Illinois, USA, regional Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Constitutional Initiative for Legislative Article

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
Illinois, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Constitutional Initiative for Legislative Article
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Constitution of the State of Illinois
Article XIV, Section 3
Amendments to Article IV of this Constitution may be proposed by a petition signed by a number of electors equal in number to at least eight percent of the total votes cast for candidates for Governor in the preceding gubernatorial election. Amendments shall be limited to structural and procedural subjects contained in Article IV. A petition shall contain the text of the proposed amendment and the date of the general election at which the proposed amendment is to be submitted, shall have been signed by the petitioning electors not more than twenty-four months preceding that general election and shall be filed with the Secretary of State at least six months before that general election. The procedure for determining the validity and sufficiency of a petition shall be provided by law. If the petition is valid and sufficient, the proposed amendment shall be submitted to the electors at that general election and shall become effective if approved by either three-fifths of those voting on the amendment or a majority of those voting in the election.

Source: Constitution of the State of Illinois 1970 (accessed 13 June 2017)

Subject Matter:

Amending the Illinois Constitution via initiative

Actors

Author:
Citizen
Initiator:
Electorate : 8% of the number of total votes at the last gubernatorial election
Decision maker:
Electorate : Must pass by 3/5 of the votes on the measure and/or by a majority of votes at the election

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
8% of the total number of voters in the last gubernatorial election
Available Time:
Signatures may not be gathered more than 24 months before the election and the petition must be filed 6 months before the election (10 ILCS 5/28-9, accessed 18 June 2013)
Turnout Quorum:
Legal source does not mention turnout quorum
Approval Quorum:
Must pass by 3/5 of the votes on the measure and/or by a majority of votes at the election (Illinois Constitution, Article XIV, Section 3)
Geographical Quorum:
Legal source does not mention geographical quorum
Excluded Issues:

Constitution of the State of Illinois 1970
Article XIV, Section 3
[...] Amendments shall be limited to structural and procedural subjects contained in Article IV. [...]

There have been court cases to clarify this, most notably: Coalition for Political Honesty v. State Board of Elections (1976) which ruled that the subjects must be both "structural and procedural" and not structural or procedural because "a contrary intention is not clearly manifested."

Sources: Constitution of the State of Illinois 1970 (accessed 13 June 2017); Coalition for Political Honesty v. State Board of Elections (1976)

Other Formal Requirements:

Constitution of the State of Illinois 1970
Article XIV, Section 3
[...] A petition shall contain the text of the proposed amendment and the date of the general election at which the proposed amendment is to be submitted [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Illinois 1970 (accessed 13 June 2017)

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

Illinois Compiled Statutes, 10 ILCS 5/28-3
At the bottom of each sheet of such petition shall be added a circulator's statement, signed by a person 18 years of age or older who is a citizen of the United States, stating the street address or rural route number, as the case may be, as well as the county, city, village or town, and state; certifying that the signatures on that sheet of the petition were signed in his or her presence and are genuine, and that to the best of his or her knowledge and belief the persons so signing were at the time of signing the petition registered voters of the political subdivision or district or precinct or combination of precincts in which the question of public policy is to be submitted and that their respective residences are correctly stated therein. Such statement shall be sworn to before some officer authorized to administer oaths in this State.

Source: Illinois Compiled Statutes (accessed 13 June 2017)

Wording Of Ballot Question:
Interaction With Authorities:

Illinois Compiled Statutes, 5 ILCS 20/2
[...] the proponents of an amendment to Article IV of the Constitution submitted by petition, shall prepare a brief explanation of such amendment, a brief argument in favor of the same, and the form in which such amendment will appear on the separate ballot [...]. In the case of an amendment to Article IV of the Constitution initiated pursuant to Section 3 of Article XIV of the Constitution, the proponents shall be those persons so designated at the time of the filing of the petition as provided in Section 10-8 of The Election Code, and the opponents shall be those members of the General Assembly opposing such amendment, or if there are none, anyone designated by the General Assembly and such opponents shall prepare a brief argument against such amendment. The proponent's explanation and argument in favor of and the opponents argument against an amendment to Article IV initiated by petition must be submitted to the Attorney General, who may rewrite them for accuracy and fairness.

Source: Illinois Compiled Statutes (accessed 13 June 2017)

Supervision And Support:

Illinois Compiled Statutes, 10 ILCS 5/28-11
The Board shall design a standard and scientific random sampling method for the verification of petition signatures for statewide advisory referenda and shall conduct a public test to prove the validity of its sampling method. [...]

Source: Illinois Compiled Statutes (accessed 13 June 2017)

Transparency And Finance:

Campaign finances are overseen by the Illinois state board of elections

Practice

Archive:
Remarks:

Because of the highly limited scope of this instrument, it is seldom used and of relatively little use.