Section 1. LEGISLATURE-POWER AND STRUCTURE
The legislative power is vested in a General Assembly consisting of a Senate
and a House of Representatives, elected by the electors from 59 Legislative
Districts and 118 Representative Districts. (As amended by the First Amendment
to the Constitution. Approved November 4, 1980, effective November 26,1980.)
Section 2. LEGISLATIVE COMPOSITION
(a) One Senator shall be elected from each Legislative District. Immediately
following each decennial redistricting, the General Assembly by 1 law shall
divide the Legislative Districts as equally as possible into three groups.
Senators from one group shall be elected for terms of four years, four
years and two years; Senators from the second group, for terms of four
years two years and four years; and Senators from the third group, for
terms of two years, four years and four years. The Legislative Districts
in each group shall be distributed substantially equally over the State.
(b) Each Legislative District shall be divided into two Representative
Districts. In 1982 and every two years thereafter one Representative shall
be elected from each Representative District for a term of two years.
(c) To be eligible to serve as a member of the General Assembly, a person
must be a United States citizen, at least 21 years old, and for the two
years preceding his election or appointment a resident of the district
which he is to represent. In the general election following a redistricting,
a candidate for the General Assembly may be elected from any district which
contains a part of the district in which he resided at the time of the
redistricting and reelected if a resident of the new district he represents
for 18 months prior to reelection.
(d) Within thirty days after a vacancy occurs, it shall be filled by appointment
as provided by law. If the vacancy is in a SenatoriaI office with more
than twenty-eight months remaining in the term, the appointed Senator shall
serve until the next general election, at which time a Senator shall be
elected to serve for the remainder of the term. If the vacancy is in a
Representative office or in any other Senatorial office, the appointment
shall be for the remainder of the term. An appointee to fill a vacancy
shall be a member of the same political party as the person he succeeds.
(e) No member of the General Assembly shall receive compensation as a public
officer or employee from any other governmental entity for time during
which he is in attendance as a member of the General Assembly.
No member of the General Assembly during the term for which he
was elected or appointed shall be appointed to a public office which shall
have been created or the compensation for which shall have been increased
by the General Assembly during that term. (As amended by the First Amendment
to the Constitution. Approved November 4, 1980, effective November 26,
Section 3. LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING
(a) Legislative Districts shall be compact, contiguous and substantially
equal in population. Representative Districts shall be compact, contiguous,
and substantially equal in population.
(b) In the year following each Federal decennial census year, the General
Assembly by law shall redistrict the Legislative Districts and the Representative
If no redistricting plan becomes effective by June 30 of that
year, a Legislative Redistricting Commission shall be constituted not later
than July 30. The Commission shall consist of eight members, no more than
four of whom shall be members of the same political party.
The Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives
shall each appoint to the Commission one Representative and one person
who is not a member of the General Assembly. The President and Minority
Leader of the Senate shall each appoint to the Commission one Senator and
one person who is not a member of the General Assembly.
The members shall be certified to the Secretary of State by the
appointing authorities. A vacancy on the Commission shall be filled within
five days by the authority that made the original appointment. A Chairman
and Vice Chairman shall be chosen by a majority of all members of the Commission.
Not later than August 10, the Commission shall file with the Secretary
of State a redistricting plan approved by at least five members.
If the Commission fails to file an approved redistricting plan,
the Supreme Court shall submit the names of two persons, not of the same
political party, to the Secretary of State not later than September 1.
Not later than September 5, the Secretary of State publicly shall
draw by random selection the name of one of the two persons to serve as
the ninth member of the Commission.
Not later than October 5, the Commission shall file with the Secretary
of State a redistricting plan approved by at least five members.
An approved redistricting plan filed with the Secretary of State
shall be presumed valid, shall have the force and effect of law and shall
be published promptly by the Secretary of State.
The Supreme Court shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction
over actions concerning redistricting the House and Senate, which shall
be initiated in the name of the People of the State by the Attorney General.
(As amended by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Approved November
4,1980, effective November 26,1980.)
Section 4. ELECTION
Members of the General Assembly shall be elected at the general election
in even-numbered years.
Section 5. SESSIONS
(a) The General Assembly shall convene each year on the second Wednesday
of January. The General Assembly shall be a continuous body during the
term for which members of the House of Representatives are elected.
(b) The Governor may convene the General Assembly or the Senate alone in
special session by a proclamation stating the purpose of the session; and
only business encompassed by such purpose, together with any impeachments
or confirmation of appointments shall be transacted. Special sessions of
the General Assembly may also be convened by joint proclamation of the
presiding officers of both houses, issued as provided by law.
(c) Sessions of each house of the General Assembly and meetings of committees,
joint committees and legislative commissions shall be open to the public.
Sessions and committee meetings of a house may be closed to the public
if two-thirds of the members elected to that house determine that the public
interest so requires; and meetings of joint committees and legislative
commissions may be so closed if two-thirds of the members elected to each
house so determine.
Section 6. ORGANIZATION
(a) A majority of the members elected to each house constitutes a quorum.
(b) On the first day of the January session of the General Assembly in
odd-numbered years, the Secretary of State shall convene the House of Representatives
to elect from its membership a Speaker of the House of Representatives
as presiding officer, and the Governor shall convene the Senate to elect
from its membership a President of the Senate as presiding officer
(c) For purposes of powers of appointment conferred by this Constitution,
the Minority Leader of either house is a member of the numerically strongest
political party other than the party to which the Speaker or the President
belongs, as the case may be.
(d) Each house shall determine the rules of its proceedings, judge the
elections, returns and qualifications of its members and choose its officers
No member shall be expelled by either house, except by a vote of two-thirds
of the members elected to that house. A member may be expelled only once
for the same offense. Each house may punish by imprisonment any person,
not a member, guilty of disrespect to the house by disorderly or contemptuous
behavior in its presence. Imprisonment shall not extend beyond twenty-four
hours at one time unless the person persists in disorderly or contemptuous
Section 7. TRANSACTION OF BUSINESS
(a) Committees of each house, joint committees of the two houses and legislative
commissions shall give reasonable public notice of meetings including a
statement of subjects to be considered.
(b) Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and a transcript
of its debates. The journal shall be published and the transcript shall
be available to the public.
(c) Either house or any committee thereof as provided by law may compel
by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production
of books, records and papers.
Section 8. PASSAGE OF BILLS
(a) The enacting clause of the laws of this State shall be: "Be it enacted
by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly."
(b) The General Assembly shall enact laws only by bill. Bills may originate
in either house, but may be amended or rejected by the other.
(c) No bill shall become a law without the concurrence of a majority of
the members elected to each house. Final passage of a bill shall be by
record vote. In the Senate at the request of two members, and in the House
at the request of five members, a record vote may be taken on any other
occasion. A record vote is a vote by yeas and nays entered on the journal.
(d) A bill shall be read by title on three different days in each house.
A ill and each amendment thereto shall be reproduced and placed on the
desk of each member before final passage.
Bills, except bills for appropriations and for the codification,
revision or rearrangement of laws, shall be confined to one subject. Appropriation
bills hall be limited to the subject of appropriations. A bill expressly
amending a law shall set forth completely the sections to be amended.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the
Senate shall sign each bill that passes both houses to certify that the
procedural requirements for passage have been met.
Section 9. VETO PROCEDURE
(a) Every bill passed by the General Assembly shall be presented to the
Governor within 30 calendar days after its passage. The foregoing requirement
shall be judicially enforceable. If the Governor approves the bill, he
shall sign it and it shall become law.
(b) If the Governor does not approve the bill, he shall veto it by returning
it with his objections to the house in which it originated. Any bill not
so returned by the Governor within 60 calendar days after it is presented
to him shall become law. If recess or adjournment of the General Assembly
prevents the return of a bill, the bill and the Governor's objections shall
be filed with the Secretary of State within such 60 calendar days. The
Secretary of State shall return the bill and objections to the originating
house promptly upon the next meeting of the same General Assembly at which
the bill can be considered.
(c) The house to which a bill is returned shall immediately enter the Governor's
objections upon its journal. If within 15 calendar days after such entry
that house by a record vote of three-fifths of the members elected passes
the bill, it shall be delivered immediately to the second house. If within
15 calendar days after such delivery the second house by a record vote
of three fifths of the members elected passes the bill, it shall become
(d) The Governor may reduce or veto any item of appropriations in a bill
presented to him. Portions of a bill not reduced or vetoed shall become
law. An item vetoed shall be returned to the house in which it originated
and may become law in the same manner as a vetoed bill. An item reduced
in amount shall be returned to the house in which it originated and may
be restored to its original amount in the same manner as a vetoed bill
except that the required record vote shall be a majority of the members
elected to each house. If a reduced item is not so restored, it shall become
law in the reduced amount.
(e) The Governor may return a bill together with specific recommendations
for change to the house in which it originated. The bill shall be considered
in the same manner as a vetoed bill but the specific recommendations may
be accepted by a record vote of a majority of the members elected to each
house. Such bill shall be presented again to the Governor and if he certifies
that such acceptance conforms to his specific recommendations, the bill
shall become law. If he does not so certify, he shall return it as a vetoed
bill to the house in which it originated.
Section 10. EFFECTIVE DATE OF LAWS
The General Assembly shall provide by law for a uniform effective date
for laws passed prior to June 1 of a calendar year. The General Assembly
may provide for a different effective date in any law passed prior to June
1. A bill passed after May 31 shall not become effective prior to June
1 of the next calendar year unless the General Assembly by the vote of
three-fifths of the members elected to each house provides for an earlier
Section 11. COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES
A member shall receive a salary and allowances as provided by law, but
changes in the salary of a member shall not take effect during the term
for which he has been elected.
Section 12. LEGISLATIVE IMMUNITY
Except in cases of treason, felony or breach of peace, a member shall be
privileged from arrest going to, during, and returning from sessions of
the General Assembly. A member shall not be held to answer before any other
tribunal for any speech or debate, written or oral, in either house. These
immunities shall apply to committee and legislative commission proceedings.
Section 13. SPECIAL LEGISLATION
The General Assembly shall pass no special or local law when a general
law is or can be made applicable. Whether a general law is or can be made
applicable shall beta matter for judicial determination.
Section 14. IMPEACHMENT
The House of Representatives has the sole power to conduct legislative
investigations to determine the existence of cause for impeachment and
by the vote of a majority of the members elected, to impeach Executive
and Judicial officers. Impeachments shall be tried by the Senate. When
sitting for that purpose, Senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, to
do justice according to law. If the Governor is tried, the Chief Justice
of the Supreme Court shall preside. No person shall be convicted without
the concurrence of two thirds of the Senators elected. Judgment shall not
extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold any public
office of this State. An impeached officer, whether convicted or acquitted,
shall be liable to prosecution, trial, judgment and punishment according
Section 15. ADJOURNMENT
(a) When the General Assembly is in session, neither house without the
consent of the other shall adjourn for more than three days or to a place
other than where the two houses are sitting.
(b) If either house certifies that a disagreement exists between the houses
as to the time for adjourning a session, the Governor may adjourn the General
Assembly to a time not later than the first day of the next annual session.