Government of Illinois

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The government of Illinois, under the Constitution of Illinois, has three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The executive branch is split into several statewide elected offices, with the Governor as chief executive, and has numerous departments, agencies, boards and commissions. Legislative functions are granted to the General Assembly, which is a bicameral body consisting of the 118-member House of Representatives and the 59-member Senate. The judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court and lower courts.


The executive branch is composed of six elected officers and their offices as well as numerous other departments.[1] The six elected officers are:


Further information: List of Illinois state agencies

The government of Illinois has numerous departments, agencies, boards and commissions, but the code departments, so called because they're established by the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois, provide most of the state's services:[1][2]

Regulations are codified in the Illinois Administrative Code.[3] The Illinois Register is the weekly publication containing proposed and adopted rules.[3]


The State Senate Chamber of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield

The Illinois General Assembly is the state legislature, composed of the 118-member Illinois House of Representatives and the 59-member Illinois Senate. The members of the General Assembly are elected at the beginning of each even-numbered year. Representatives elect from their chamber a Speaker and Speaker pro tempore, and senators elect from the chamber a President of the Senate.

The Governor has different types of veto like a full veto, reduction veto, and amendatory veto, but the General Assembly has the power to override gubernatorial vetoes through a three-fifths majority vote of each chamber. The General Assembly's session laws are published in the official Laws of Illinois.[4][5] The Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) are the codified statutes of a general and permanent nature.[3][5]


Main article: Judiciary of Illinois
The Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan

The Judiciary of Illinois is the unified court system of Illinois. It consists of the Supreme Court of Illinois, Illinois Appellate Court, and Illinois circuit courts. The Supreme Court oversees the administration of the court system, and is assisted by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts and the Illinois State Bar Association.

The Supreme Court has limited original jurisdiction and has final appellate jurisdiction. It has mandatory jurisdiction in capital cases and cases where the constitutionality of laws has been called into question, and has discretionary jurisdiction from the Appellate Court. The Appellate Court is the court of first appeal for civil and criminal cases rising in the Illinois circuit courts.

The circuit courts are trial courts of original jurisdiction. There are 24 judicial circuits in the state, each comprising one or more of Illinois' 102 counties.[6] The circuit court has general jurisdiction and can decide, with few exceptions, any kind of case.

Local government[edit]

Peoria City Hall

The administrative divisions of Illinois are counties, townships, precincts, cities, towns, villages, and special-purpose districts.[7] Illinois has more units of local government than any other state—over 8,000 in all. The basic subdivision of Illinois are the 102 counties.[8] 85 of the 102 counties are in turn divided into townships and precincts.[8][9] Municipal governments are the cities, villages, and incorporated towns.[8] Localities possess "home rule", which allows them to govern themselves to a certain extent.[10] Illinois counties, townships, cities, and villages may promulgate local ordinances.[11] Illinois also has several types of school districts (including the Chicago Public Schools and the Illinois Community College System) and additional units of government that oversee many other functions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Uphoff, Judy Lee (2012). "The Governor and the Executive Branch". In Lind, Nancy S.; Rankin, Erik. Governing Illinois: Your Connection to State and Local Government (PDF) (4th ed.). Center Publications, Center for State Policy and Leadership, University of Illinois at Springfield. pp. 77–79. ISBN 978-0-938943-28-0. 
  2. ^ 20 ILCS 5
  3. ^ a b c Smith, Lori L.; Barkley, Daniel C.; Cornwall, Daniel C.; Johnson, Eric W.; Malcomb, J. Louise (2003). Tapping State Government Information Sources. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 126. ISBN 1-57356-387-0. LCCN 2002044846. 
  4. ^ "Illinois Legal Research Guide". University of Chicago Library. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Decker, John F.; Kopacz, Christopher (2012). Illinois Criminal Law: A Survey of Crimes and Defenses (5th ed.). LexisNexis. § 1.01. ISBN 978-0-7698-5284-3. 
  6. ^ Wojcik, Mark E. (2003). Illinois Legal Research. Carolina Academic Press. p. 38. ISBN 0-89089-339-X. LCCN 2003110318. OCLC 52972867. 
  7. ^ Individual State Descriptions: 2007 (PDF), 2007 Census of Governments, United States Census Bureau, November 2012, pp. 89–97 
  8. ^ a b c Census 2007, p. 89.
  9. ^ Illinois Regional Archives Depository System. "Name Index to Illinois Local Governments". Illinois State Archives. Illinois Secretary of State. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  10. ^ Gove, Samuel Kimball (1996). Illinois Politics and Government: The Expanding Metropolitan Frontier. Politics and Governments of the American States. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 155–156. ISBN 0-8032-7014-3. LCCN 95-46017. 
  11. ^ Gaylord, Tom (March 2007). "Finding Illinois Municipal Ordinances Online". Illinois Bar Journal 95 (3): 156. 

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