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Lieutenant Governor of Illinois

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The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Illinois is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the executive branch, and the first officer in line to succeed the Governor of Illinois. The Lieutenant Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and faces no term limits.

On April 11, 2013, the Illinois House of Representatives approved a proposal seeking to eliminate the position of lieutenant governor by constitutional amendment. In order for the measure to be passed, it must win approval of both the State Senate and Illinois voters. If the proposal is approved in a statewide public vote, the office will emain intact for one final term following the 2014 election.[1]

Current officeholder

See also: Current Lieutenant Governors

The 46th and current Lieutenant Governor is Sheila Simon, a Democrat elected on November 2, 2010. Simon took office on January 10, 2011. The office was vacant for two years until Simon took office after former Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn became governor on January 2, 2009. Per the Illinois Constitution, if a lieutenant governor leaves office to fill a vacancy in the office of governor, the position of lieutenant governor remains vacant until after the next general election.

Before becoming lieutenant governor, Simon served on the Illinois Reform Commission, a 15-member body that proposed revisions to state ethics rules. She served on the Carbondale City Council from 2003 to 2007 and was an assistant professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Law from 2000 to 2005. Simon previously worked as an assistant state's attorney in Jackson County, IL from 1994 to 1998 and an associate in the firm of O'Neill & Colvin (Carbondale, IL) from 1992 to 1994. Simon holds a bachelor's degree from Wittenberg University and a J.D. from Georgetown Law School.[2]


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

Illinois Constitution, Article V, Section 1

The Executive Branch shall include a Governor, Lieutenant Governor...


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
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Per Article V, Section 1 of the state constitution, a lieutenant 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 lieutenant governors

Illinois elects lieutenant governors federal midterm election years. As a result, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all lieutenant gubernatorial election years. Legally, the lieutenant 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

The lieutenant governor does not face any term limits.


Details of vacancies are address under Article V, Section 7 of the state constitution.

If the lieutenant governor's chair becomes vacant, it shall remain vacant for the remainder of the elected term. The attorney general then becomes second in the line of gubernatorial succession.



The lieutenant governor of Illinois handles a variety of responsibilities. These duties include serving as Chairman of the Governor's Rural Affairs Council, Chairman of Rural Bond Bank of Illinois, head of the Illinois Main Street Program, and Chairman of the Illinois River Coordinating Council.

The lieutenant governor can take on other duties as assigned by the governor or initiate projects of his own. Former Lt. Gov. Corrine Wood, for example, focused on women's health issues. The lieutenant governor also serves as a surrogate speaker for the governor around the state and as a representative for state government.

Prior to the adoption of the 1970 Illinois Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor also served as the presiding officer of the Illinois State Senate.


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


In 2012, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $135,669. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


The lieutenant governor's pay is set by law and may not be increased or diminished effective during the current term. In 2010, the lieutenant governor received a salary of $135,700.

Contact info

214 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 558-3085
Fax: (217) 558-3094

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