Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Illinois

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Who Runs the States

Main Report Pages
Main PagePart 1Partisanship InfographicPart 2Part 3

Partisanship Results Report (Part 1)
Executive SummaryState Partisanship AnalysisPartisan Control of GovernorshipsPartisan Control of State LegislaturesPartisan Control of State SenatesPartisan Control of State HousesState Government TrifectasOverall Partisan Control: Bright, Medium and Soft StatesChanges of Partisan Domination over 22 yearsYear-to-Year Changes in State Partisan ControlTrifectas and Presidential Election PatternsConclusionMethodologyAppendix AAppendix B

State Quality of Life Index (SQLI) Report (Part 2)
Executive SummaryState Quality of Life Index (SQLI)About the IndexOverall RankingsDramatic Changes from 1st Half to 2nd HalfIndividual IndicatorsMethodologyAppendices

Partisanship and (SQLI) Overlay Report (Part 3)
IntroductionComparing Partisanship and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI) RankingsDescription of the dataTrends and correlationsMethodologyKey Values for Fifty-State RegressionsAppendices
Praise or blame is extended to political parties for the economic, educational, health and other quality of life outcomes that result from the policies those parties enact into law. To better understand which political party enjoys power in each of the states, Ballotpedia has analyzed state government control from 1992-2013 using the concept of a "partisan trifecta." A partisan trifecta is defined as when a state's governorship and legislative chambers are controlled by the same political party.

The two major political parties claim that their policies will lead to better outcomes. What does the data show?

At Ballotpedia, we explored these issues in a three-part study, Who Runs the States.

This page takes a specific look at how Illinois performed in the study.

Background about the study

See also: Ballotpedia: Who Runs the States

Part One examines the partisanship of state government from 1992-2013. Part Two establishes a State Quality of Life Index (SQLI), aggregating a variety of existing state indices into one measurement. Part Three will overlay the two reports, looking for trends and correlations.

Part 1: Partisanship analysis

Illinois Governor

From 1992 to 2013, there were Democratic governors in office for the first 11 years while there were Republican governors in office for the last 11 years. During the final 11 years of the study, Illinois was under Democratic trifectas.

Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

Illinois Senate

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Illinois State Senate for 12 years while the Republicans were the majority for 10 years.

Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.

Illinois House of Representatives

From 1992 to 2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Illinois State House of Representatives for 20 years while the Republicans were the majority for 2 years. The Illinois State House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992 and 2013.

Across the country, there were 579 Democratic and 482 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Illinois, the Illinois State Senate and the Illinois House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of Illinois state government(1992-2013).PNG

Partisan control changes

There were four partisan control changes in Illinois during the study period, the same as the average number of changes in the 50 states.

Illinois legislature pie chart 1992-2013.png
Illinois government pie chart 1992-2013.png
Illinois gubernatorial pie chart 1992-2013.png

Part 2: State Quality of Life Index (SQLI)

Illinois’s average ranking over the course of the study period was 19.05, which puts it at 19 in the overall SQLI ranking.[1]

  • The year that Illinois had the highest ranking was 1997, in which it ranked 5th.
  • The year that Illinois had the lowest ranking was 2012, in which it ranked 42nd.
  • The index type that Illinois had the highest ranking in was State Government Spending/GDP, in which it ranked 5th.
  • The index type that Illinois had the lowest ranking in was 24/7 Wall Street’s Best and Worst Governed States, in which it ranked 48th.
Illinois SQLI 1992-2012
Index 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
24/7 Wall St Best/Worst Governed States N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 43 49 48
America's Health Rankings 31 32 35 34 34 33 29 27 30 31 31 30 29 27 23 28 29 29 29 30 30
CAFR Debt/GDP N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 29 26 27 31 30 35 37 N/A
Chief Executive Magazine Best and Worst States for Business Survey N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 17 8 40 42 45 45 48 48
CNBC Top States for Business N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 39 30 25 30 22 26
Forbes Best States for Business N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 44 40 35 24 37 41 38
Govt. Employment Share Population 8 7 7 11 11 9 9 9 7 6 8 6 6 6 8 7 7 7 8 8 8
Graduation Rate 23 18 18 19 19 16 10 14 13 14 25 27 23 18 25 16 19 17 17 15 21
Personal Income Per Capita 8 8 8 7 6 6 6 9 9 11 10 11 11 13 11 12 13 14 13 16 16
Poverty Rate 32 29 26 30 28 21 17 18 27 23 33 31 31 24 22 20 25 25 25 24 N/A
Real GDP per capita 12 11 10 10 10 9 10 11 12 10 11 11 12 13 13 13 13 14 17 16 N/A
S&P Credit Rating N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 22 21 20 18 17 20 21 24 49 49 49 49
State Govt. Spending/GDP 4 2 1 4 5 3 3 4 5 5 6 6 9 5 4 5 6 8 10 7 N/A
State & local tax burden 29 28 27 27 26 23 22 23 22 31 31 28 29 28 30 27 30 43 40 N/A N/A
Tax Freedom Day N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 44
Unemployment Rate 39 42 31 25 28 26 28 33 38 43 44 43 44 42 30 40 39 38 41 41 41
Unfunded Pension Liabilities per capita N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 49 49 49 N/A
Voter Turnout 23 39 39 27 27 26 26 25 25 26 26 28 28 31 31 25 25 26 26 32 32
Well-Being Index N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 29 28 26 32 26

Part 3: Partisanship and SQLI Overlay

Illinois was one of eight states to demonstrate a dramatic partisan shift in the 22 years studied. A dramatic shift was defined by a movement of 40 percent or more toward one party over the course of the study period.

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Illinois state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. For a period of two years (1995 and 1996), Illinois had a Republican trifecta between two periods of divided government (1992-1995 and 1997-2002). Between 2003 and 2013, Illinois has had a Democratic trifecta. For four straight years, Illinois was in the top-10 in the SQLI ranking between 1997 and 2000 under divided government. Illinois slipped into the bottom-10 in the ranking in the year 2012 (41st) under a Democratic trifecta. The state had its most precipitous drop in the SQLI ranking between 2006 and 2007, dropping nine spots. Illinois had its biggest leap in the SQLI ranking between 1996 and 1997, rising eight spots in the ranking.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 27.10
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 11.50
  • SQLI average with divided government: 11.78
Chart displaying the partisanship of Illinois government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

See also

Additional information

External links

Footnotes

  1. Note: The average rank is compiled by adding up all years of rankings and then dividing by 21 to obtain the average state ranking. This average figure is ranked relative to the rest of the 49 states to derive an overall SQLI ranking.