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The Illinois Senate is the upper chamber of the Illinois General Assembly, the legislative branch of the government of the state of Illinois in the United States. The body was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818. The Illinois Senate is made up of 59 senators elected from individual legislative districts determined by population; redistricted every 10 years, based on the 2010 U.S. census each senator represents approximately 217,468 people. Under the Illinois Constitution of 1970, senators are divided into three groups, each group having a two-year term at a different part of the decade between censuses, with the rest of the decade being taken up by two four-year terms. Depending on the election year, roughly one-third, two-thirds, or all Senate seats may be contested. In contrast, the Illinois House of Representatives is made up of 118 members with its entire membership elected to two-year terms. House districts are formed by dividing each Senate district in half.

Illinois General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 14, 2015
Leadership
President of the Senate
John Cullerton (D)
Since Jan 14, 2009
Majority Leader
James Clayborne (D)
Since Nov 20, 2008
Minority Leader
Christine Radogno (R)
Since Nov 19, 2008
Structure
Seats 59
Layout of Illinois
Political groups
Authority Illinois Constitution Article IV
Salary $67,836/year + per diem
Elections
Last election
November 4, 2014
Next election
November 8, 2016
Redistricting Legislative Control
Meeting place
State Senate Chamber
Illinois State Capitol
Springfield, Illinois
Website
Illinois State Senate

The Illinois Senate is the upper chamber of the Illinois General Assembly, the legislative branch of the government of the state of Illinois in the United States. The body was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818. The Illinois Senate is made up of 59 senators elected from individual legislative districts determined by population; redistricted every 10 years, based on the 2010 U.S. census each senator represents approximately 217,468 people. Under the Illinois Constitution of 1970, senators are divided into three groups, each group having a two-year term at a different part of the decade between censuses, with the rest of the decade being taken up by two four-year terms. Depending on the election year, roughly one-third, two-thirds, or all Senate seats may be contested. In contrast, the Illinois House of Representatives is made up of 118 members with its entire membership elected to two-year terms. House districts are formed by dividing each Senate district in half.

The Illinois Senate convenes at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Its first official working day is the second Wednesday of January each year. Its primary duties are to pass bills into law, approve the state budget, confirm appointments to state departments and agencies, act on federal constitutional amendments and propose constitutional amendments for Illinois. It also has the power to override gubernatorial vetoes through a three-fifths majority vote. The Illinois Senate tries impeachments made by the House of Representatives, and can convict impeached officers by a two-thirds vote.

Voting in the Illinois Senate is done by members pushing one of three buttons. Unlike most states, the Illinois Senate allows members to vote yes, no, or present. It takes 30 affirmative votes to pass legislation during final action. The number of negative votes does not matter. Therefore, voting present has the same effect on the tally as voting no.

The Democratic Party of Illinois currently holds a majority in the Illinois Senate.