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Media Hit | Budget, Tax

City faulted on spending transparency

New report grades trancparency Boston's spending. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Transparency In City Spending

New report reviews and grades the nation’s thirty largest cities including Boston on how effectively they allow the public to track budgets, contracting, subsidies, grants and requests for quality-of-life services.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Transparency In City Spending

The report reviews and grades the nation’s thirty largest cities including Boston on how effectively they allow the public to track city spending - including budgets, contracts, subsidies, and grants. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MASSPIRG comments on Governor Patrick's “The Way Forward: A 21st Century Transportation Plan”

On January 14, MASSPIRG was invited to attend an event at U Mass Boston at which Governor Patrick unveiled a bold vision for the future of transportation in the Commonwealth. “The Way Forward: A 21st Century Transportation Plan” calls for $1.02 billion in new revenue per year on average for the next ten years and kicks off the long needed debate about our transportation system’s future.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund and Demos | Democracy

New Report Shows Impact of Big Money in the 2012 Election

“The first post-Citizens United presidential election confirmed our fears that the new unlimited-money regime allows well-heeled special interests and secret spenders to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens,” commented Janet Domenitz, Executive Director of MASSPIRG. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a Supreme Court case decided in 2010, held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. The report provides a detailed analysis of all federal election spending and fundraising by campaigns and Super PACs. The data uncovers the undue influence that large donors, business interests and secret spenders had in 2012.

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Utility Power Outages on the Rise

Cummings, Legislative Director for MASSPIRG, pins the lack of in-depth analysis on the move to deregulate the power industry in Massachusetts more than a decade ago. “If we keep going on this path, we will have more weeks out of the year where we don’t have power and consumers will end up paying more,” she said

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Media Hit | Tax

Bay State lags in business subsidy successes

Watchdogs say the Bay State’s tax credit program lacks oversight. State subsidies have come under scrutiny in the wake of last year’s failure of Evergreen Solar. Rhode Island taxpayers are on the hook for 38 Studios, which defaulted on a $1.125 million loan payment earlier this month after the firm was lured away from Massachusetts last year by $75 million in loans. Deirdre Cummings of MassPIRG said Massachusetts doesn’t consistently track whether subsidized companies create jobs they promised to when they received multimillion-dollar tax credits. “These are taxpayer dollars. We have to be able to show it was a worthwhile investment, and there is absolutely no way to know,” she said.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

House Passes Bill to Remove Prices From Groceries

It soon may be harder for Massachusetts shoppers to find out the price of groceries if a bill that today quietly passed the House without even a roll call vote becomes law. “This is bad news for shoppers, and for democracy.  To take away consumer rights without a recorded roll call vote is unconscionable,” said Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG legislative director.  “This is a pro-big-business bill that will hurt all shoppers.”

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Media Hit | Solid Waste

Still waiting for state’s master plan to reduce solid waste

While it’s cause for great celebration that Massachusetts is planning to reduce waste, it’s also a reminder that the Department of Environmental Protection has yet to produce the solid waste master plan — the comprehensive, 10-year waste plan required by law. We can’t help feeling like we’re at the celebration, blindfolded, with a tail in our hands but no donkey on the wall.

 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Groups Oppose Bill to Remove Prices From Groceries

 

It soon may be harder for Massachusetts shoppers to find out the price of groceries if a bill just entering the final stage of passage in the House becomes law.

“Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with ever more sophisticated pricing strategies and gimmicks by companies trying to sell us things.  These days shoppers need more and clearer price information, not less about the products we buy,” said Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG legislative director.  “This is a pro-big-business, anti-consumer bill.”

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