|I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI • XII • XIII • XIV • Schedule|
- 1 Features
- 2 Preamble
- 3 Article I
- 4 Article II
- 5 Article III
- 6 Article IV
- 7 Article V
- 8 Article VI
- 9 Article VII
- 10 Article VIII
- 11 Article IX
- 12 Article X
- 13 Article XI
- 14 Article XII
- 15 Article XIII
- 16 Article XIV
- 17 Schedule
- 18 Amending the constitution
- 19 History
- 20 See also
- 21 External links
- 22 Additional reading
- 23 References
The 1970 Constitution of Illinois has a preamble, 14 articles and a schedule.
In addition, Article XIV requires that Illinois voters be asked at least every 20 years if they desire a constitutional convention. 2008 was the last time that measure concerning a constitutional convention was put to a vote. The ballot measure failed with 67% voting against the measure.
- See also: Preambles to state constitutions
The preamble to the Illinois Constitution states:
Article I of the Illinois Constitution is titled "Bill of Rights" and contains similar provisions as the United States Bill of Rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. It also contains items not included in the United States Constitution like section 18, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, and section 19, which prohibits discrimination based on physical or mental handicaps.
Article III of the Illinois Constitution is titled "Suffrage and Elections" and describes voting qualifications, disqualifications and other election rules.
- Section 1 stipulates that a person must be 18 years old and a resident of the state for 30 days to vote.
- Section 2 disqualifies persons persons convicted of a felony.
- Section 4 provides that the Illinois General Assembly establish rules for elections.
- Section 5 establishes rules for the state board of election, requiring that no political party have a majority on the board.
Article IV of the Illinois Constitution is titled "The Legislature" and provides rules for the Illinois General Assembly.
- Section 1 divides the assembly into two bodies, the Illinois State Senate with 59 legislative districts and the Illinois House of Representatives with 118 representative districts.
- Section 2 describes the composition of the two bodies.
- Section 3 describes legislative redistricting procedures.
- Section 9 describes procedures involving executive vetoes of legislation.
- Section 14 describes impeachment rules.
Article V of the Illinois Constitution is titled "the Executive" and describes rules for the six state elected members: Illinois Governor, Illinois Lieutenant Governor, Illinois Attorney General, Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois Comptroller and Treasurer.
Article VII of the Illinois Constitution is titled "Local Government" and provides rules for county, township and city governments. This article also provides local government with a limited ability to pass ordinances.
Article VIII of the Illinois Constitution is titled "Finance" and provides for financial matters including obligation of funds, budgeting, spending and audits.
Article IX of the Illinois Constitution is titled "Revenue" and provides rules for various forms of taxation and state debt.
Article X of the Illinois Constitution is titled "Education" and establishes the goal of free schooling though secondary education and creates a state board of education.
Article XI of the Illinois Constitution is titled "Environment" and grants each person the "right to a healthful environment." It sets this as public policy and the duty of individuals to ensure a healthful environment be maintained.
Article XII of the Illinois Constitution is titled "Militia" and established rules for the state militia stating, "The State militia consists of all able-bodied persons residing in the State except those exempted by law." It also establishes the Governor of Illinois as the commander in chief of the militia and grants authority to use the militia to "enforce the laws, suppress insurrection or repel invasion."
Article XIII of the Illinois Constitution is titled "General Provisions" and establishes rules for persons holding public office.
- Section 7 provides for public transportation, allowing the General assembly to spend money to provide it.
Article XIV of the Illinois Constitution is titled "Constitutional Revision" and describes procedures for amending the constitution of Illinois.
The Transition Schedule of the Illinois Constitution consists of a preamble and ten sections, though some have been removed. It is also the conclusive section of the Illinois constitution.
Amending the constitution
- Main article: Amending state constitutions
Article XIV lays out four different routes that can be taken in order to change the constitution over time.
- A constitutional convention can be held if 60% of the members of both houses of the Illinois General Assembly vote to place such a question on the ballot.
- Every twenty years, the question of whether to hold a convention is automatically referred to a statewide ballot.
- An legislatively-referred constitutional amendment can be proposed if 60% of the members of both houses of the Illinois General Assembly vote to put in on the ballot, with some constraints which include:
- The legislature can only propose to amend up to three articles of the constitution in any one election.
- The legislature is not allowed to propose any amendments when a constitutional convention has been called up through the time that an election is held on any proposed amendments or revisions that arise from that convention.
- An initiated constitutional amendment can be proposed but only under conditions which include:
- It can only apply to "structural and procedural subjects" contained in Article IV of the Illinois Constitution.
- Signatures equal to 8% of the total vote cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election must be collected.
Whether the question at hand is about holding a constitutional convention, ratifying an amendment proposed by the Illinois General Assembly, or adopting an initiated constitutional amendment, these ballot questions are only considered successful if voters say "yes" by a supermajority vote of 60% of those voting on the question or a majority of those who cast a ballot for any office in that election.
In 1862 a constitutional convention was held, but the changes known as the "Copperhead constitution" were not ratified by the voters. A constitutional convention was held in 1920, but in 1922 the changes were rejected by voters. 2008 was the last time that a ballot measure concerning a constitutional convention was put to a vote. The ballot measure failed with 67% voting against the measure.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Illinois General Assembly, "Illinois Constitution"
- YouTube, "The Illinois Constitution"
- Illinois Courts Learning Center, "Lesson 2 - The Illinois Constitution"
- Tripod.com, "Illinois Constitution of 1818"
- Illinois State Bar Association, "Understanding the Illinois Constitution"
- Chicago Tribune, "Articles about the Illinois Constitution"
- Illinois General Assembly, "Illinois Constitution", accessed March 28, 2014
- Patriot Action Network, "IL State Constitution", accessed March 28, 2014
- New York Times, "Illinois Election Results", accessed December 9, 2008
- Lusk, David W. (1884). Politics and Politicians: A Succinct History of the Politics of Illinois', Springfield, Illinois: H. W. Rokker, accessed March 28, 2014
- Cyber Drive Illinois.com, "Illinois History timeline", accessed March 28, 2014