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News Release | MASSPIRG | Democracy

Bill Introduced in United States Senate to Fight Big Money in Elections

With 2016 candidates already raising record amounts from large donors for their campaigns, U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin introduced legislation today that would give new power to small donors in elections. The Fair Elections Now Act would provide an incentive for more Americans to participate in the electoral process by establishing a $25 “my voice” refundable tax credit. Contributions of less than $150 would be matched with limited public funds at a rate of six-to-one for Senate candidates who agree to turn down big money, amplifying the voices of small donors.  

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

DATA BREACH HERE, DATA BREACH THERE, DATA BREACH EVERYWHERE! | Deirdre Cummings

If you shop with plastic, have health insurance, pay taxes, work for the federal government, or (fill in blank) you’re at risk of a data breach. And with so much information about you already available on the Internet, it’s best not to select easy-search security questions like “Where were you born?” or answers like “Pizza.” What’s your best defense against identity theft? No, it isn’t credit monitoring, it’s a security freeze

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Blog Post | Tax

MASSPIRG urges legislative committee to end the tax dodge | Deirdre Cummings

Testyfying before the Joint Committee on Revenue, today, MASSPIRG urged the committee to support An Act closing a corporate tax haven loophole, HB 2477 and SB 1524. The bill will reduce corporate tax avoidance through the use of offshore tax havens saving Massachusetts taxpayers  $79 million a year while making the tax code fairer for ordinary taxpayers and small businesses.

 

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Blog Post | Public Health, Food

Who Flipped the Antibiotics Script | Deirdre Cummings

The "cold-blooded capitalists" have made strides for public health, while the "heavy-handed government" sit on those hands. Consumer power is changing the antibiotics script.

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Blog Post | Democracy

MASSPIRG Legislative Director Deirdre Cummings' Testimony in support of improving access to public records | Deirdre Cummings

 

Transparency in government is the cornerstone to a strong democracy. Government transparency checks corruption, promotes fiscal responsibility and efficiency, and allows for greater, more meaningful participation in our democratic system.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

5th Anniversary of Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act: Five Safety Breakthroughs in Five Years

In the five years since CPSIA was passed, there have been five significant safety breakthroughs for consumers.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Solid Waste

MASSPIRG, Coalition File to Put Updated Bottle Bill on Ballot

Today we are filing today a ballot initiative known as the Updated Bottle Bill. This proposed law would add water, juice, sports drinks and other beverages to the existing 5-cent deposit law. When this measure becomes law, there will be less litter, more recycling, and millions of taxpayer dollars saved in the reduced cost of waste disposal in our cities and towns.

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Congress sends students deeper into debt

New student loan law bad deal for students and their families.

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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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Can You Hear Us Now?

In the summer of 2004, MASSPIRG surveyed 874 of its members to gauge Bay State consumers’ satisfaction with their cell phone service. This survey reveals that cell phone companies are not providing Massachusetts customers with the level of service quality that subscribers expect.

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Report | Center for Insurance Research | Consumer Protection

The Limitations of a Competitive Auto Insurance Market

Auto insurance markets are atypical. To illistrate this, it is helpful to compare the market for auto insurance with the market for refrigerators. The market for refridgerators is an excellent example of an efficient market. The auto insurance market, in sharp contrast, is a very inefficient one, at least from the consumer’s perspective, and is unlike most markets . .

 

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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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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in Opposition to the "assigned risk plan" and in favor of permanently rescinding the adopted regulation | Deirdre Cummings

In addition, the Governor’s “study group” on auto insurance which issued a report on March 15, 2007, of which I was a participant, recommended that the assigned risk plan not be adopted until further review and evaluation of the new CAR rules aimed at improving the system. Specifically, the commission recommended, “ the Commissioner should delay implementing any assigned risk plan until able to meaningfully evaluate the results of the 2006 redistribution of exclusive (producers) agents and subsequent revisions to the Commonwealth Automobile Reinsurers rules.”

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Testimony in favor of Combined Reporting Legislation | Phineas Baxandall

In-state businesses are playing on an uneven field, competing against multi-state companies that use high-priced, sophisticated accountants and complex transactions with subsidiaries to avoid paying Massachusetts taxes. While currently legal, some multi-state businesses can shift their Massachusetts profits to out-of-state subsidiaries to avoid paying taxes here; while businesses located only in Massachusetts cannot take advantage of these loopholes or other tax shell games.

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Blog Post

Testiomony Before the Coprorate Tax Commsiion in Favor of Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes | Phineas Baxandall

Businesses should thrive based on their efficiency and innovation, not their opportunities for ‘creative’ tax accounting and tax avoidance.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in Favor of Fixed and Established Auto-Insurance Rates | Deirdre Cummings

MASSPIRG strongly supports the continued fixed and established rating process for 2008 because at this point it will better protect Massachusetts drivers than a “deregulated” or competitive process.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in favor of the Cell Phone Users' Bill of Rights (HB 3389 and SB 1982) and An Act Relative to Wireless Service (SB 1945) | Deirdre Cummings

The rising swell of customer dissatisfaction with the cell phone industry demonstrates a need for basic, common-sense consumer protections. While the FCC has taken a "hands-off" approach to wireless regulation, states, including Massachusetts, can play an important role in establishing a set of basic service quality and customer service standards.

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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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