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Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

A new report by a court-appointed watchdog charged with looking into patronage hiring at the Illinois transportation department details how friends and relatives of top Democrats were hired under former Gov. Pat Quinn, even as many had little or no experience.

  

The Chicago Tribune reports the findings released Monday are the result of an inquiry that began in 2014 after a federal judge assigned a lawyer to dig into hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation.

"Money" By Flickr User Pictures of Money / (CC BY 2.0)

A Democratic lawmaker pushing legislation to remove prohibitions on publicly funded abortions in Illinois hopes to call it for a vote as thousands of women converge on the capital to lobby for a "progressive agenda."

Chicago Rep. Sara Feigenholtz's measure would lift restrictions on abortions funded by Medicaid or state employee health insurance.

She says the legislation also is important because it ensures abortion remains on the books in Illinois if the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion is overturned.

Rici Hoffarth/St. Louis Public Radio

It's a sentiment shared by Democratic politicians and liberal pundits: disgust over how Republicans drew up favorable (for them) legislative districts after the 2010 Census.

Redistricting is blamed for the relative lack of legislative production in Congress and the rise of stringent partisanship, and has prompted Democrats to fight back in several states. Even former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is getting in on the issue, leading the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to crusade against gerrymandering.

HUD

Rockford has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over potential Civil Rights Act violations.

Federal authorities launched an investigation in November 2015, when Rockford debated a plan to replace Fairgrounds Valley housing units with The Grove at Keith Creek, an 65-unit affordable housing development on South New Towne Drive.

Women from across Illinois are expected in Springfield today for a march and rally at the Statehouse.

The event is drawing a long list of Democratic officials and activists. Senate President John Cullerton and other state politicians will be joined by three gubernatorial candidates and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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