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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Keeping On Track

Keeping on Track provides you with updated information about the financial state of the Commonwealth's transportation system, completed statutory requirements, missed deadlines, and improvements made through new transportation investments.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

MASSPIRG PRAISES BIPARTISAN BILL REINTRODUCTION PROHIBITING TAX WRITE-OFFS FOR WRONGDOING

Today in Washington DC, U.S. Senate leaders Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Jack Reed (D-RI) reintroduced The Government Settlement Transparency and Reform Act, which would restrict the ability for corporations to reap massive tax write-offs from payments made to settle allegations of misconduct or criminal wrongdoing.  

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Democracy

Massachusetts Lawmakers and Activists Announce Introduction of Democracy Bill

Massachusetts legislators took a big step toward creating a genuine democracy in the United States by introducing the We the People Act (HD 1988). The bill, introduced by state Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) and state Rep. Cory Atkins (D-Concord) has 62 cosponsors in the House and 19 in the Senate.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Food

Majority of State Legislators Support GMO Food Labeling

Today, a coalition of consumer, community, farming and public health organizations working to pass a GMO food labeling law announced that a strong majority of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate have signed on as co-sponsors of GMO food labeling legislation.

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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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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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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG Calls for Energy Efficiency Program

MASSPIRG’s legislative director, Deirdre Cummings, urged a state legislative committee to adopt a strong energy efficiency program to conserve oil, save money, and protect our health by curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Solid Waste

12,000 Bay Staters Tell DEP: Enforce the Waste Bans

In just over one month’s time, the consumer advocacy group MASSPIRG (Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group) has collected over 12,000 signatures calling on Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell to sign a pledge to crack down on violators of Massachusetts’ longstanding waste bans.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Higher Ed

Interest Rates for 158,718 Student Loan Borrowers in Massachusetts Double

Due to Congressional inaction, the interest rates on federally subsidized student loans doubled on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. 

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Report | Health Care

Turning Medicine Into Snake Oil

False and misleading prescription drug advertising is common and dangerous. Prescription drug marketers are inundating doctors, and to a lesser extent, the public, with marketing that misrepresents risks, promotes unproven uses, and makes unsubstantiated claims. The false and misleading messages are communicated through conventional advertising, sales representatives, doctors speaking on behalf of drug marketers, and through clinical trial suppression, manipulation and misrepresentation.

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The 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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The Right Start

A children's first few years are an exciting time for parents who hope, if for nothing else, that their child starts his or her life happy and healthy.

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Locked In a Cell

By almost any measure, the cell phone industry is one of the real market-expansion success stories of the digital age. As of the end of 2004, there were 182 million wireless phones and related devices operating in the United States, up from 24 million in 1994.

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The Key to Safeguard Your Credit

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Identity theft is the taking of another's personal information-such as social security number, name or date of birth-for the purpose of assuming the victim's identity to commit fraud. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that identity theft claims nearly 10 million victims annually, costing businesses and consumers $53 billion.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony In Support of An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Prescription Fair Pricing Program | Deirdre Cummings

Current estimates put the Commonwealth’s spending at $1.2 billion per year on prescription drugs. The results of these growing prescription drug costs are more people without access to necessary drugs, higher premiums for those fortunate enough to have prescription drug coverage, and an increasing burden on the state and other programs to assist those who cannot pay for drugs themselves

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Blog Post

Testimony in support of maintaining the current Food Store Item Pricing Law | Deirdre Cummings

The food store item pricing law requires supermarkets to put price stickers on most items in supermarkets. It is a long-standing, efficacious, and overwhelmingly popular consumer protection. MASSPIRG does not oppose stores adopting newer pricing technology such as electronic shelf display systems and self service price scanners with certain controls. However, we do oppose legislation that would allow stores to substitute a pricing mechanism that offers less consumer benefit than what we have today. In considering any change to our current retail pricing system, it must first provide equal or better benefits to the consumer to be considered as a substitute. The six proposals before you today do not provide equal or improved consumer benefits.

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Blog Post

Testimony in Support of Closing the Telecom Tax Loophole | Deirdre Cummings

This hearing comes just days before the deadline to file our taxes, and each year at about this time, Bay Staters have an opportunity to reflect about taxes and how our tax dollars get spent. Some may use the occasion to complain about their taxes or government, others may object that public structures like schools, roads, and health inspections need more public funds than they receive. Whatever your perspective, Tax Day and our tax bills are far more palatable when we feel confident in the tax system; that there is inherent fairness in the system; and no one group or individual gets unintended or unreasonable tax breaks.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG Urges Senate To Oppose Anti-Consumer Bill | Deirdre Cummings

This bill would turn back the clock on consumer protection over a quarter of a century by once again requiring an out-of-pocket loss of money in order for a consumer to collect damages under the state Consumer Protection Act, Chapter 93A. It would also eliminate consumers’ rights to join together to fight unfair practices.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG urges the Division of Insurance to reduce annual auto insurance premiums | Deirdre Cummings

The Division of Insurance should use their authority and resources to Identify and adopt a comprehensive plan to reduce the state's underlying costs, including our high accident rate. The reforms to reduce the state's costs and accident rate must involve state and local government, the insurance industry, police, drivers and insurance regulators.

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Priority Action

We're teaming up with big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Call on KFC to stop selling meat raised on routine antibiotics.

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