Article IV

Constitution of the State of Illinois

ARTICLE IV THE LEGISLATURE

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.
(Source: Amendment adopted at general election November 4,
1980.)


SECTION 2. LEGISLATIVE COMPOSITION
    (a)  One Senator shall be elected from each Legislative
District. Immediately following each decennial redistricting,
the General Assembly by 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 Senatorial 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.
(Source: Amendment adopted at general election November 4,
1980.)


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 Districts.
    If no redistricting plan becomes effective by June 30 of
that year, a Legislative Redistricting Commission shall be
constituted not later than July 10. 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 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.
(Source: Amendment adopted at general election November 4,
1980.)


SECTION 4. ELECTION
    Members of the General Assembly shall be elected at the
general election in even-numbered years.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)


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.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)


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 behavior.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)


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.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)


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 bill 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 shall be limited
to the subject of appropriations.
    A bill expressly amending a law shall set forth
completely the sections 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.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)


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 law.
    (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.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)


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 effective date.
(Source: Amendment adopted at general election November 8,
1994.)


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.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)


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.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)



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 be a matter
for judicial determination.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)


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 to law.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)


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.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)

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