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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Election Modernization Coalition Launches Early Voting Training Program

Anticipating that the 2016 presidential election will draw many voters to the polls, the Election Modernization Coalition last night launched the first in a series of trainings to prime activists working to expand a new reform in the Commonwealth: early voting. Over 50 people from around the state gathered in Boston to attend this training and get the tools they need to make early voting work in their own cities and towns, which have significant latitude under the new law.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Make VW Pay

Cross-country VW tour departure on the local news | Mike Litt

Yesterday, Danny Katz, director of CoPIRG, helped Marcus and Elisabeth kick off a cross-country road trip to Volkswagen headquarters in Virginia to make VW pay for misleading consumers and polluting our air.

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Media Hit | Make VW Pay

The Obama Administration Could Repeat Its Biggest Mistake Of The Financial Crisis

In the years since it failed to prosecute a single Wall Street executive involved in the global financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice has repeatedly promised to hold corporate executives liable for wrongdoing. But on Monday, when it sued Volkwagen over the automaker's scheme to disguise the illegally high amounts of poisonous gases its cars were spewing into the air, the DOJ brought no criminal charges against the company or its employees.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Make VW Pay

House Tees Up VW Bailout and Other Attacks on Public Protections, Consumer Rights | Ed Mierzwinski

(Updated 8 January to add vote results): You've probably heard that the House is soon planning to again repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). That bill will certainly be vetoed. But the House has other anti-consumer, anti-environmental bills scheduled for floor action this week and next. The bills take aim at agency health, financial and safety regulations and also consumer rights to band together as a class to take their grievances against corporate wrongdoers to court. That last bill would immunize Volkswagen from having to compensate VW Diesel owners for being deceptively sold cars designed to "defeat" air pollution requirements.

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Blog Post | Public Health

Is your daily routine toxic? | Anna Low-Beer

Because of a lack of regulation, many cosmetics and personal care products contain potentially toxic ingredients, like formaldehyde and lead acetate. What toxic chemicals might you encounter as you go about your daily routine? 

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Tax

Study: 70% of Fortune 500 Companies Used Tax Havens in 2013

Tax loopholes encouraged more than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies – including some companies headquartered in Massachusetts – to maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens as of 2013, according to “Offshore Shell Games,” released today by MASSPIRG Education Fund and Citizens for Tax Justice.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Food

Majority of State Legislators Support GMO Food Labeling

MASSPIRG and other consumer, community, farming and public health organizations working to pass a GMO food labeling law announced that a majority of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate have pledged their support for GMO food labeling legislation curerntly pending in the House. In total, 142 Massachusetts legislators – including 119 from the House of Representatives and 23 from the Senate – have signed on in support of GMO food labeling legislation. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG Education Fund Announces New Resource: Top Ten Ways the CFPB Can Help You CFPB Has Already Returned $1.5 Billion To Consumers

MASSPIRG releases a new list of 10 resources available to consumers from the CFPB. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Food

Vermont Governor Signs GMO Labeling Bill into Law

Momentum building for GMO labeling as Vermont Governor signs bill for Vermont. 

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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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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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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in support of An Act to Reducing Automobile Costs and Premiums in the Commonwealth SB 522 | Deirdre Cummings

The number one complaint from consumers about their auto insurance is the high cost. The blame for the high cost belongs to Massachusetts’s ultra-high accident rate, as measured by claims data reported by the Insurance Research Council.* Massachusetts has the dubious distinction of having the highest accident rate in the country by far – an astounding 40% higher than the state with the second-highest rate, Rhode Island.  Even improving our worst-in-the-nation accident rate to second worst could drop our premiums by 20%, or nearly $200 on average per car per year, producing about $800 million in statewide savings each year.

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Blog Post | Safe Energy

TESTIMONY In support of An Act Relative to Expanding Energy Efficiency in the Commonwealth | Janet Domenitz

As a statewide, member supported, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization, our agenda is to promote public health, consumer protection, and citizens’ voices in a process often dominated by powerful special interests. This bill, which would expand energy efficiency standards in the Commonwealth, is exactly the kind of solution we need to our energy problems.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Opposition to bills which would weaken or eliminate the food store item pricing law | Deirdre Cummings

I urge you to oppose these measures which undermine consumers’ clout in the market place. Now, more than ever, as we are barraged with more and more sophisticated marketing strategies we should be focused on measures to enhance consumer information – and not diminish it.

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Blog Post | Budget

Testomony is support of Transparency in State Revenues and Expenditures | Deirdre Cummings

The Commonwealth should become a leader in budget transparency. Doing so will help rebuild the frayed public trust in government. It will help us make better choices together about investments in our community.

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