting onerous regulations on businesses and a "piling on" of debt by Chicago.
Halbrook said the system designed by the U.S. Constitution is "simply not working" in Illinois.
"The goal is to form a new Illinois," he told host Steve Doocy, explaining that the proposal -- which has virtually no chance of passing -- would call on Congress to declare Chicago the 51st state.
Halbrook said each year, the state loses a number of residents equal to the size of the city of Peoria.
According to a new report by Pew Trusts' Stateline, the resolution supported by Halbrook now has eight Republican co-sponsors in the state’s House, as well as growing support from conservative activists.
The bill notes a "$221 million bailout" for the city's pension system last year, and says that "the majority of residents in downstate Illinois disagree with City of Chicago residents on key issues such as gun ownership, abortion, immigration and other policy issues."
Any such push would require significant political muscle, and the resolution itself is only a statement of support for the push, not legislation that would work to actually make a new state. It would need to pass both the state legislature, and be approved by Congress -- making it a longshot proposition.
Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.