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Blog Post | Transportation

A Huge Step Forward for Transportation | Kirstie Pecci

Every day millions of Massachusetts commuters get in their cars and wait in traffic.  They board buses, subways and trains that are falling apart and in dire need of repair and replacement. MASSPIRG has been advocating for years that we need to invest in safe, modern, public transportation, to protect public health, reduce congestion and air pollution and to promote economic development, and the 2013 Transportation Finance Bill provides a strong foundation for a 21st century transportation system

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

SENATE CONFIRMS CFPB DIRECTOR CORDRAY

Statement of Deirdre Cummings, Legislative Director for MASSPIRG, on the Senate Confirmation of Richard Cordray to Full Term as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director. Senators Warren and Markey vote for consumers.

 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Food

One Billion Tax Dollars per Year Subsidize Junk Food Ingredients, Fuel Obesity Epidemic

Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high-fructose corn syrup, at a rate that would buy 20 Twinkies for each taxpayer every year, according to MASSPIRG’s new report, “Apples to Twinkies 2013.” Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one half of an apple per taxpayer.

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Report | MASSPIRG | Food

Apples to Twinkies 2013

At a time when America faces high obesity rates and tough federal budget choices, taxpayer dollars are funding the production of junk food ingredients. Since 1995, the government has spent $292.5 billion on agricultural subsidies, $19.2 billion of which have subsidized corn- and soy-derived junk food ingredients.

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News Release | MASSPIRG and Community Catalyst | Public Health, Consumer Protection, Health Care

Twenty Top Generic Drugs Delayed by Industry Payoffs

Bay Staters with cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and other conditions have been forced to pay an average of 10 times more than necessary for at least 20 blockbuster drugs, according to a report released today by MASSPIRG and Community Catalyst.

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Coakley seeks record $16 million fine for National Grid

At the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, Legislative Director Deirdre Cummings said she was also heartened by the hefty fine Coakley recommended. But, she added, only time will tell if it is large enough to prompt change.

“Certainly it’s enough for the company to take notice,” she said, “I do know that unless there is a fine associated with poor performance or failures, they’re not going to fix the problem.”

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Media Hit | Health Care

Relaxed Law Allows Docs to Dine with Big Pharma

“The pharma industry is very adept at persuading the public that coupons are good for consumers. The reality is that what the coupons will do is increase healthcare costs significantly. They’re designed to promote the sale of the newest and most costly drugs,” [MASSIPRG's Legislative Director Deirdre] Cummings said. “In the end it leads to a less safe environment to consumers."

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Solid Waste

Big Crowd Gathers at State House Calling for House Passage of the Updated Bottle Bill

In the wake of the state Senate’s passage of the Updated Bottle Bill last week, and with Governor Patrick a huge champion, supporters gathered today to call on Speaker Robert DeLeo and the House of Representatives to finally pass the Update after 14 years.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Food, Tax

Ag Subsidies Pay for 21 Twinkies per Taxpayer, But Only Half of an Apple Apiece

Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup, enough to pay for 21 Twinkies per taxpayer every year, according to MASSPIRG’s new report, Apples to Twinkies 2012. “This is ridiculous,”  said MASSPIRG’s Legislative Director, Deirdre Cummings. “First, we are giving taxpayer subsidies to mature, profitable industries while struggling with how to reduce the nation’s record level of debt.  That is bad enough, but in addition, the billions of taxpayer supported subsides are then used to subside junk food—even as our childhood obesity rates are going through the roof. With the Farm Bill about to be reauthorized, it’s time to end this waste.”

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Voters Want Strong Oversight of Wall Street and Back New Consumer Cop

Reforms enacted in response to the financial meltdown remain popular with voters, a new opinion poll by Lake Research Partners shows. With just one year of work under its belt, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a strong record of successes for consumers despite facing constant unfounded political attacks.

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Trouble in Toyland

Toys are safer than ever before, thanks to decades of work by product safety advocates and parents and the leadership of Congress, state legislatures and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Nevertheless, as parents venture into crowded malls and browse for the perfect toy on the Internet this holiday season, they should remain vigilant about often hidden hazards posed by toys on store shelves.

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Report | Health Care

Paying the Price

Millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans struggle to afford the medicines they need, even forgoing medically necessary drugs when prices are out of reach. When discussing the high cost of prescription drugs, politicians often focus on the financial burden carried by senior citizens.

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The Failure Of Cable Deregulation

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 restructured the entire telecommunications industry and left virtually all cable subscribers without protection from unrestricted rate hikes.

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Who's Watching The Watchdogs?

Conflicts of interest and lack of independent funding have doomed both the national and state level accounting oversight systems in the United States. The state accounting boards and the network of overlapping, mostly self-regulatory federal accounting overseers act as classic regulators, serving management instead of serving investors and taxpayers.

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