The Constitution of the State of Illinois

Although the Constitution of the US works for all the states, each one has its own set of laws. They can surpass the main 7 articles and 27 amendments, but they can’t limit them. It means that in the Constitution provides us with the freedom of speech, no state has the right to eliminate this statement for their particular area.

The Constitution of Illinois is the main set of laws for this state, it was ratified in 1970 and became the fourth, succeeding the documents adopted in 1818, 1848, and 1870.

A History of the Illinois Constitution

illinoisThe decision to create a set of laws for the state was approved by the US Congress in the spring of 1818, when the statehood was accepted. Eventually, after the representatives’ election, the meeting was held on August 3 at Kaskaskia. Unfortunately, all recordings of the convention were lost, but it was later stated that there were no serious arguments during the event.

The Current Constitution

The fourth version of the Illinois Constitution was agreed on December 15, 1970 and was fully ratified by July 1, 1971. Some minor changes, like the dates of the constitutional officers’ elections, weren’t implemented for several following years.

Article XIV of the Constitution gives the voters the possibility of demanding a constitutional convention roughly every 20 years. However, both in 1988 and 2008, the measure failed, as most of the voters were against the convention.

The Constitution of Illinois consists of 14 articles:

  • The 1st article includes the Bill of Rights, providing the freedom of speech, religion, peaceful assemblies, etc. It also has an addition that forbids discrimination by sex and physical or mental disabilities.
  • The 2nd article is called Powers of the State; it explains the division of powers between the three branches.
  • The 3rd article is called Suffrage and Elections; it explains the regulation of the election inside the state.
  • The 4th article is the Legislature; it states the regulations for the Illinois general Assembly.
  • The 5th article is the Executive; it states the rules for the state elected members.
  • The 6th article is the Judiciary; it states the rules for all Illinois courts, including Supreme Court of the state.
  • The 7th article is called Local Government; it explains the rules for the governmental structures of counties and cities.
  • The 8th article is Finance; it explains the funding, budgeting, and spending of the governmental money.
  • The 9th article is Revenue; it describes the types of taxation available.
  • The 10th article is called Education; it approves creating a state board of education and aims at free secondary and high schools.
  • The 11th article is Environment; it provides the people of the state with the right of healthful environment.
  • The 12th article is Militia; it explains the regulations for the militia of the state.
  • The 13th article is General Provisions; it describes the rules for those who hold public offices.
  • The 14th article is Constitutional revision; it states the amending procedures for the Constitution.

Although certain amendments were approved after 1970, the current Constitution of the state still officially refers to the 1970 version.

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