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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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30 years of toy safety

For the past thirty years, our sister organization U.S. PIRG Education Fund has taken a close look at the safety of toys sold in stores. Their reports have led to more than 150 regulatory actions. In November 2015, they released our 30th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

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News Release | Democracy, Financial Reform, Tax

Foreign Funds in American Elections

This week we learned that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce could be using money from foreign corporations to fund attack ads in our elections. According to reporting released by Think Progress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, collects hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign owned businesses, including companies owned by foreign governments. The Chamber has already run more than 8,000 attack ads and according to the Washington Post, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “vows to spend $75 million or more on November's midterm election cycle.”

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Fisher Price Recalls 10 Million Toys

Toy manufacturer Fisher Price announced Thursday that it has recalled about 10 millions toys because they are dangerous to children.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

CPSC and Fisher Price Announce Recall of 11 Million Dangerous Toys

This morning, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Health Canada and Fisher Price announced the recall of 11 million childrens’ products. The products include tricycles that pose a risk of injury because of protruding key, toy car sets and infant toys with detachable small parts that pose choking hazards, and high chairs that pose a risk of laceration injury.

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Media Hit | Transportation

Amtrak's Ambitious, High-Speed Rail Plan Includes Hartford

Amtrak officials have unveiled their vision for true high-speed service along the Northeast Corridor, a $117 billion plan that includes service to Hartford. The proposed new high-speed service between Washington and Boston, with trains that could travel at 220 miles per hour, would require its own dedicated tracks and a new route north of New York away from the congested seacoast, said Amtrak president Joseph Boardman.

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Food Safety Bill Stalled Despite Recalls

This week, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to move forward with a food safety bill, a Republican senator objected and blocked further action for now.

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