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The advancement of the State of Illinois for the last few years, is best shown by the startling increase of her population, returned, by the census of 1855, at 1,300,251 souls; the rapid development of her agricultural and mineral resources the State having, in one single year, produced 170,000,000 bushels of corn, wheat, and oats-an amount wbich no other State in the Union ever yielded in a year; her gigantic system of internal improvements, and the regard paid by her to thorough universal education, as well as the untiring energy, enterprise, and intelligence of her citizens, warrant the belief we fondly indulge, that ere three lustres shall have rolled by, the State of Illinois, in point of population, business facilities, wealth and intelligence, will proudly assume her well-deserved position as the Empire State of the West.
CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE.
We, the people of the state of Illinois—grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political, and religious liberty, which he hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations -in order to form a more perfect government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the state of Illinois.
ARTICLE I. - Boundaries.
Sec. 1. The boundaries and jurisdiction of the state shall be as follows, to wit: beginning at the mouth of the Wabash river; thence up the same, and with the line of Indiana, to the north-west corner of said state; thence east, with the line of the same state, to the middle of Lake chigan; thence north, along the middle of said lake, to north latitude forty-two degrees and thirty minutes; thence west to the middle of the Mississippi river, and thence down, along the middle of that river, to its confluence with the Ohio river; and thence up the latter river, along its north-western shore, to the place of beginning: Provided, that this state shall exercise such jurisdiction upon the Ohio river as she is now entitled to, or such as may hereafter be agreed upon by this state and the state of Kentucky.
ARTICLE II.—Concerning the Distribution of the Powers of Government. SEC. 1. The powers of the government of the state of Illinois shall be di. vided into three distinct departments, and each of them be confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judicial, to another.
2. No person, or collection of persons, being one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except as hereinafter expressly directed or permitted, and all acts in contravention of this section shall be void.
ARTICLE III.- Of the Legislative Department. Sec. 1. The legislative authority of this state shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives, both to be elected by the people.
2. The first election for senators and representatives shall be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight; and thereafter, elections for members of the general assembly shall be held once in two years, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in each and every county, at such places therein as may be provided by law.
3. No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years; who shall not be a citizen of the United States, and three years an inhabitant of this state; who shall not have resided within the limits of the county or district in which he shall be chosen twelve months next preceding his election, if such county or district shall have been so long erected, but, if not, then within the limits of the county or counties, district or districts, out of which the same shall have been taken, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or of this state; and who, moreover, shall not have paid a state or county tax.
4. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained the age of thirty years; who shall not be a citizen of the United States, five years an inhabitant of this state, and one year in the county or district in which he shall be chosen immediately preceding his election, if such county or district shall have been so long erected, but, if not, then within the limits of the county or counties, district or districts, out of which the same shall have been taken, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or of this state, and shall not, moreover, have paid a state or county tax.
5. The senators at their first session, herein provided for, shall be divided by lot, as near as can be, into two classes. The seats of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, and those of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year; so that one half thereof, as near as possible, may be biennially chosen for ever thereafter.
6. The senate shall consist of twenty-five members, and the house of representatives shall consist of seventy-five members, until the population of the state shall amount to one million of souls, when five members may be added to the house, and five additional members for every five hundred thousand inhabitants thereafter, until the whole number of representatives shall amount to one hundred; after which the number shall be neither increased nor diminished; to be apportioned among the several counties according to the number of white inhabitants. In all future apportionments, where more than one county shall be thrown into a representative district, all the representatives to which said counties may be entitled shall be elected by the entire district.
7. No person elected to the general assembly shall receive any civil appoint
ment within this state, or to the senate of the United States, from the governor, the governor and senate, or from the general assembly, during the term for which he shall have been elected; and all such appointments, and all votes given for any such member for any such office or appointment, shall be void; nor shall any member of the general assembly be interested, either directly or indirectly, in any contract with the state, or any county thereof, authorised by any law passed during the time for which he shall have been elected, or during one year after the expiration thereof.
8. In the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five, and every tenth year thereafter, an enumeration of all the inhabitants of this state shall be made in such manner as shall be directed by law; and in the year eighteen hundred and fifty, and every tenth year thereafter, the census taken by authority of the government of the United States, shall be adopted by the general assembly as the enumeration of this state; and the number of senators and representatives shall, at the first regular session holden after the returns herein provided for are made, be apportioned among the several counties or districts to be established by law, according to the number of white inhabitants.
9. Senatorial and representative districts shall be composed of contiguous territory, bounded by county lines; and only one senator allowed to each senatorial, and not more than three representatives to any representative district: Provided, that cities and towns, containing the requisite population, may be erected into separate districts.
10. In forming senatorial and representative districts, counties containing a population of not more than one-fourth over the existing ratio, shall form separate districts, and the excess shall be given to the nearest county or counties not having a senator or representative, as the case may be, which has the largest white population.
11. The first session of the general assembly shall commence on the first Monday of January, one thousand eight hundred and forty-nine; and for ever after the general assembly shall meet on the first Monday of January next ensuing the election of the members thereof, and at no other period, unless as provided by this constitution.
12. The senate and house of representatives, when assembled, shall each choose a speaker and other officers (the speaker of the senate excepted). Each house shall judge of the qualifications and election of its members, and sit upon its own adjournments. Two-thirds of each house shall constitute a quorum; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members.
13. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish them. The yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on the journals.
14. Any two members of either, house shall have liberty to dissent and protest against any act or resolution, which they may think injurious to the public, or to any individual, and have the reasons of their dissent entered on the journals.
15. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause; and the reason for such expulsion shall be entered upon the journal, with the names of the members voting on the question.
16. When vacancies happen in either house, the governor, or the person exercising the powers of governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
17. Senators and representatives shall in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
18. Each house may punish by imprisonment, during its session, any person, not a member, who shall be guilty of disrespect to the house, by any disorderly or contemptuous behavior in their presence: Provided, such imprisonment shall not, at any one time, exceed twenty-four hours.
19. The doors of each house, and of committees of the whole, shall be kept open, except in such cases as, in the opinion of the house, require secresy. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than two days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting
20. The style of the laws of this state shall be: “Be it enacted by the people of the state of Illinois, represented in the general assembly."
21. Bills may originate in either house, but may be altered, amended, or rejected by the other; and on the final passage of all bills, the vote shall be by ayes and noes, and shall be entered on the journal; and no bill shall become a law without the concurrence of a majority of all the members elect in each house.
22. Bills making appropriations for the pay of the members and officers of the general assembly, and for the salaries of the officers of the government, shall not contain any provision on any other subject.
23. Every bill shall be read on three different days in each house, unless, in case of urgency, three-fourths of the house, where such bill is so depending, shall deem it expedient to dispense with this rule; and every bill, having passed both houses, shall be signed by the speakers of their respective houses; and no private or local law which may be passed by the general assembly, shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title. And no public act of the general assembly shall take effect or be in force, until the expiration of sixty days from the end of the session at which the same