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.
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city.
Illinois is a state in the midwestern region of the United States, achieving statehood in 1818.
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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.
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, which states: "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States... according to their respective Numbers....
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.
The Illinois State Capitol, located in Springfield, Illinois, is the building that houses legislative and the executive branches of the government of the U.S. state of Illinois.
Springfield is the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County.
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.