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Blog Post | Transportation

Pulling a FAST one on our Transportation Future | Sean Doyle

For the first time in a decade, and after roughly three dozen short-term extensions, Congress has pulled together and passed a transportation-funding law lasting longer than two years. There is only one problem: the new law is the wrong deal for the country.

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News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Government Agencies Allow Corporations to Write Off Billions in Federal Settlement Payments

A new study by ConnPIRG Education Fund analyzes which federal agencies allow companies to write off out-of-court settlements as tax deductions and which agencies are transparent about these deals. The study found that five of the largest government agencies that sign settlement agreements with corporations rarely specify the tax status of the resulting payments. Billions of dollars are allowed to be written off as cost of doing business tax deductions. Additionally, the report found that major government agencies do not consistently disclose the details of corporate settlement agreements.

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Report | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Settling for a Lack of Accountability?

When large companies harm the public through fraud, financial scams, chemical spills, dangerous products or other misdeeds, they almost never just pay a fine or penalty, as ordinary people would. Instead, these companies negotiate out-of-court settlements that resolve the charges in return for stipulated payments or promised remedies. These agreements, made on behalf of the American people, are not subject to any transparency standards and companies often write them off as tax deductions claimed as necessary and ordinary costs of doing business.

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Report | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Tax

Settling for a Lack of Accountability?

When large companies harm the public through fraud, financial scams, chemical spills, dangerous products or other misdeeds, they almost never just pay a fine or penalty, as ordinary people would. Instead, these companies negotiate out-of-court settlements that resolve the charges in return for stipulated payments or promised remedies. These agreements, made on behalf of the American people, are not subject to any transparency standards and companies often write them off as tax deductions claimed as necessary and ordinary costs of doing business.

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Blog Post | Public Health

Not-so-secret-Santas in Congress Using Spending Bill To Roll Back Health, Safety, Wallet Protections | Ed Mierzwinski

With spending authorization for the federal government set to end on December 11, Congressional leaders are working with powerful special interests on their not-so-Secret-Santa lists to use spending bills as vehicles to gut health, safety and wallet protections popular with the general public but not with Wall Street or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They know they cannot win a fair fight. So they’re loading up the must-pass funding bill with so-called “riders,” which are unrelated policies that couldn’t get passed on their own. Everything we fought for in Wall Street reform, including the CFPB, is on the chopping block. So are many other PIRG health, safety, wallet and democracy priorities.

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News Release | ConnPIRG | Higher Ed

Interest Rates for 73,051 Student Loan Borrowers in Connecticut Double

 

Due to Congressional inaction, the interest rates on federally subsidized student loans doubled on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. The change will affect 73,051 students in Connecticut, and in total the rate increase will hike the cost of Connecticut students’ loans by $68.4 million. That translates into a $937 increase in debt per student, per loan.  However, because most new student loans are issued in August and September, Congress can still pass a retroactive fix.

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News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

Connecticut Recycling Leaders Call for Increased Effort to Get to Zero Waste

After a year that saw the passage of a first in the nation Mattress Recycling Law, the creation of a Recycling Market Development Council, and expanded requirements for diverting organic material from our waste stream, leaders from Connecticut’s recycling community gathered in Hartford to celebrate Connecticut’s progress and call on local and state decision-makers to set even higher goals to achieve zero waste.  Environment Committee Co-Chair Senator Ed Meyer, Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew, and other recycling leaders joined the ConnPIRG Education Fund to release their new Report: “The Zero Waste Solution, How 21st Century Recycling and Trash Reduction can Protect Public Health and Boost Connecticut’s Economy.”

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News Release | ConnPIRG | Health Care

Big Pharma’s Pay-for-Delay Deals Take a Hit

Big Pharma’s controversial “pay-for-delay” agreements took a hit today. In FTC v. Actavis, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the FTC’s case against the payoff keeping generic AndroGel from the market can move ahead in the lower courts.

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News Release | ConnPIRG | Higher Ed

Interest Rates for 73,051 Student Loan Borrowers in Connecticut Set to Double on July 1

Unless Congress acts, on July 1, the interest rate for 73,051 student loan borrowers in Connecticut  will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. According to an issue brief released today by ConnPIRG, the rate increase would hike the cost of Connecticut students’ loans by $68.4 million. That translates into a $937 increase in debt per student, per loan.

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News Release | ConnPIRG | Public Health

New Report Documents a Decade of Safety Violations by Compounding Pharmacies

The contaminated drug that caused last fall’s fungal meningitis outbreak and killed 55 people is just the tip of the iceberg of an industry-wide problem, according to a new report released today by ConnPIRG. The meningitis outbreak was simply the latest and deadliest in a long line of errors and risky practices by compounding pharmacies.

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The Right Track

America’s highways and airports are increasingly congested. Our nation’s transportation system remains dependent on oil. And our existing transportation infrastructure is inadequate to the demands of the 21st century. Intercity passenger rail can help America address each of these challenges.

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Report | Health Care

Health Care in Crisis: How Special Interests Could Double Health Care Costs and How We Can Stop It

This report examines three important sources of this unproductive spending.  We conclude with a package of urgently needed reforms which target those causes, improve quality of care, and rein in this unnecessary spending.  As part of comprehensive health reform, these policies will enable America to emerge from this crisis with a health system that consumers and businesses can afford and families can depend on.

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Economic Stimulus or Simply More Misguided Spending?

This fall, Congress asked states to submit lists of “ready-to-go” transportation infrastructure projects that could be funded by the stimulus package. Lists from nineteen state departments of transportation (DOTs) show that the broader goals articulated by President-elect Obama will be undermined if Congress, the Administration, and the states do not establish forward-looking rules for spending stimulus funds.

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Trouble In Toyland: The 23rd Annual Survey of Toy Safety

The 2008 "Trouble in Toyland" report is the 23rd annual Connecticut Public Interest Research Group (ConnPIRG) survey of toy safety. This report provides safety guidelines for parents when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

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The Campus Credit Card Trap

This study is an in-person survey of a diverse sample of over 1500 students, primarily single undergraduates, at 40 large and small schools and universities in 14 states around the country conducted between October 2007 and February 2008. It analyzes how students pay for their education, how many use and how they use their credit cards and, finally, their attitudes toward credit card marketing on campus and whether or not they support principles to rein in credit card marketing on campus.

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Blog Post | Public Health, Food

Stop & Shop, label GMOs

A year ago, Whole Food’s committed to labeling GMOs by 2018.  But Whole Foods shouldn’t be the only store offering full GMO transparency.  That’s why we’re calling on Stop & Shop to label GMOs in their store brand products.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Increasing Recycling Through Regionalism

Today's meeting of Connecticut's Solid Waste Advisory Committee focused on regionalism.

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Blog Post | Health Care

Health Care Bill Weakened | Evan Preston

The Insurance and Real Estate Committee acted today to weaken a bill that would have lowered health insurance premiums for Connecticut consumers purchasing insurance through Access Health CT.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

ConnPIRG Supports Ratepayer Consumer Protection Bill | Evan Preston

There is a hearing today for a ConnPIRG supported bill that would provide important consumer protections on electric bills.

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Blog Post | Democracy

Online Voter Registration | Evan Preston

Yesterday, ConnPIRG staff joined Governor Malloy and Secretaty of the State Denise Merrill as they announced that online voter registration is now available in Connecticut.

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Priority Action

We're calling on big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Tell KFC to stop serving meat raised on routine antibiotics.

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