Illinois Constitution (1970) Study Guide

Preamble: Health, safety & welfare, etc.
Bill or rights: Inherent & Inalienable Rights

Article I Article II Article III Article IV Article V
Article VI Article VII Article VIII Article IX Article X
Article XI Article XII Article XIII Article XIV  

Article I

Source of Power: Government derives its powers from consent of the governed; government is intended to secure rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Personal Guarantees: Equal protection under the law and due process of law.

Freedoms: Rights
Freedom of religion, speech
Right to assemble and petition
Right to privacy & freedom from unreasonable searches or seizures; Right to indictment, preliminary hearing, speedy and impartial trial.
Rights to bail, to Writ of Habeas Corpus, to freedom from self incrimination and double jeopardy.

Punishments: Fits the offense and seeking rehabilitation of offender.
Right to legal remedy for wrongs or injuries.
Right to trial by jury.
Eminent domain only after adjudication and compensation.
No Ex Post Facto laws or laws impairing contract.
No discrimination in employment or in sale/ rental of property.
Right to individual dignity.
No quartering of soldiers in peacetime without consent or in wartime except as provided by law.
Right to bear arms, subject to police powers.
Fundamental civil liberties entail obligations and responsibilities among governments, groups and individuals within society.
Enumeration of some rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by individual citizens of the state.

Article II

Powers of the State: Separation & Sovereignty

Article III

Suffrage and elections:Voting

Voter qualifications: 6 months in state.

Elections to be free & equal: Statutes shall be uniform in residency, registration secrecy and integrity.

State Board of Elections: Supervision of elections by board whose size, selection and compensation will be determined by General Assembly, except that no political party shall have a majority of members.

D. General Election: Biennial on first Tuesday following the first Monday in even-numbered years.

Article IV

Legislature Law making process

Structure: one Senator & 59 districts, one Representative & 118 districts
Term: Senators–4 years, Representatives-2 years
Eligibility: U.S. Citizen, 21 years of age or older & resident of district of election or appointment at least two years.
Vacancy: Filled within thirty days under statute.
Double Compensation: While in attendance at Legislature no member shall be paid by any other Governmental entity.
Legislative Redistricting:Criteria
Districts: Compact, contiguous & substantially equal in population
Decennial Census: If legislature does not redistrict by June 30th of the year following decennial federal census, then redistricting will be done by 8 member legislative redistricting commission, of which no more than four may be of one political party.
Election: Members of the General Assembly chosen in even-numbered years.
Sessions: Continuous for term of house member
Regular Session: 2nd Wednesday in Jan.
Special Session: Governor’s Proclamation & agenda
Openness: Open to public except by 2/3 vote of body conducting business.
Quorum: Majority of members elected to each house.
Officers: Secretary of State convenes January session for the election of Speaker while governor convenes Senate for election of president of the Senate.
Majority Leader: Leader of the largest party (party of Speaker of House & President of Senate)
Minority Leader: Leaders of largest party except for party of Speaker & President
Rules:Each house makes its own rules & judges the return & qualifications of its own members
Expulsion : 2/3 vote of house in which member serves.
Transaction of Business:Routine procedures
Committees & legislative commission: Public notice & agenda
Journals: Each house shall keep public journals & transcripts
Subpoena: Witnesses, books, records & papers
Passage of Bills: Major concepts
Enacting Clause: "Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly.
Bills: Originate in either house, but may be awarded or rejected by the other.
Vote: Concurrence of majority in each house in record vote or final vote (earlier record vote on request of two senators or five Representatives).
Three readings: Read in full on three different days.
Bill topic: Except for appropriations & codification bills shall be confined to one subject.
Certification: Speaker & President shall sign each bill that passes.
Veto Procedures
Presentation to governor: Within thirty days of passage.
Total veto within sixty days, governor returns bill to house of origin with his reasons for rejecting bill. If the governor fails to return or sign the bill within sixty days, the bill becomes law.
Partial Veto: On appropriations bills, the Governor may reduce or veto any item in a bill presented to him.
Recommendation for Improvement: Bill may be returned with recommendations. If both houses should accept recommendations & governor so certifies, the bill becomes law.
Reaction to total veto:
Governor’s objections entered in journal.
Within 15 calendar days original house may override by 3/5 of members elected.
If original house overrides, other house may override within 15 calendar days by 3/5 of members elected
If both houses act to override, rejected bill becomes law
Reaction to partial veto:
Portion vetoed does not become law
Portion reduced becomes law in reduced amount
Returned to house of origin where it may be restored to original amount by majority vote within 15 calendar days when legislature is in session or after it comes into session.
If both houses restore reduced amounts, to original amounts by majority vote, restored amounts become law.
Effective date of laws:
Legislature shall provide uniform effective date for legislation to take effect.
Legislature may provide for a different date for any law passed before July 1 of each annual session.
Legislation passed after July 1 shall take effect on July 1 of the next calendar year unless passed by 3/5 vote of members elected to each house.
Legislative Immunity: Both houses, committees, and legislative commissions.
Immunity from arrests going to & from sessions except for treason, felony, or breach of peace.
Not accountable for speech or debate (written or oral) made in legislature to any other tribunal.
Special Legislation: No special or local law where general law can be made applicable is a matter for judicial determination.
Impeachment: Removal procedures
Only House can bring impeachment proceeding against Executive & Judicial officers.
Impeachments tried by Senators under oath. (If Governor is tried, Chief Justice of State Supreme Court presides).
Conviction by 2/3 of senators elected.
Judgement cannot go beyond removal from office and disqualification from state office.
Impeached officers, whether convicted or acquitted, shall be liable for normal Judicial proceedings.
Adjournment: Ending sitting
Neither House can, without consent of other house, adjourn for more than three days or move to a place other than that where the houses are sitting.
If either house certified disagreement exists as to adjournment, Governor may adjourn to a time not later than the first day of the next annual session.

Article V The Executive: Administration of State Government Elected Officers: Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, & Treasurer. (Governor & Lt. Governor run as pair.)

Term: four years beginning in 1978
Qualifications: Citizen, 25 years old, resident of state for 3 years.
Succession: Governor to Lt. Governor to Attorney General to Secretary of State
Governor:Supreme executive power
Appointment: Top officers with consent of the Senate within 60 days.
Removal: Incompetence, neglect, malfeasance
Reorganization: With legislative consent within sixty days.
Clemency: pardons, commutations, reprieves.
Legislative Message: Each annual session and at end of term
Lieutenant Governor: Duties from Governor and/or by statute
Attorney General: Legal officer of state
Secretary of State: Maintain all official records which are open to the public
Comptroller: Maintain fiscal accounts & order payments from Treasurer
Treasurer: Safe-keeping & investment of state funds & securities
Records & Reports:All executives shall keep accounts, make reports and provide information to the Governor.
Bonding: Civil Officers may be required to be bonded
Compensation: Established by law but unaltered during term.

Article VI Judiciary Supreme Court, Appellate Court, and Circuit Courts

Districts for Supreme & Appellate Courts: Cook County & 4 others
Supreme Court: Seven judges
Organization: 3 from Cook County & 1 from each of the 4 other districts
Quorum: 4
Decision: concurrence of 4
Chief: Elected by judges for 3 year term
Jurisdiction: Kinds of cases
Original: Revenue, Madamus, prohibition, habeas corpus
Appellate:Appeals from other court
Right: Death sentences, first cases involving U.S. or Illinois constitutions, cases certified as significant by Appellate Court
Rule:As determined by Supreme Court
Appellate Court:
Organization:Division within judicial districts
Personnel: Chosen by law within each district
Number of divisions: At least 1 for each district, more at the discretion of the Supreme Court
Judges:At least 3
Decision: 2
Assignments, times & places: Determined by Supreme Court
Jurisdiction:Kind of cases
Direct jurisdiction:To complete determination of a case on review
Right:Appeals from final Circuit Court decisions within district
Rule:Appeals from other than final Circuit Court decisions defined by Supreme Court
Administrative Action: As provided by law
No appeal: Acquittal after trial on merits case
Judicial Circuits:Basic Courts or original jurisdiction
Cook County:1st Judicial district as Circuit
Downstate: compact contiguous counties determined by law
Number of judges: 1 for each Circuit number provided by law
Chief Judge: Elected by Judges ( Cook County:12 from suburbs, 36 from Chicago, alterable by law) in secret ballot to serve at pleasure of judges.
General administrative authority
Creation of divisions
Specifications of time and place for holding court
Associate Judges: Supreme court by rule defines matters for jurisdiction
Number:Determined by law
Appointment: by rule of Supreme Court (Cook County: ¼ from suburbs, ¾ from Chicago, alterable by law)
Jurisdiction: Kinds of cases
Original:All justifiable matters
Exceptions:Supreme court has original & exclusive jurisdiction in redistricting assembly & in determining Governor’s ability to serve or resume office.
Terms: Variable
Supreme Court & Appellate Judges:10 years
Circuit Judges:6 years
Associate Judges: 4 years
Eligibility: U.S. citizen, licensed Illinois attorney, resident of unit.
Election:Petition, primary, election at same time as General Assembly
Retention:3/5 voter approval at general election when names shall be on separate ballot, without party designation, and solely on the question of retention.
Conduct in Office
Supreme Court rules: Ethical guidelines
Prohibited: Law practice, office in local government, office in a political party.
Permitted:State or U.S. military service
Judicial Inquiry Board:To conduct investigations, receive or initiate complaints, file complaints with court commission.
Membership:2 Circuit court judges, (selected by Supreme Court); non-lawyers and 3 lawyers can be members of same political party.
Term:4 years with 8 year limitation
Objective:To file a complaint when 5 members determined willful misconduct or judges inability to perform duties.
Rules: Adopted by board
Court Commission:Hear complaints from board
Membership:1 Supreme Court judge, 2 Appellate judges, 2 Circuit judges chosen by Supreme Court.
Objective:On the basis of public hearing & concurrence of 3 members to acquit, remove from office, suspend, censure a judge for misconduct or persistent failure to perform duties
Administration: Supreme Court appointed director and staff
Annual Conference:Called by Supreme Court to suggest improvements to General Assembly by January 31
Clerks: Non-judicial officers
Supreme & Appellate Courts:Appointed by judges of each court or district; salaries by law
Circuit Courts: election or appointment & salaries determined by law
State’s attorneys:County Prosecutors
Qualifications:U.S. citizen, licensed attorney
Salary:Determined by law

Article VII Local Government

Definitions: Local units
Municipalities: Cities, villages, & incorporated towns.
Units of local government: counties, municipalities, townships, & special units designated by law to exercise governmental functions, excluding school boards.
Counties: Defined & altered by general assembly
Boundary changes: Must be approved by referendum in affected area.
County seat changes: Must be approved by 3/5 voting in county wide referendum
County Boards: Elected in each county
Other than Cook County:Election changes referendum
Cook County: Divided election
Two disctricts: Chicago & rest of county
Change: By majority in both districts or by board ordinance within divided Cook County in single member districts wherein members elected must reside.
County Officers:Executive Officer, President of County Board ( Cook County only), Sheriff, County Clerk, Treasurers, (elected or appointed as determined by law or county ordinance: Coroner, Recorder, Assessor, Auditor).
Cook County President: Elected by county at large
Terms: Four terms
Duties:Defined by law
Townships:Units within counties
Formation:General Assembly & countywide referendum
Alteration: Referendum of affected areas.
Powers of home rule units:Choice to be made local units.
Counties:Executive officer 25,000 population
Municipalities:May elect home rule status
Definition: to perform governmental functions including, but not limited to public health, safety, morals & welfare; to license, tax, incur debt
County vs. municipality:Municipality prevails within its jurisdiction
Limitations: Debts beyond 40 years and felony punishment forbidden
General Assembly permission only:More than 6 months prison for felony & income tax
General Assembly Control:Deny or limit home rule power by 3/5 vote
Concurrent Power:Home unit can jointly exercise powers unless concurrent exercise specifically limited by law.
Debt limitation: General assembly by 3/5 vote may limit home rule unit’s indebtedness.
500,000 or more:3% of assessed aggregate evaluation
More than 25,000: 1% of assessed aggregate evaluation
Less than 25,000:5% of assessed aggregate evaluation
Limitations on General Assembly:Inherent home rule powers
Special assessments: For local improvements
Levy: Additional legal taxes to service legal debt.
Constitutional Intention: To construe liberally powers & functions of home rule units.
Non-Home Rule counties & Municipalities:Powers
Granted by law: General Assembly
Local Improvements: By special assessments
Alteration of government structure:By referendum
Selection of officers: By referendum decision
To incur debt:Within constitutional limits
Additional Taxes:For services & debt payment as provided by law
School Districts & Units of Local Government Other than counties & municipalities: Powers
By Law: General Assembly
Debt Limitation:No debt paid from property tax beyond 40-year maturity.
Selection of Officers: by law but no appointment of any person in the judicial branch.
Salaries & fees:Compensation for officers & employees
Salaries:Not paid from fees
During term:No increase or decrease
Intergovernmental Cooperation: To be encouraged by state
Exceptions:Law or local unit ordinance forbidding
Officers:Authorized participation in intergovernmental activities without loss of local offices
Initiative:Proposals for actions authorized under Home rule article or by law may be submitted by units of local government or by electors as prescribed by law.
Referendum:requirement for referenda shall be fulfilled by voters as a general election & shall require a majority of those voting on the questions (unless the specific article requires 3/5).

Article VIII

Public Funds: Property or credit usable only for public purposes.
Authorization: Law or ordinance
Records: Open to public
Budget: Governor’s responsibility
Content: Funds, receipts, plans for state expenditures, indebtedness, liabilities
Balanced: proposed expenditures must equal available funds
General Assembly: Expenditures to be appropriated not to exceed estimates of available funds.
General Assembly: Audit of obligation, receipt & use of state funds
Auditor General:Appointed by 3/5 vote of General Assembly
Term: 10 years
Role: conduct audit on all public funds & make reports to governor & General Assembly
Accounting systems: prescribed by General Assembly

Article IX

Power: General assembly has exclusive power raise revenue; cannot be surrendered, suspended or contracted away.
Non-property taxes:Reasonable classifications & deductions; applications uniform
Income tax: Specifications
Non-graduated: Uniform rate
Single tax: Only one tax permitted
Individuals vs. Corporations: Corporate rate to individual not more than 8 to 5.
Real Property Tax: Specifications:
Uniform: Same rate to valuation of real property
Counties of more than 200,000:Reasonable classifications of real property but highest rate may not exceed lowest by more than two and one half.
Personal Property taxation: Prerogative of General Assembly
Abolition of personal property tax before 1970 cannot be reinstated.
Abolition: by January 1, 1979, to be replaced by non-property tax revenue source
Tax sales:Only after judicial proceeding with Two-year redemption privilege.
State debt: Incurred only by constitutional legislative actions
Bonds:3/5 vote of general assembly or in law approved by majority electors voting on the question in a general election
15% debt appropriation: emergencies, failure of revenues
5% debt appropriations: anticipated appropriations
Refinancing:Within term of original debt maturity

Article X

Education: Free schools
Limits: Educational capacities of individuals
Free:through secondary level
Prime financial responsibility: State
State Board of Education: Elected or selected regionally
Determined by statute: Number of members, qualifications, terms, manner of selection or election
Functions: To establish goals, policies, planning, evaluation & to recommend financing
Chief Officer:Appointed by state board
Forbidden: Funds for sectarian religious purposes.

Article XI

Environment: Rights & Responsibilities for healthful environment
Public & personal responsibilities: Maintain, by law & policy, healthful environment for this & future generations
Personal Right: enforce the right to a healthful environment through legal proceedings against any public or private entity.

Article XII Militia

Membership: All able-bodied persons in the state unless exempted by law
Authority:Military subordinate to civilian Power
Organization, equipment, discipline:By statute
Command: Governor as Commander-In-Chief, Except when in U.S. service, to enforce the laws, suppress, insurrection or repel invasion
Privilege from arrest: To, from, & during service except for treason, felony or breach of the peace

Article XIII

General provisions: Guidelines
Ineligibility for public office:For felony, bribery, perjury or infamous crime unless restored by statute
Economic Interests Statement: All state office holders and appointment on pain of ineligibility or forfeiture
Oath for office-holders:Affirmation of state & federal constitutions; faithful discharge of duties
Sovereign Immunity:Abolished effective 1/1/72
Pension/Retirement Rights: Contractual obligation not to be diminished or impaired
Corporate Charters: Granted, amended, dissolved, or extended only by general laws
Public Transportation:Essential service for which public funds may be expended
Branch Banking:Authorized only by statute approved by 3/5 of legislature or majority of all elected members (whichever is greater).

Article XIV

Constitutional Revision
Constitutional convention
Call: 3/5 of legislature & majority of voters on separate ballot, general election 6 months after legislative action
Every 20 years: Put on ballot by secretary of state
Arrangements for meeting of constitutional convention: legislature
Delegates: 2 for each legislative district with same qualifications as for member of general assembly
Proposed revisions:Majority of convention submitted to electors not less than 2 months nor more than 6 months after conventions adjournment
Adoption of proposed revisions: Majority of those voting on question which must appear on separate ballots
Amendments by the General Assembly
Proposed: 3/5 of general assembly after having been read in full on 3 different days in each house, & submitted to voters at election at least 6 months after legislative action
Approval:3/5 of those voting on question or majority voting in election
Provisos: Separate ballot; no more than 3 articles amended at one time; none during constitutional convention
Constitutional Initiative/Legislative revision
Proposed:petition of 8% of voters in preceding gubernatorial election
Limit: Structural & procedural subjects
Form:Test with secretary of state at least 6 months before general election
Amendments to U.S. constitution:3/5 of general assembly to call for federal constitution convention, ratify amendment, or call state convention to ratify amendments.

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