Associated Press

Caterpillar Inc. is hiring a former U.S. attorney general to help it sort out matters that sparked a federal raid on its headquarters in central Illinois.

William P. Barr will serve as outside counsel to the large equipment manufacturer. He'll help Caterpillar review and address issues relating to Caterpillar SARL, a Swiss parts subsidiary, and tax-saving practices.

Issues with Caterpillar SARL have dogged the company for eight years, sparking a Senate investigation, shareholder lawsuits, and proposed taxes and penalties totaling $2 billion.

US Marshalls Service

Prosecutors say an appeals court shouldn't grant former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich a third sentencing hearing.

Their filing Thursday comes on the day the Illinois Democrat started his sixth year in prison for corruption, including trying to trade an appointment to ex-President Barack Obama's old Senate seat for campaign cash.

Illinois state lawmakers are planning to assess how Medicaid cuts proposed by President Donald Trump's administration could impact vulnerable residents.

House Speaker Michael Madigan earlier this week asked Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago to hold a hearing Thursday morning on what the changes could mean for Illinois. Harris chairs the Appropriations-Human Services Committee.

Madigan on Wednesday estimated that 1 in 4 Illinoisans would be impacted by congressional Republicans' plans to alter the Medicaid system by providing a set lump sum payment to states.

State lawmakers are closer to reviving an effort that failed last year to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois.

Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill is sponsoring a measure that would allow residents to automatically register to vote when they visit certain state agencies. A Senate committee sent it to the floor Wednesday on a 10-3 vote. Lawmakers approved a similar proposal last year, but Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it over concerns it lacked necessary safeguards.

"streetlight" by Flickr User David McGregor / (CC X 2.0)

A nonprofit organization says people living in poverty in Illinois are more likely to become violent crime victims than higher wage earners whether they live in cities, suburbs or rural areas. However, geographic disparities persist.

The Heartland Alliance analyzed how poverty and crime overlap for the first time in the nearly two decades it's researched Illinois' poverty data. It released a report Wednesday.

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