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:   4 years
Authority:  Illinois Constitution, Article V, Section 8
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Pat Quinn.jpg
Name:  Pat Quinn
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 29, 2009
Compensation:  $177,412
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
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.

As of May 2013, Illinois is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas.

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]


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 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.


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.

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of Illinois State 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

The budget for the Office of the Governor in Fiscal Year 2012 was $6,485,800[3]


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

§ 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 2013, the governor's salary remained at $177,412.[4]


In 2012, the governor was paid an estimated $177,412. This figure comes from 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%) 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.

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

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Governor of Illinois has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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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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