Illinois General Assembly

Illinois General Assembly

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The Illinois General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 and comprises the Illinois House of Representatives
Illinois House of Representatives
The Illinois House of Representatives is the lower house of the Illinois General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Illinois. The body was created by the first Illinois Constitution adopted in 1818. The state House of Representatives is made of 118 representatives elected from...

 and the Illinois Senate
Illinois Senate
The Illinois Senate is the upper chamber of the Illinois General Assembly, the legislative branch of the government of the state of Illinois in the United States. The body was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818. The Illinois Senate is made up of 59 senators elected from...

. The General Assembly was created by the first state constitution
Illinois Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Illinois is the governing document of the state of Illinois. There have been four Illinois Constitutions; the fourth and current version was adopted in 1970.-History:...

 adopted in 1818. Illinois has 59 legislative districts, with two representatives and one senator from each correspondent district. The current General Assembly is Illinois's 97th.

The General Assembly meets in the Illinois State Capitol
Illinois State Capitol
The Illinois State Capitol, located in Springfield, Illinois, is the building that houses the executive and legislative branches of the government of the U.S. state of Illinois. The current building is the sixth capitol of the state since its admission as a state of the United States in 1818. The...

 in Springfield.

Terms of members


All members of the House of Representatives are elected to a two-year term without term limits
Term limits in the United States
Term limits in the United States apply to many offices at both the federal and state level, and date back to the American Revolution.-Pre-constitution:...

.

The Senate's term cycle is staggered. In order to avoid complete turnovers in Senate membership (except after an intervening Census), not all districts elect senators simultaneously. Every Senate district elects its members to serve two four-year terms and one two-year term per decade. The placement of the two-year term in the decade varies from one district to another, with each district's terms defined as 2-4-4, 4-2-4, or 4-4-2. Similar to the House, Senators are also elected without term limits.

Officers


The officers of each house of the General Assembly are elected at the beginning of each odd number year. Representatives of the House elect from its membership a Speaker
Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives
-List of Speakers:This is a complete list of the Speakers of the Illinois House of Representatives, as of 2007. Each was chosen since the Illinois General Assembly's first session in 1818.The colors indicate the political party affiliation of each speaker....

 and Speaker pro tempore, typically drawn from the majority party in the chamber. The Illinois Secretary of State convenes and supervises the opening House session and leadership vote. Similarly, senators elect from the chamber a Senate President
President of the Senate
The President of the Senate is a title often given to the presiding officer of a senate, and is the speaker of other assemblies.The senate president often ranks high in a jurisdiction's succession for its top executive office: for example, the President of the Senate of Nigeria is second in line...

, convened and under the supervision of the governor
Governor of Illinois
The Governor of Illinois is the chief executive of the State of Illinois and the various agencies and departments over which the officer has jurisdiction, as prescribed in the state constitution. It is a directly elected position, votes being cast by popular suffrage of residents of the state....

. Since the adoption of the current Illinois Constitution
Illinois Constitution
The Constitution of the State of Illinois is the governing document of the state of Illinois. There have been four Illinois Constitutions; the fourth and current version was adopted in 1970.-History:...

 in 1970, the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois
Lieutenant Governor of Illinois
The Lieutenant Governor of Illinois is the second highest executive of the State of Illinois. In Illinois, the lieutenant governor and governor run on a joint ticket, and are directly elected by popular vote. Candidates for lieutenant governor run separately in the primary from candidates for...

does not serve in any legislative capacity as Senate President, and has had its office's powers transferred to other capacities.

Sessions and qualifications


The General Assembly's first official working day is the second Monday of January each year, with the Secretary of State convening the House, and the Governor convening the Senate. In order to serve as a member in either chamber of the General Assembly, a person must be a U.S. citizen, at least 21 years of age, and for the two years preceding his election or appointment a resident of the district which they represent. In the general election following a redistricting, a candidate for any chamber of 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.

Veto powers


The General Assembly has the power to override gubernatorial vetoes through a three-fifths majority vote in each chamber.

External links