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Government of Illinois facts for kids

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Seal of Illinois
Peoria City Hall (cropped)
Peoria City Hall

The Government of Illinois, under the state’s constitution, has three branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The State's executive branch is split into several statewide elected offices, with the Governor as chief executive and head of state, and has numerous departments, agencies, boards and commissions. Legislative functions are granted to the General Assembly, a bicameral body consisting of the 118-member House of Representatives and the 59-member Senate. The judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court of Illinois and lower courts.


The executive branch is composed of six elected officers and their offices as well as numerous other departments. Illinois is one of 26 states that elect their governor on the same ticket as their lieutenant governor. The six elected officers are:


Illinois State Senate
The State Senate Chamber of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield

The Illinois General Assembly is the state legislature, composed of the 118-member Illinois House of Representatives and the 59-member Illinois Senate. The members of the General Assembly are elected at the beginning of each even-numbered year. Representatives elect from their chamber a Speaker and Speaker pro tempore, and senators elect from the chamber a President of the Senate.

The Governor has different types of veto like a full veto, reduction veto, and amendatory veto, but the General Assembly has the power to override gubernatorial vetoes through a three-fifths majority vote of each chamber. The General Assembly's session laws are published in the official Laws of Illinois. The Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) are the codified statutes of a general and permanent nature.


Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan
The Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan

The Supreme Court has limited original jurisdiction and has final appellate jurisdiction. It has mandatory jurisdiction in capital cases and cases where the constitutionality of laws has been called into question, and has discretionary jurisdiction from the Appellate Court. The Appellate Court is the court of first appeal for civil and criminal cases rising in the Illinois circuit courts.

The circuit courts are trial courts of original jurisdiction. There are 24 judicial circuits in the state, each comprising one or more of Illinois' 102 counties. The circuit court has general jurisdiction and can decide, with few exceptions, any kind of case.

Capital city

Springfield is designated as the Illinois capital. Many State of Illinois bureaucrats work in offices in Springfield, and it is the regular meeting place of the Illinois General Assembly. All persons elected in a statewide manner in Illinois are required to have at least one residence in Springfield, and the state government funds these residences

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