about the legislative research unit
The Legislative Research Unit was established as the Illinois Legislative Council in 1937. As the chief general research agency for the Illinois General Assembly, our statutory duties are to "collect information concerning the government and general welfare of the State, examine the effects of constitutional provisions and previously enacted statutes, consider important issues of public policy and questions of state-wide interest, and perform research and provide information as may be requested by members of the General Assembly . . . ."
LRU provides nonpartisan, objective, documented, and timely information. We are authorized to do research only for members of the General Assembly or their staffs. However, several major publications are available to the public including:
- First Reading, a legislative newsletter;
- Directory of State Officials, a telephone directory;
- Tax Handbook for Legislators, information on every significant Illinois state tax;
- Preface to Lawmaking, explanation of Legislative process;
- County Data Book, political, economic, and demographic details on every Illinois county;
- 1970 Illinois Constitution Annotated for Legislators;
- three pamphlets: "Laws for Youth," "Laws for Older Adults," and "AIDS and the Law: What you should know"; and
- two charts: "How a Bill Becomes Law in Illinois" (English and Spanish) and "Penalties for Crimes in Illinois"
Other services include:
- a conference for newly elected legislators after each general election, and a conference for legislators' district staff; and
- a legislative staff intern program in cooperation with the University of Illinois at Springfield.
additional information about the lru and the services we provide: