Missouri Offers to buy Madison and St. Clair Counties from Cash-Strapped Illinois

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Missouri could get bigger. Governor Jay Nixon signed two bills yesterday extending an offer to buy Madison and St. Clair Counties from Illinois. One bill extends the offer and the other urges the US Congress to redraw the state borders once both states have agreed on terms.

Missouri With St Clair and Madison Counties

At a press conference at the capitol Gov. Jay Nixon said, “Um er jobs, um.” Nixon’s chief of staff, Chris Pieper, said, “We recognize the negative impact splitting a metro region not only into numerous county and municipal fragments, but spanning two states prevents St. Louis from realizing its full potential. We see this opportunity to reduce the fragmentation problem and think taking over the two counties will help Illinois better cope with its budget woes. It will be mutually beneficial.”

Missouri’s slow population and economic growth rates over the last decades are an impetus for the offer too. Adding the two counties would increase the state’s population by nearly 9%. With the population center of the state moved east, talk of moving the capital from Jefferson City may ignite again.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner responded, “in business when heading towards bankruptcy we look to offload assets and liabilities to strengthen the enterprise. We’ll evaluate the offer and consider exploring the idea with Missouri.”

A metropolitan region divided by two states has been problematic for nearly 200 years. Conflict between the states over the St. Louis area arose when it became clear that St. Louis needed a railroad bridge over the Mississippi River. Illinois stymied efforts in favor of a bridge to Iowa helping ensure Chicago’s faster growth rate in the second half of the 19th century.

Today the conflict came to the forefront over the site of the new NGA West facility. Each side fell over each other to subsidize the tax-exempt Federal facility.

With St. Clair and Madison Counties in Missouri there would be opportunity for them to join the Zoo-Museum District, the Arch taxing district, participate in publicly funding future stadium deals, convention center improvements, etc, in recognition that expecting less than half the region’s population to fund these regional amenities is unreasonable.

Reaction for Metro CEO John Nations, “Bringing Madison county into Metro would be great for the agency and transit users. Talk of Metrolink to Edwardsville may start again.”

Radio personality Bob Romanek who is running for the Illinois state house expounded on his show, “I support the sale. I’d have a harder time making friends in the Illinois General Assembly, but I’d fit right in in the Missouri Legislature!”

Collinsville Schools Superintendent, Dr. Robert E. Green, reacted, “Missouri may support schools at a lower level on paper, but something is better than the nothing Illinois has been contributing during the budget impasse.” Also SIUE will become the University of Missouri-Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Charmian Mark Kern, “we’d be excited to explore applying Missouri’s tools for redevelopment in East St. Louis. Perhaps Paul McKee would be interested in working his magic there. Heck maybe we can get the City of St. Louis to annex it so it’ll be their problem!”

Residents would enjoy Missouri’s low gas and lowest in the nation cigarette taxes. Patricia Bouvier of Granite City, “I won’t have to cross the river for the cheaper cigs!”

Not everyone is excited about the prospect. Questions abound over what effect the switch in states would have on the differences between the two side of the river. Otto Mann of Brooklyn is worried about what happens to his medical marijuana prescription. “Would it become illegal? Dude, I need that medicine!” Anthony “Fat Tony” D’Amico of Sauget worries about his strip club empire, though is optimistic, “I’m sure we can come to an amicable understanding with officials in Missouri.”

Cletus Spuckler of Highland wonders about Medicaid expansion, “Them over there in Missourah don’t have Medicaid expansion. How are my children gonna get health care?” And the trick of registering one’s cars in Illinois despite living in Missouri to evade paying the personal property tax would be tougher.

No price was floated. A negotiation process will commence if Illinois is interested. While the counties contain considerable population and jobs, they also have mounting infrastructure liabilities resulting from Illinois’ efforts to spread out the jobs and population there.

Disclaimer: This is an April Fool’s satirical post.

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  • CDR_N

    Sell them East St Louis

    • tim

      East St. louis is already in IL. Chicago also has a St. Louis street, which is also still property of IL. lol

    • tim

      my revised reply is, i don’t think IL would profit for a quick 100 bucks after selling the east side.

  • rob

    maybe we could just give St. Louis and St. Charles Counties to Illinois and that would take care of a lot of Missouri problems. Maybe re-route the river to the west side of the city.

  • James M Rochman

    I knew this couldn’t be real, it makes too much sense, but they would have to take jackson and Randolph
    county also.

  • Alex Ihnen

    Not sure who sent this back out into the world again, but thanks for reading! Each April 1 we write a few items that aren’t quite true.

    • Bryan Castille

      Ah, I see. I think I got fooled by another one on here in April. Can’t remember what it was.

  • Bryan Castille

    Well this was annoying

    • Adam

      Why are people coming here two months after the fact to complain about an April Fools Day post? It’s weird.

      • Alex Ihnen

        Seems someone posted it to Facebook or something and it’s making the rounds again, but not on 4/1.

    • Bryan Castille

      I have the blog bookmarked and read it when I remember to. The story shows up on the front page for me (on mobile). It’s the only place I know of to get reliable information on development in the STL area. So, it is sort of obnoxious when I read an entire article only to find out it’s fake. I get that satirical news items are all the rage right now and probably get clicks but man, I just wasted five minutes of my life.

      • Adam

        Fair enough, but I feel like satire once a year on April Fools’ Day is kind-of expected. Always look at the date! 🙂

  • Joanne13

    Can’t believe I read that whole thing and then found out it was a JOKE!

    Have to admit however even though it certainly sounded like a realistic yet far-fetched ‘discussion’… I fell for it. I also have to say the idea of getting out from under the thumb of Cook County crooks almost makes this idea seem welcome!

    • Chicagoan

      We don’t call it Crook County for nothing 🙂

  • Kent Walker

    I liked the idea!!

  • Randy Dioneda

    Thank God this is just a joke, becoming a part of missouri would be grounds for armed revolt

    • Alex Ihnen

      The metro east is losing population at a faster rate than St. Louis City. Other indicators of community health aren’t doing well either. Seems that each probably needs the other.

  • Dale A. Chamberlain

    I was actually bummed out when I saw it wasn’t real!

  • Michael B

    This was good. I was drawn in, somewhat incredulously, because its actually an interesting idea. But then I realized it was an April Fools joke, and I sat at my desk in quiet embarrassment, grateful that I didn’t discuss it with my coworkers before finishing the article. All I could think of was, “wow, that would be one goofy looking state border.”

    • citylover

      Ha I felt the same way when they did the one about St. Louis as the state Capitol. And also the City annexing St. Charles County. I actually told my parents that one…

    • My first and last encounter with nextstl.

      • Michael B

        Oh no! I’m really going to miss your contributions.

    • Brad Woods

      As silly as this is, it makes sense and is very logical to make an offer to Illinois due to the large growing manufacturing plants located throughout the two counties. We also are aware of the many strip clubs which bring in more money than all the manufactureing combined. With money comes the many illegal problems growing outside of these facilities, such as drugs and prostitution. Marijuana decriminalization is a huge issue for all of the people who are tired of having opiates pushed onto us by doctors working for big pharma. Missouri has a heroin problem it needs to recognise and actually deal with rather than reporting about it on local news as “no longer a dirty drug.” as they have in recent news coverage. Where does everyone in Illinois go to get heroin? Answer: Missouri. Let’s face it. We have a horrible heroin problem and until that is addressed recognising it as no longer dirty is like putting a band aid on a wound bleeding out profusely. Will Illinois accept an offer from Missouri? Those up on the hill in Chicago most likely would want two arms and two legs and Missouri will not bend that far in an attempt to help an already failing system. Let people vote and you will see change. Let gangsters run things and soon Madison and Saint Clair counties will mirror the infrastructure that is horribly reflected in East St.Louis, Venice, and Madison Illinois, which is now targeting Granite City, bringing it down to the hell holes surrounding it. Yes these are part of both counties. The idea is they are being brought to their knees because a city 4 hours from here decides for us and not the people living in them. There’s a horrible myth that people believe in, that those living in those areas like living that way and that’s wrong. Everyone wants nice, clean living areas. This drug issue shouldn’t be handled by big pharma because they create the very problem that we all want to disappear. You don’t ask the thief to secure your home, so why ask the politicians who don’t even know our cities to represent and make laws which only keep it’s people down. The idea of Illinois counties becoming Missouri counties should be left up to entire populations rather than a few prospecting businesses in it only for their gain. This was a spoof but most certainly plausible because everyone who read it thought about just how much something needs to be done in these dying counties. The list of things that would need addressed is very long but like all things the States deal in, they take their sweet time while communities suffer from the loss of what could be a growing population rather than the current state of emergency they are in.

      • Mark Reap Cunningham

        So Mizzuruh is gitting all the taxs from the heroin eye do? Illenoy need to try n git st looess from yall. Biside, mizzuruh is full of rite wingurs n st looess is bunch ov llibrulls like Illenoy so they fits bester ovr here wiff us an we git the taxs from heroin sells! Whudduyathinl?