Illinois State Senate
|Illinois State Senate|
|Partisan control:||Democratic Party|
|2015 session start:||January 14, 2015|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||John Cullerton (D)|
|Majority Leader:||James Clayborne (D)|
|Minority Leader:||Christine Radogno (R)|
Democratic Party (39)
Republican Party (20)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art IV, Illinois Constitution|
|Salary:||$67,836/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (19 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016|
|Redistricting:||Illinois General Assembly|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Standing Senate Committees
- 7 History
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
As of May 2015, Illinois is one of 19 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.
Article IV of the Illinois Constitution establishes when the Illinois General Assembly, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 5 of Article IV states that the General Assembly will convene its regular session on the second Wednesday of January.
Section 5 also creates rules for the convening of special sessions. The section allows the Governor of Illinois to convene the General Assembly or the Senate alone. When the Governor calls a special session, the General Assembly can generally only deal with matters related to the purpose of the session, as stated by the Governor's proclamation of the session, but they can also deal with impeachments or confirmation of appointments. Section 5 also allows the presiding officers of both houses of the General Assembly to convene a special session through joint proclamation.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature is in session from January 14 through May 31 (Projected).
Major issues during the 2015 legislative session include a potential income tax increase, a statewide minimum wage and federal healthcare funding.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 29 through June 2.
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included the pending expiration of a temporary income tax, corporate tax incentives, Chicago pension reform and capital construction.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 9 through May 31.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate was in session from January 11, meeting throughout the year.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 12-June 1. A special session has been called by Governor Pat Quinn to settle disputes regarding Illinois construction projects. The session is slated to begin June 22, 2011.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the Senate was in regular session from January 13th to May 7th.
Role in state budget
- See also: Illinois state budget and finances
- In September of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year, the governor sends budget instructions to state agencies.
- In October and November, agencies submit their budget requests to the governor.
- Agency hearings are held in November and December.
- Budget hearings with the public are held from February through May.
- On the third Wednesday in February, the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the Illinois State Legislature.
- The State Legislature passes a budget in May.
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.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis, while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. The challenges states faced included a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Illinois was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, Illinois received a grade of B+ and a numerical score of 88, indicating that Illinois was "advancing" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Illinois was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
- See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2014
Elections for the office of Illinois State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on March 18, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was December 2, 2013.
- See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2012
The filing period was from November 28, 2011, through December 5, 2011. Petitions could be circulated starting on September 6, 2011.
All 59 seats were up for election, as the election was the first following redistricting.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Illinois State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 23||Tom Cullerton||2.4%||79,749||Carole Pankau|
|District 31||Melinda Bush||2.7%||82,823||Joe Neal|
|District 49||Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant||6.5%||85,442||Garrett Peck|
|District 38||Sue Rezin||7.6%||88,950||Christine Benson|
|District 46||David Koehler||8.4%||83,158||Pat Sullivan|
|District 29||Julie Morrison||8.8%||85,760||Arie Friedman|
|District 36||Mike Jacobs||9.6%||93,188||Bill Albracht|
|District 48||Andy Manar||10.6%||85,590||Mike McElroy|
|District 47||John Sullivan||12.7%||91,017||Randy Frese|
|District 28||Daniel Kotowski||14.6%||79,691||Jim O'Donnell (Illinois)|
- See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2010
Elections for the office of Illinois State Senator were held in Illinois on November 2, 2010. Seats in every third district (1, 4, 7...) and also district 51 were up for election in 2010, for a total of 21 of 59 districts.
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was November 2, 2009, and the primary Election Day was February 2, 2010.
In 2010, the total amount of contributions raised in state senate campaigns was $19,051,437. The top 10 donors were:
|2010 Donors, Illinois State Senate|
|Illinois Senate Democratic Fund||$3,849,507|
|Republican State Senate Campaign Cmte of Illinois||$1,493,465|
|Illinois Democratic Party||$1,454,869|
|Illinois Republican Party||$1,016,221|
|Illinois Healthcare Association||$459,144|
|Illinois Education Association||$395,908|
|Illinois State Medical Society||$315,142|
|Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois||$282,582|
- See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2008
Elections for the office of Illinois State Senate consisted of a primary election on February 5, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $30,470,315. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Illinois State Senate|
|Republican State Senate Campaign Cmte of Illinois||$2,301,102|
|Illinois Senate Democratic Fund||$1,572,783|
|Illinois Republican Party||$852,827|
|Illinois Education Association||$656,321|
|Friends of Clayborne||$501,750|
|Illinois Healthcare Association||$415,163|
|Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois||$356,981|
|Illinois State Medical Society||$343,516|
|Illinois Federation of Teachers||$264,526|
- See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2006
Elections for the office of Illinois State Senate consisted of a primary election on March 21, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $33,836,264. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Illinois State Senate|
|Illinois Senate Democratic Fund||$3,555,572|
|Republican State Senate Campaign Cmte||$1,813,469|
|Illinois Republican Party||$1,095,432|
|Illinois Education Association||$906,460|
|Citizens for Frank Watson||$505,865|
|Illinois State Medical Society||$425,159|
|Illinois Federation of Teachers||$403,876|
- See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2004
Elections for the office of Illinois State Senate consisted of a primary election on March 16, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $27,180,039. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Illinois State Senate|
|Illinois Senate Democratic Fund||$3,261,028|
|Republican State Senate Campaign Cmte of Illinois||$2,086,919|
|Illinois Education Association||$657,415|
|Illinois State Medical Society||$370,459|
|Illinois Federation of Teachers||$257,559|
|Illinois Hospital & Health Systems Association||$240,579|
|Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois||$213,725|
|Service Employees Illinois Council||$204,569|
|Illinois Realtors Association||$186,706|
|Citizens for Frank Watson||$185,786|
- See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2002
Elections for the office of Illinois State Senate consisted of a primary election on March 19, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $35,390,771. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Illinois State Senate|
|Republican State Senate Campaign Cmte of Illinois||$2,823,523|
|Illinois Democratic Party||$1,661,354|
|Citizens for Emil Jones Jr||$1,187,000|
|Illinois Education Association||$1,073,385|
|Illinois Senate Democratic Fund||$923,181|
|Illinois Federation of Teachers||$305,228|
|Illinois State Medical Society||$302,041|
|Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois||$285,050|
|Afscme Council 31||$283,270|
|Illinois Trial Lawyers Association||$252,450|
- See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2000
Elections for the office of Illinois State Senate consisted of a primary election on March 21, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to Senate candidates was $21,381,359. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Illinois State Senate|
|Illinois Democratic Party||$1,894,672|
|Republican State Senate Campaign Cmte of Illinois||$1,768,327|
|Illinois Education Association||$335,602|
|Illinois Hospital & Health Systems Association||$201,906|
|Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois||$197,600|
|Illinois State Medical Society||$187,800|
|Illinois Manufacturers Association||$153,433|
|Kompac State Victory Fund||$144,550|
|Illinois Federation of Teachers||$133,422|
Article IV of the Illinois Constitution states: To be eligible to serve as a member of the General Assembly, a person must be a United States citizen, at least 21 years old, and for the two years preceding his election or appointment a resident of the district which he is to represent.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
Whenever there is a vacancy in the Illinois State Senate, the Illinois Constitution mandates that the seat must be filled by appointment when allowed by law. The appointment must be made within 30 days after the vacancy. If a vacancy by a member of the Illinois Senate has more than twenty-eight months remaining in the term, the appointment is interim until the next general election and in this case, a special election must be held to fill the balance of the unserved term. All other Senate vacancies and vacancies in the House of Representatives should be made by appointment with the person appointed being a member of the same political party that last held the seat.
The vacancy must be filled by the respective party organizations covering the legislative district. This must be voted on by the respective committeemen and committeewomen representing the legislative district.
- See also: Redistricting in Illinois
The Illinois General Assembly is responsible for redistricting. If the General Assembly fails to meet the deadlines to have a redistricting plan in place, an 8-member back-up commission is used. Illinois is one of a few states to enact a hybrid method of redistricting.
Illinois received its 2010 local census data on February 14, 2011. The state population increased from about 12.4 million to 12.8 million residents, a 3.3 percent growth. The state's Latino population grew by 33% from 2000 to 2010, reaching 2 million. Meanwhile, non-Latino population declined by 0.8%.
2011 was the first time under the current state Constitution that one party -- namely the Democrats -- controlled the state House, Senate and governorship during redistricting. A number of Republicans expressed concern that Democrats would draw partisan maps to serve their own interests.
Democrats released proposed maps of the 59 Senate districts on May 19. Republicans said the maps would likely guarantee a Republican minority for the next decade. The new lines merged a number of current Republican districts, potentially leading to runoffs between incumbents in several districts. Republicans released their counter-proposal on May 26, saying their map was fairer than the Democrats. The Senate passed the Democrats plan by a vote of 35-22. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill on June 3, but GOP leaders filed a federal lawsuit on July 21 alleging the legislative maps unfairly targeted Republicans and discriminated against African-Americans and Hispanics. It was ultimately dismissed.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Illinois House of Representatives are paid $67,836/year. Additionally, legislators receive $111/day per diem.
When sworn in
Illinois legislators assume office the second Wednesday in January.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of May 2015|
Standing Senate Committees
- Agriculture and Conservation
- Appropriations II
- Commerce and Economic Development
- Committee of the Whole
- Criminal Law
- Energy and Public Utilities
- Environment and Conservation
- Executive Appointments
- Financial Institutions
- Higher Education
- Human Services
- Legislative Petitions
- Licensed Activities and Pensions
- Local Government
- Public Health
- Restorative Justice
- State Government & Veterans Affairs
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Illinois State Senate for 12 years while the Republicans were the majority for 10 years. The final 11 years of the study depicted a shift in the Illinois senate with all 11 years being Democratic trifectas.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 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.
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
- Illinois House of Representatives
- Governor of Illinois
- Illinois State Legislature
- Illinois Constitution
- Official website of the Illinois General Assembly and Senate
- Official website of Illinois Senate Republicans
- Official website of Illinois Senate Democrats
- Article IV of the Illinois Constitution (Section 2a describes term length for senators)
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
- Chicago Tribune, "Rauner-Madigan showdown looms in 2015," December 4, 2014
- dailyjournal.net, "Illinois lawmakers focus on budget issues with election-year legislative session set to begin," January 19, 2014(Archived)
- Chicago Sun-Times, "Lame-duck session ends with no pension reform," January 8, 2013(Archived)
- mymoinfo.com, "May 31, 2013 Illinois Legislators Pass Oil Fracking Bill," May 31, 2013(Archived)
- foxnews.com, "Illinois passes bill to allow concealed firearms; last U.S. state to have such a ban," June 1, 2013
- npr.org, "Will Ill. Legalize Gay Marriage Before Legislature Adjourns?," May 30, 2013
- ABC.com, General Assembly to hold special session next week, June 15, 2011
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," accessed April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Confirmed via email with Illinois Board of Elections, February 28, 2011
- Follow the Money: "Illinois Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions
- Follow the Money, "Illinois 2008 Candidates," accessed July 18, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Illinois 2006 Candidates," accessed July 18, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Illinois 2004 Candidates," accessed July 18, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Illinois 2002 Candidates," accessed July 18, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Illinois 2000 Candidates," accessed July 18, 2013
- Illinois General Assembly, "Illinois Constitution," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Section Article IV, Section 2(d))
- Illinois General Assembly, "Illinois Election Code," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 10 ILCS 5/25 6 (a), (c))
- Illinois General Assembly, "Illinois Election Code," accessed December 16, 2013(Referenced Statute 10 ILCS 5/25 6 (d))
- The Daily Journal, "Census: Cook County losses slow Illinois population growth," February 15, 2011(dead link)
- prnewswire.com, "Latinos Fuel Illinois Population Growth," February 17, 2011
- IllinoisWatchdog.org, "Minorities could have more influence in new political map," March 7, 2011
- IL Senate Redistricting Committee, "Senate Redistricting Proposal," May 19, 2011
- Quad-City Times, "Republicans unveil their own redistricting plan," May 26, 2011
- Chicago Tribune, "Senate Dems send new legislative map to governor," May 27, 2011(Archived)
- The News-Gazette, "Map awaits Quinn's signature, may face Republican court challenge," May 29, 2011
- My FOX Chicago, "Gov. Pat Quinn Signs Off on New Illinois Legislative Maps," June 3, 2011
- Chicago Tribune, "Assembly GOP leaders sue over Democrats' redistricting map," July 21, 2011
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Illinois General Assembly, "Senate Committees 97th General Assembly," accessed March 17, 2015
State of Illinois
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