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Result | Democracy

Giving more Americans a greater voice in our elections

In our democracy, the size of your wallet shouldn’t determine the volume of your voice. In 2015, we helped win reforms in Maine and Seattle to ensure that more Americans have a greater say in our elections. Seattle’s Initiative-122 empowers small donors with “democracy vouchers” that can be donated to local candidates and lowers the cap on contributions. In Maine, the state’s Clean Elections Act was improved by strengthening campaign finance disclosure laws and offering qualifying candidates increased public funding.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Volkswagen’s $1000 Gift Cards Fall Short

VW gift not a good deal for consumers if string attached. VW must buy back defective cars at their original prices.  

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Democracy

Election Modernization Coalition Launches Inaugural Early Voting Challenge

In an effort to set a gold standard, advocates from the Massachusetts Election Modernization Coalition today announced their recommendations for implementing the state’s new early voting law. Scheduled to go into effect in November 2016, the new law provides Massachusetts voters with the opportunity to vote up to eleven days prior to Election Day.

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Report | MASSPIRG | Democracy

Early Voting Principles

 In May 2014, the Massachusetts legislature passed an historic reform of our state’s election laws. As part of the new law, it established early voting starting with the November 2016 election. Early voting is one important way to expand access to our democracy. It allows people whose work or family obligations preclude them from standing in line or even getting to the polls on Election Day, more opportunities to vote. The early voting period starts 11 business days preceding the election.

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Media Hit | Solid Waste

Toxic chemical found in wells for 3 Charlton homes near landfill

MASSPIRG staff attorney warned that the Southbridge Landfill would leak. Now, a total of four homes within a half  a mile of the Southbridge Landfill have exceedances for 1,4-dioxane, a toxic chemical, in their well water. Casella Waste will be required to do further testing in a wider radius. The Board of Health of the Town of Charlton and citizens in the area are concerned about the high levels.

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Budget, Tax

Poll: Public Wants Federal Agencies to Disclose and Restrict Corporate Tax Write Offs for Out-of-Court Settlements

In recent years, public outrage has built as federal agencies have allowed out-of-court settlements for corporate wrongdoing — like BP’s gulf oil spill and JPMorgan’s toxic mortgages — to be written off for multibillion-dollar tax breaks. See new poll confirming public outrage and support for solutions.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Budget, Tax

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average MA Taxpayer $1,886 a Year, MA Small Business $6,269

As hardworking Americans file their taxes today, it’s a good time to be reminded of how ordinary taxpayers pick up the tab for the loopholes in our tax laws. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

141 Massachusetts Farmers Support GMO Food Labeling

MA coalition announces that 141 farmers from across Massachusetts pledged their support for GMO food labeling. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Report: Spirit is Most Complained-About Airline

A look at five years of consumer complaints into the department of transportation about airline travel. We analyzed tens of thousands of complaints to find out which airlines are coming up short and what travellers want to see improve.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Budget

New Report: Massachusetts Receives an "A-" in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

Massachusetts received an A- when it comes to government spending transparency, according to “Following the Money 2014: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the fifth annual report of its kind by the MASSPIRG Education Fund. 

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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 this holiday season, they should remain vigilant about often hidden hazards posed by toys on store shelves.

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Student Debt and Consumer Costs

Higher education in America continues to be critical for both individual success and the economic and political health of our country. While college attendance has grown over the past two decades, state appropriations and federal aid have failed to keep pace with the rising cost of college.

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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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2006 Congressional Score Card

The 2006 Scorecard looks at the most important public interest votes taken between February 9, 2005 and February 1, 2006 in the U.S. Congress. These votes determined the direction of federal policy on critical issues ranging from environmental preservation to health care to consumer protections.

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Paying Back, Not Giving Back

American colleges and universities play a pivotal role in training the nation's citizens, leaders, innovators, public servants and educators. In today's economy, a college education is more desirable than ever before - millions of high school students strive for its promise and the benefits it brings for both the individual and society.

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Blog Post

Testimony in Support of An Act to Promote Efficiency and Transparency in Economic Development | Deirdre Cummings

State and municipal investments of public dollars in private enterprises must be held to highest level of transparency and accountability in order to ensure the most efficient use of our limited and valuable tax dollars. Currently, transparency and accountability of the economic development tax subsidies are poor and/or non-existent in some cases. As a result, while many of the subsidies may be worthwhile investments, others are not. And worse, there is not enough publicly accessible information to identify if or which subsidies are in fact benefiting the state, and if so, to what extent and at what cost.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Comments in support of Proposed Regulations, 940 CMR 28.00: Testimony on the Regulation of the Sale of Private Passenger Automobile Insurance | Deirdre Cummings

We are here today in full support of the Attorney General’s proposed regulations, 940 CMR 28.00, which provide long overdue and much needed consumer protections to Massachusetts drivers in the new deregulated auto insurance system. In short, the proposed regulations require the insurers to focus more on how we drive – instead of on who we are – in determining our premiums.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

In Support of Regulations Restricting the Use of Bispehnol-A | Janet Domenitz

I’m here today to ask you to issue the strongest regulations possible to restrict the use of bisphenol-A, an estrogen mimicking, hormone-disrupting chemical which is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics, often found in children’s products.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Testimony in Support of Transportation Reform and Revenue | Elizabeth Weyant

As you well know, our entire transportation system is facing a severe funding crisis.  Roads, bridges, highways, and public transportation agencies have an estimated $15-$19 billion funding deficit over the next twenty years that will be incurred just to maintain our current network.  This gap will impact every state resident as our roads and bridges deteriorate and public transit is reduced.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony and Comments In Favor of Quality Affordable Student Health Insurance | Deirdre Cummings

Whether through legislation or through administrative authority at the Division of Insurance, we must act now to protect students, ensure they are sold quality health plans, and stop the insurance companies from gouging students with health plans where the profit and administrative expenses are 4 times that of the average policy holder in the state.

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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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