Rep. Meier Proposal Would Give Downstate Illinois More Influence in the Legislature

Legislation proposed by Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier would improve checks and balances in the State House by providing downstate Illinois more representation in the legislature and save taxpayers over $6 million a year in lawmaker salaries and district office expenditures.

“My proposed constitutional amendment would provide people outside of Cook County and southern Illinois more representation,” said Rep. Meier. “This is an alternative to breaking away from Chicago by giving the voters a choice to have a larger voice at the capitol while adhering to our U.S. Constitution.”

Rep. Meier’s legislation (HJRCA14) would amend the Illinois Constitution to provide that each Legislative District shall be composed of three contiguous counties, with the exception of Cook County to have one Senator, instead of the 32 seats they have today. This change would provide the other 101 out of 102 counties in the state to have a bigger voice in the legislature.

Illinois currently has 59 State Senators and 118 State Representatives, Meier’s proposal would reduce the number of Senators from 59 to 35. The composition of the Illinois house would remain the same, at 118 Representatives.

Rep. Meier added, “If this proposal became law, when a bill is passed by either the House or Senate, it would require lawmakers from both sides of the aisle from around the state to reach an agreement that is good for the state as a whole instead of just the city Chicago having a majority in the Illinois Senate. Cook County has a majority in the Senate, this bill would change that and level the playing field in the State Senate and force both chambers to work together.”

State Representative Charlie Meier represents the 109th District which includes portions of Bond, Clinton, Madison, St. Clair, and Washington counties.

For more information, please visit or contact Rep. Meier’s district office at 618-651-0405.