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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Getting Our Money's Worth?

The people of Massachusetts deserve to know how their tax dollars are spent, including on tax subsidies for businesses. Full transparency allows citizens to hold lawmakers, government contractors, and recipients of public subsidies accountable. It also promotes fiscal responsibility, checks corruption, and bolsters public confidence in government.

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Collins, Ayotte stand in way of new consumer protection bureau

KUDOS TO Senator Elizabeth Warren for coming out swinging against the big banks at her first Senate Banking Committee hearing, urging regulators to finally hold the banks accountable and leading the fight to defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Consumers Stuck without Stickers | Deirdre Cummings

A new law lets supermarkets dump price stickers. Among many suggestions, MASSPIRG calls for 21st century complaint process--allowing shoppers to file complaints at the register or price scanner with their smart phone.

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Blog Post | Budget, Tax

New Legislation to Close Off Shore Tax Haven Loopholes - Will Save Taxpayers $200 Million | Deirdre Cummings

New bill filed in Washington to close off shore tax haven loopholes. 

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Stick to Stickers

Shoppers need more and clearer price information, not less. The bill gutting the price sticker law, passed in the House last week in an informal legislative session with no recorded roll call vote, is a pro-big-business, anti-consumer bill. Let’s hope the Senate will stand up for consumers.

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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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