Governor of Illinois

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Illinois

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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.

Current officeholder

The 41st and current governor is Pat Quinn, a Democrat. Quinn, formerly the lieutenant governor, became governor on January 29, 2009 after the Illinois State Senate impeached former Governor Rod Blagojevich. Quinn won election to a full term on November 2, 2010, which he began serving on January 10, 2011. Quinn's current term will expire on January 12, 2015.

Quinn was first elected as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 1992 and was re-elected in 1996. Before that, he served as Illinois Treasurer from 1991 through 1995. Prior to taking state office, he served as a commissioner on the Cook County Board of Tax Appeals and as a revenue director for the city of Chicago. Quinn holds a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.[1]

Authority

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.

Qualifications

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

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

  • at least twenty-five 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.

Elections

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, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 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. Thus, January 10, 2011 and January 12, 2015 are inaugural days.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Illinois governors do not face any term limits.

Vacancies

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.

Duties

Illinois

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".

Divisions

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

Compensation

§ 21 mandates that the Governor's salary be set by law, that no sitting Governor may receive any other compensation, and that no pay increase or decrease take effect until the next term. In 2010, the governor received a salary of $177,500.

Contact information

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

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

See also

External links

References