|Governor of Illinois|
|Residence||Illinois Governor's Mansion|
|Term length||Four years, no term limits|
|Inaugural holder||Shadrach Bond|
|Formation||October 6, 1818|
|Salary||$177,412 (2015)^α ^β|
The governor of Illinois is the head of government of Illinois, and the various agencies and departments over which the officer has jurisdiction, as prescribed in the state constitution. It is a directly elected position, votes being cast by popular suffrage of residents of the state. The governor is responsible for enacting laws passed by the Illinois General Assembly. Illinois is one of 14 states that does not have a gubernatorial term-limit along with Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, District of Columbia, Vermont, New Hampshire and Puerto Rico. The governor is commander-in-chief of the state's land, air and sea forces when they are in state service.
The term of office of governor of Illinois is 4 years, and there is no limit on the number of terms a governor may serve. Inauguration takes place on the second Monday in January following a gubernatorial election in November. A single term ends four years later. A governor is required to be:
- at least 25 years old
- a United States citizen
- a resident of Illinois for 3 years prior to election
If the incumbent governor is no longer able or permitted to fulfill the duties of the office of governor, the line of succession is as follows:
|#||Position||Current office holder||Party|
|1||Lieutenant governor||Juliana Stratton||Democratic|
|2||Attorney General of Illinois||Kwame Raoul||Democratic|
|3||Secretary of State of Illinois||Jesse White||Democratic|
The governor is allowed the occupancy of the Illinois Governor's Mansion in Springfield, the state capital. Its first occupant was Governor Joel Aldrich Matteson, who took residence at the mansion in 1855. It is one of three oldest governor's residences in continuous use in the United States.
The governor is also given the use of two official residences on the state fair grounds, located in Springfield and DuQuoin. The official residence in DuQuoin is Hayes House. Governors have traditionally used these residences part of the year.
However, some governors, such as Rod Blagojevich, have chosen to not use the governor's homes as their primary residence, instead commuting either by car or plane to Springfield from their home cities. Many Chicago-based governors also have done much of their business out of the governor's office in Chicago's James R. Thompson Center, an office building owned by the state named for former governor James R. Thompson (1977-1991) Illinois' longest-serving governor.
Six Illinois governors have been charged with crimes during or after their governorships; four were convicted, and of those, one (Blagojevich) was the first to be impeached and removed from office.
- Len Small (R), governor from 1921 to 1929, was indicted in office for corruption. He was acquitted; thereafter, eight of the jurors received state jobs. Among his defense lawyers was a former governor, Joseph W. Fifer, who asserted in pre-trial hearings, that the governorship has the divine right of kings.
- William G. Stratton (R), governor from 1953 to 1961, was acquitted of tax evasion in 1965.
- Otto Kerner, Jr. (D), governor from 1961 to 1968; Stratton's successor and later a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, was convicted of 17 counts of bribery, conspiracy, perjury, and income-tax charges from his time as governor, and received 3 years in prison and a $50,000 fine in 1973. He was prosecuted by future Illinois governor Jim Thompson.
- Daniel Walker (D), governor from 1973 to 1977, was later involved in the savings and loan scandals and convicted of federal crimes related to fraudulent loans to himself from his own First American Savings & Loan Association of Oak Brook. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison with 5 years of probation following his release.
- George Ryan (R), governor from 1999 to 2003, was convicted in 2006 of corruption related to his time as Illinois Secretary of State in the 1990s, when commercial driver's licenses were issued to unqualified truckers in exchange for bribes, and one of the truckers was involved in a crash that killed 6 children. Former governor Jim Thompson, whom Ryan had served under as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in the 1980s, was manager of the law firm that defended Ryan. Ryan was released in 2013.
- Rod Blagojevich (D), governor from 2003 to 2009, and Ryan's successor, was impeached and removed from office by the Illinois General Assembly in a unanimous vote in January 2009 after being tied to multiple "pay to play" schemes, including attempting to sell the former Senate seat of then-President-elect Barack Obama. In August 2010, he was convicted of lying to the FBI in connection with the investigation, but the jury deadlocked on 23 other charges. Blagojevich was retried on 20 counts from his 2010 trial and on June 27, 2011, Blagojevich was convicted on 17 counts of fraud, acquitted on one count and the jury was hung on two. On December 7, 2011, Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison. On February 18, 2020 Blagojevich's sentence was commuted to time served by President Donald Trump.
- 1.α Former governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner, who was independently wealthy, has previously stated that he would only accept $1 in salary. In 2015, the Council of State Governments reported that Rauner had returned all but $1 of his salary to the State of Illinois. However, the pay rate for the title of governor in Illinois remains at $177,412.
- 2.β After billionaire J.B. Pritzker spent a record a $171.5 million of his own personal fortune to fund his campaign to win the governor's seat, he decided not to accept a state salary during his time in office.
- "Governors' Salaries, 2015". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- "Pritzker won't take annual state salary". The State Journal-Register. November 15, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
- "Election Results". Elections.il.gov. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
- "Constitution of the State of Illinois - ARTICLE V - THE EXECUTIVE". Government of Illinois. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
- "Illinois Governor Has Pricey Commute". CBS News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
- Ridings, Jim (June 10, 2010). "Len Small & Rod Blagojevich: A Study in Corruption". Chicago Daily Observer. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- "Other Illinois governors in legal trouble since 1901". Chicago Tribune. June 19, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
- Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The 70's, the Decade That Brought You Modern Life (for Better or Worse). New York: Basic Books. p. 29. ISBN 0-465-04195-7.
- Pensoneau, Taylor; Ellis, Bob (August–September 1993). "Remember Dan Walker, the last Democrat to be governor?". Illinois Issues. University of Illinois at Springfield. 19 (8–9): 45–47. ISSN 0738-9663. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
- Kass, John (February 24, 2006). "Special witness poses a special threat". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
- Long, Ray; Pearson, Rick (January 9, 2009). "House impeaches Blagojevich". Chicago Tribune. Chicago Breaking News Center. Archived from the original on April 2, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2009.
- Coen, Jeff; Chase, John; Secter, Bob; St. Clair, Stacy; Mack, Kristen (August 17, 2010). "Guilty on just 1 count, Blago taunts U.S. attorney". Chicago Tribune. Chicago Breaking News Center. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- "President Trump goes on clemency spree, and the list is long". Associated Press. April 20, 2021.
- "Trump commutes Blagojevich's sentence and grants clemency to 10 others". CNN.
- Korecki, Natasha. "For Rauner, it's essential that every dollar matters - Chicago". Chicago. Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
- Burnett, Jennifer. "Governors' Salaries, 2015". knowledgecenter.csg.org. CSG Knowledge Center. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
- Donovan, Lisa. "Pritzker won't take annual state salary". The State Journal-Register. Retrieved April 8, 2020.