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Illinois state capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.
Illinois Government
Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn (D)
Lieutenant Governor of Illinois: vacant
Attorney General of Illinois: Lisa Madigan (D)
Illinois Secretary of State: Jesse White (D)
Illinois Comptroller: Daniel Hynes (D)
Illinois Treasurer: Alexi Giannoulias (D)
Senior United States Senator: Dick Durbin (D)
Junior United States Senator: Roland Burris (D)

The state government of Illinois is modeled after the federal government with adaptations originating from traditions cultivated during the state's frontier era.[1] The capital of Illinois is Springfield. Under the Constitution of 1970, there are three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The executive branch is split into several statewide elected offices. Legislative functions are granted to the Illinois General Assembly, made of the 118-member Illinois House of Representatives and the 59-member Illinois Senate. The judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court of Illinois, Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Circuit Courts.



The first capitol building was in Kaskaskia, Illinois. It was a two-story brick building that rented for $4 per day.

Vandalia became the second capital in 1820, and was the site of three capitol buildings. Vandalia's first capitol was a simple two-story structure, which was destroyed by fire. In 1824, Vandalia's second capitol was built to replace the burnt building for $15,000. Soon after the third capitol building was built, many Illinoisans began lobbying to move the capital to a more central location in the state. In 1833, the General Assembly responded by passing an act allowing Illinoisans to choose their capital city. This worried the people of Vandalia, who did not want to lose the capital. Therefore, in 1836, without authorization from the General Assembly, the city tore down the third capitol building and replaced it with the fourth, a brick state house, costing $16,000. In 1839, voters selected Springfield, Illinois as the new state capital city, a distinction it holds to this day.

Illinois' fifth capitol was built in Springfield in 1853 at a cost of $260,000. Construction on the sixth, and present capitol, was begun in 1868. The building took twenty years to complete at a cost of $4.5 million.[2]


The government of Illinois has numerous departments, including:


In the past, Illinois was a critical swing state leaning marginally towards to the Republican Party. This has changed and the state has supported Democratic presidential candidates since 1992. John Kerry easily won the state's 21 electoral votes in 2004 by a margin of 11 percentage points with 54.8% of the vote. Traditionally, Chicago, East Saint Louis, and the Illinois portion of the Quad Cities have tended to vote heavily Democratic, along with the Central Illinois population centers of Peoria, Champaign-Urbana and Decatur.

Rural districts have tended to vote more heavily Republican, and the southern half of the state has historically tended Republican since the 1920s. The Republican Party was strongest in southern Illinois during the sixties and seventies when Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford won all areas of southern Illinois, with the exception of East St. Louis, three to one.

Statewide Offices

Pat Quinn became governor after the impeachment and removal of Rod Blogojevich.

Rod R. Blagojevich (Democrat) was elected Governor in 2002, replacing George H. Ryan. Blagojevich was re-elected in 2006, defeating Republican state treasurer Judy Baar Topinka. However, in 2009, Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office due to charges that he abused his power while in office. Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn succeeded him.

Since 2007, all statewide offices have been held by Democrats, making Illinois the only Midwestern state with this distinction. The Democrats also have a majority of the seats in Illinois congressional delegation and majorities in both houses of Illinois's state legislature.

Presidential election results

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2008[3] 36.9% 1,981,158 61.8% 3,319,237
2004 44.48% 2,345,946 54.82% 2,891,550
2000 42.58% 2,019,421 54.60% 2,589,026
1996 36.81% 1,587,021 54.32% 2,341,744
1992 34.34% 1,734,096 48.58% 2,453,350
1988 50.69% 2,310,939 48.60% 2,215,940
1984 56.17% 2,707,103 43.30% 2,086,499
1980 49.65% 2,359,049 41.72% 1,981,413
1976 50.10% 2,364,269 48.13% 2,271,295
1972 59.03% 2,788,179 40.51% 1,913,472
1968 47.08% 2,174,774 44.15% 2,039,814
1964 40.53% 1,905,946 59.47% 2,796,833
1960 49.80% 2,368,988 49.98% 2,377,846

See also




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