Governor of Illinois

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Illinois Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $6,485,800
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Four years
Authority:  Illinois Constitution, Article V, Section 8
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Bruce Rauner.jpg
Name:  Bruce Rauner
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 12, 2015
Compensation:  $177,412
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Illinois Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorComptrollerSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture DirectorInsurance DirectorNatural Resources DirectorLabor DirectorIllinois Commerce Commission
The Governor of the State of Illinois is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the executive branch and the highest state office in Illinois. The governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is not subject to any term limits.
See also: Illinois State Legislature, Illinois House of Representatives, Illinois State Senate

Current officeholder

The 42nd and current governor is Bruce Rauner (R). He was first elected in 2014. Rauner was sworn in January 12, 2015, for a four-year term in office. He succeeded Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn, who lost his bid for re-election in November 2014.[1]


The state constitution establishes the office of the governor in Article V, the Executive Department.

Illinois Constitution, Article V, Section 8

The Governor shall have the supreme executive power, and shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws.


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

Per Article V, Section 3 of the Illinois Constitution, a governor is required to be:

  • at least 25 years old,
  • a United States citizen,
  • a resident of Illinois for three years prior to election.

Illinois Constitution, Article V, Section 3

To be eligible to hold the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller or Treasurer, a person must be a United States citizen, at least 25 years old, and a resident of this State for the three years preceding his election.


Illinois state government organizational chart
See also: Gubernatorial election cycles by state
See also: Election of governors

Illinois elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. For Illinois, 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030 and 2034 are all gubernatorial election years. The gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the second Monday in the January following an election (Illinois Constitution, Article V, Section 2).


See also: Illinois Gubernatorial election, 2014
Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBruce Rauner/Evelyn Sanguinetti 50.3% 1,823,627
     Democratic Pat Quinn/Paul Vallas Incumbent 46.3% 1,681,343
     Libertarian Chad Grimm/Alex Cummings 3.4% 121,534
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0% 1,186
Total Votes 3,627,690
Election Results via Illinois State Board of Elections.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Illinois governors do not face term limits. Illinois is one of 14 states that do not have gubernatorial term limits.

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of Illinois governors from 1992-2013.
Governor of Illinois Partisanship.PNG


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancies are addressed under Article V, Section 6.

In the event of a vacancy, the line of succession is as follows: the lieutenant governor, the elected attorney general, and then the elected secretary of state. The wording of the state constitution suggests that an attorney general or secretary of state appointed to fill a vacancy is not eligible to succeed to the office of governor.

The governor may temporarily remove himself from office by stating a serious impediment to discharging his office to the secretary of state and to the officer who would succeed him. The governor may resume his office at will. Removing the governor against his will for reasons for mental or physical health is in the hands of the Illinois Supreme Court.



Charged with upholding and faithfully executing all laws, the governor of Illinois is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. With the Senate's confirmation, the governor appoints all officers not otherwise provided for in law; the governor also makes recess appointments when the Senate is not in session and may remove any gubernatorial appointee for any reason (Illinois Const., Article V, § 9-10).

The governor is required to report to the Illinois Legislature on the "condition of the State" at the beginning of each legislative session. This usually takes the form of a formal ["State of the State" address.]

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Reorganizing state departments and, if needed to so, convening extraordinary sessions of the General Assembly by Executive Order (§ 11).
  • Under § 12, the governor may grant pardons, reprieves and commutations "for all offenses on such terms as he thinks proper."


  • Legislative
  • Legal
  • Communications
  • State Chief Information Officer
  • Senior Advisor to the Governor
  • Office of Management and Budget[2]

State budget

Role in state budget

See also: Illinois state budget and finances

Illinois operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[3][4]

  1. In September of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year, the governor sends budget instructions to state agencies.
  2. In October and November, agencies submit their budget requests to the governor.
  3. Agency hearings are held in November and December.
  4. Budget hearings with the public are held from February through May.
  5. On the third Wednesday in February, the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the Illinois State Legislature.
  6. The State Legislature passes a budget in May.

Illinois is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[4]

The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget. In turn, the legislature must pass a balanced budget, and the budget must be balanced in order for the governor to sign it into law.[4]

Governor's office budget

The budget for the Office of the Governor in Fiscal Year 2012 was $6,485,800.[5]


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of elected executives in Illinois are determined by the Illinois State Legislature as mandated in the state constitution. Article V, Section 21 of the Illinois Constitution also notes that executives cannot receive additional compensation beyond their salaries nor can their salaries be changed during current terms:

Article V, Section 21 of the Illinois Constitution

Text of Section 21:


Officers of the Executive Branch shall be paid salaries established by law and shall receive no other compensation for their services. Changes in the salaries of these officers elected or appointed for stated terms shall not take effect during the stated terms.[6]


In 2014, the governor received a salary of $177,412, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2013, the governor received a salary of $177,412, according to the Council of State Governments.[8]


In 2012, the governor was paid an estimated $177,412, according to the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the governor received a salary of $177,500.

Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Illinois
Partisan breakdown of the Illinois governorship from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, Illinois had 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 percent) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27 percent) 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 had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

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

SQLI and partisanship

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).

Historical officeholders

There have been 42 governors since 1818. Of the 42 officeholders, three were Democratic-Republican, 20 were Republican, 17 were Democrat and two changed parties while in office.[9]

List of Former Officeholders from 1818-Present
# Name Tenure Party
1 Shadrack Bond 1818 - 1822 Democratic-Republican
2 Edward Coles 1822 - 1826 Democratic-Republican
3 Ninian Edwards 1826 - 1830 Democratic-Republican
4 John Reynolds 1830 - 1834 Electiondot.png Democratic
5 William Lee Davidson Ewing 1834 - 1834 Electiondot.png Democratic
6 Joseph Duncan 1834 - 1838 Electiondot.png Democratic
7 Thomas Carlin 1838 - 1842 Electiondot.png Democratic
8 Thomas Ford 1842 - 1846 Electiondot.png Democratic
9 Augustus C. French 1846 - 1853 Electiondot.png Democratic
10 Joel Aldrich Matteson 1853 - 1857 Electiondot.png Democratic
11 William Henry Bissell 1857 - 1860 Electiondot.png Democratic, Ends.png Republican
12 John Wood 1860 - 1861 Ends.png Republican
13 Richard Yates 1861 - 1865 Ends.png Republican
14* Richard James Oglesby 1865 - 1869 Ends.png Republican
15 John McAuley Palmer 1869 - 1873 Ends.png Republican, Electiondot.png Democratic
14* Richard James Oglesby 1873 - 1873 Ends.png Republican
16 John Lourie Beveridge 1873 - 1877 Ends.png Republican
17 Shelby Moore Cullom 1877 - 1883 Ends.png Republican
18 John Marshall Hamilton 1883 - 1885 Ends.png Republican
14* Richard James Oglesby 1885 - 1889 Ends.png Republican
19 Joseph Wilson Fifer 1889 - 1893 Ends.png Republican
20 John Peter Altgeld 1893 - 1897 Electiondot.png Democratic
21 John Riley Tanner 1897 - 1901 Ends.png Republican
22 Richard Yates 1901 - 1905 Ends.png Republican
23 Charles Samuel Deneen 1905 - 1913 Ends.png Republican
24 Edward Fitzsimmons Dunne 1913 - 1917 Electiondot.png Democratic
25 Frank Orren Lowden 1917 - 1921 Ends.png Republican
26 Lennington Small 1921 - 1929 Ends.png Republican
27 Louis Lincoln Emmerson 1929 - 1933 Ends.png Republican
28 Henry Horner 1933 - 1940 Electiondot.png Democratic
29 John Henry Stelle 1940 - 1941 Electiondot.png Democratic
30 Dwight Herbert Green 1941 - 1949 Ends.png Republican
31 Adlai Ewing Stevenson 1949 - 1953 Electiondot.png Democratic
32 William Grant Stratton 1953 - 1961 Ends.png Republican
33 Otto Kerner 1961 - 1968 Electiondot.png Democratic
34 Samuel H. Shapiro 1968 - 1969 Electiondot.png Democratic
35 Richard Buell Ogilvie 1969 - 1973 Ends.png Republican
36 Daniel Walker 1973 - 1977 Electiondot.png Democratic
37 James Robert Thompson 1977 - 1991 Ends.png Republican
38 Jim Edgar 1991 - 1999 Ends.png Republican
39 George H. Ryan 1999 - 2003 Ends.png Republican
40 Rod Blagojevich 2003 - 2009 Electiondot.png Democratic
41 Pat Quinn 2009 - 2015 Electiondot.png Democratic
42 Bruce Rauner 2015 - present Ends.png Republican

*Note: Oglesby was the 14th governor all three occasions.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Governor Illinois."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Governor of Illinois - Google News Feed

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Contact information

The offices of the Governor of Illinois.

Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244
TTY: 888-261-3336

Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-2121

See also

External links

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