There’s something magical about the phrase “million dollar.” And that’s the amount spent on each of 17 Illinois legislative races … and counting. The Illinois House of Representatives – all 118 seats – is up for election every two years. Because this is a redistricting year, the entire Illinois Senate – 59 seats – is up as well.
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The Republicans are a half dozen seats short of a majority in each chamber, while Democrats want to build on their power base, especially since the majority party drew the new map. “The legislative branch of government is the one that is supposed to speak for the people. Every bill that’s filed in the state House and Senate begins with the words, “Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois represented in this General Assembly,” says David Morrison, deputy director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. “There are 177 members of the House and Senate, and what they think on our behalf in many ways directs the tenor of state politics and the direction of state government.”
Morrison says his group would love to see a limit on how much money a party can give a candidate, though he knows that’s unlikely to happen.