House races now key to Illinois’ political power struggle

CHICAGO (AP) – Dozens of Illinois state House elections this November may determine whether Democrats can impose their will on Gov. Bruce Rauner or the Republican gains traction with his ideas to “shake up” the state.

The parties have been squabbling over a state budget for more than a year and each side has millions of dollars to devote to races that could define the remaining two years of Rauner’s first term.

Democrats already control the House. But they’re trying to get a veto-proof majority to pass their own budget without regard to Rauner’s demands to enact term limits, restrict the influence of unions, and make the state more pro-business.

Rauner has insisted his suggested reforms are needed to help the state’s economy. But Democrats call his ideas destructive to the middle class.