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Illinois Government
Lesson 3 - The 3 Branches of Government at a Glance


makes Illinois laws

enforces Illinois laws

interprets Illinois laws

General Assembly - divided into 2 Houses


  • 59 senators
  • 1 elected from each legislative district
  • Staggered elections. Senators divided into three groups: 1/3 elected for one 2-year term, followed by two 4-year terms; 1/3 elected for one 4-year term, followed by one 2-year term, then one 4-year term; 1/3 elected for two 4-year terms, followed by one 2-year term.

House of Representatives

  • 118 representatives
  • 2 elected from each legislative district
  • Elected to 2-year terms

6 Elected Officials


  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Sees to it that laws get carried out
  • Signs or vetoes bills pass by General Assembly
  • Proposes a State budget
  • Elected to 4-year terms

Lieutenant Governor

  • Runs with Governor as a team
  • Performs duties assigned by Governor
  • Next in line to become Governor if Governor dies or is unable to fulfill duties
  • Elected to 4-year terms

Attorney General

  • Chief Legal Officer
  • Represents the State, State agencies and State officials in court.
  • Chief Law Enforcement Officer
  • Responsible for protecting consumers from fraud
  • Elected to 4-year terms

Secretary of State

  • Keeps the official records of the General Assembly and the Executive Branch
  • Licenses drivers, issues license plates, keeps driving and vehicle records
  • Keeps the State Seal
  • In charge of maintenance of the Capitol building
  • Elected to 4-year terms


  • Chief Fiscal Control Officer
  • Reviews State bills and payments
  • Pays the State's bills
  • Helps set financial policies
  • Elected to 4-year terms


  • State's Banker
  • Responsible for safekeeping of monies deposited for the State
  • Invests the monies depositied for the State
  • Elected to 4-year terms

3-Court System

Supreme Court

  • 7 Justices
  • Highest tribunal in Illinois
  • Has general administrative and supervisory authority over all courts in Illinois
  • Hears appeals from the Appellate and Circuit Courts
  • May exercise original jurisdiction in cases relating to revenue, mandamus, prohibition or habeas corpus
  • Justices elected from 5 judicial districts
  • Serve 10-year terms

Appellate Court

  • 52 Judges
  • Hears appeals from the Circuit Courts and administrative agencies
  • Judges elected from 5 judicial districts
  • Serve 10-year terms

Circuit Courts

  • The unified trial courts
  • Have original jurisdiction
  • Hear cases and enter judgments
  • 23 judicial circuits--each circuit has a Chief Judge, Circuit Judges, and Associate Judges.
  • Circuit Judges elected for 6-year terms.
  • Associate Judges appointed by Circuit Judges for 4-year terms.


  • Must be a U.S. CITIZEN
  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must be a resident of the district they will represent for the 2 years preceding their election
  • Must be a U.S. CITIZEN
  • Must be at least 25 years old
  • Must be a resident of Illinois for the 3 years preceding their election
  • Must be a U.S. CITIZEN
  • Must be a licensed attorney of Illinois
  • Must be a resident of the district from which they are elected
  • Must devote full time to judicial duties and cannot engage in practice of law or hold other office


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