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lower house are called representatives. Members of the upper house are called senators.
ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE. The State is divided into fifty-one parts called “senatorial districts." Each of these districts elects one senator for a term of four years, and three representatives for a term of two
years. Q. What is “minority representation?'
A. In voting for representatives, every voter may cast three votes for one candidate, or one and a half for each of two, or one vote for each of three candidates. It is called “minority representation” because the party having a minority in a district, by casting all their votes for one candidate may sometimes erect him.
Q. How large a part (at least) of the whole number of voters must the minority be in order to elect one candidate ?
MEETING OF THE LEGISLATURE.
A. Once in two years, unless called by the governor to meet oftener in extra session.
Q. When does its regular session begin?
A. On Wednesday after the first Monday in January following the election of representatives.
Q. Where does it meet?
DUTIES OF LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR AND SPEAKER.
Q. What officers preside over the two houses?
A. The lieutenant-governor presides over the senate, an officer called the “speaker,” elected from their own number by the representatives at the beginning of the session, presides over the house of representatives.
Q. What other important duty is performed by the speaker of the house?
A. He appoints the committees of the house.
Q. What can you say about committees of the legislature ?
A. A committee consists of three or more members, whose duty it is to attend to some particular subject of legislation. For example, the committee on education has charge of all matters relating to the public schools of the State, and it is the duty of this committee to advise the legislature what to do for the schools.
The committee's advice to the legislature is called its - report.
Q. What is the chief rule for selecting members of committees ?
A. A majority of each committee is taken from the political party which has a majority in the house to which the committee belongs.
Q. Why is the appointment of committees a very inportant duty ?
A. Because nearly all the work of a legislature is done by its committees. Reports of committees are nearly always adopted by the legislature without material change.
DUTIES OF THE LEGISLATURE.
Q. What are the duties of the whole legislature ?
A. To levy such taxes, make such appropriations, and enact such laws as are necessary for the welfare of the State. To impeach State officers; that is, to arraign and try them and deprive them of office for misconduct in office.
Q. What is an appropriation?
A. A sum of money directed by the legislature to be used for a certain purpose ; as, for the support of the asylum for the insane, or the penitentiary, or the State normal schools.
Q. What counties compose the senatorial district in which you live? (See page 60.)
Who is senator from your district? Who are representatives?
THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT. Q. What officers constitute the executive department of Illinois ?
A. Governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of State, auditor, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, and attorney-general.
Q. For what terms are they elected ?
A. The treasurer for two years, the others for four years.
The constitution declares that the treasurer shall not serve two consecutive terms. Why?
Q. Before entering on their duties what must they do?
A. Take the oath of office by swearing to support the constitutions of Illinois and the United States, and to perform faithfully the duties of their offices. All other State officers take the same oath.
THE GOVERNOR. Q. What are the duties and powers of the governor?
A. To see that the laws made by the legislature are executed.
To send to the legislature, when it meets, a message, giving an account of the condition of the State and its wants ; recommending the levying of sufficient tax to defray the expenses of the State government; and specifying what new laws he thinks ought to be enacted, and what old laws repealed. To approve bills passed by the legislature if he wishes them to become laws.
The governor has power to reprieve criminals condemned to death, and to pardon those imprisoned in the penitentiary.
He is commander-in-chief of the State militia when it is not in the service of the United States.
He appoints, with the consent of the senate, certain State officers.
He may veto a bill passed by the legislature.
Q. Can a bill become a law if it is vetoed by the governor?
A. Yes, if it is afterwards passed by a majority of two-thirds of both houses.
Q. Can a bill become a law in any other way without the governor's approval ?
A. Yes. If the governor does not return a bill to the house in which it originated within ten days from the time when he received it; or, if the legislature prevents his returning the bill by adjourning, and if he does not thereupon file the bill with his objections in the office of the secretary of State within ten days after adjournment, the bill will become a law.
Q. What compensation does the governor receive ?
A. $6,000 per year, with the use of the executive mansion.
WHO SUCCEEDS IF THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE
Q. Who succeeds to the office of governor if it becomes vacant before the end of a term?
A. The lieutenant-governor.
Q. Who would succeed the lieutenant-governor if he should vacate the governor's office?
A. The president pro tem. of the senate. (The president pro tem. is a member of the senate elected to preside in the absence of the lieutenant-governor.)
Q. Who would succeed the president of the senate? A. The speaker of the house.
SECRETARY OF STATE.
Q. What are the principal duties of the secretary of State?
A. To call the house of representatives to order, and preside till a temporary chairman is elected. (The latter presides while the house votes for speaker.)
To safely keep all public acts, laws, and resolutions of the legislature.
To care for public property in the capital.
To certify to the correctness of laws when they are published.
To take care of the seal of State.
To issue registration blanks to judges of election previous to every general election.
To issue charters to corporations.
To have charge of the public standards of weights and measures.
To report biennially to the governor the business of his office.
Q. What security must the secretary give for the faithful performance of his duties?
A. He must give a bond for $100,000.