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News Release | ConnPIRG | Consumer Protection

ConnPIRG Hails General Assembly’s Passage of First-in-the-Nation Student Loan Bill of Rights, Open Source Pilot Program

In the last 36 hours of the legislative session, the General Assembly passed two ConnPIRG-backed pieces of legislation designed to make college more affordable. The Student Loan Bill of Rights will make Connecticut the first state in the nation to establish a student loan ombudsman to regulate student loan servicers and assist student borrowers and parents. The Open Source Textbook bill will establish a pilot program on the use of open-source textbooks, which can dramatically reduce the cost of course materials, at the University of Connecticut in collaboration with the Board of Regents of Higher Education.

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How Companies Turn Your Facebook Activity Into a Credit Score

This story in The Nation explains our work challenging the way data brokers use "black box," or secret, algorithms to make scoring decisions that may violate the law and deny credit opportunities. This work was also the subject of our recent livestream event featuring Professor Frank Pasquale and his new book, "The Black Box Society." We've now posted an archive of that event, in 3 chapters on our Youtube page.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Event 5/11 re new book on black box decisionmaking & consumers | Ed Mierzwinski

UPDATED TO CONFIRM CFPB Speaker. We are hosting an event Monday, 5/11, from 9am-noon ET to discuss a new book, The Black Box Society, with author Frank Pasquale. Click Keep Reading to RSVP to attend in person or to watch the livestream. While credit bureaus have long functioned as black box gatekeepers to opportunity, panelists will discuss the growing use of more and more, even less transparent black boxes to categorize consumers in the digital economy.

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Report | ConnPIRG | Ed's Blog

Who pays for roads?

Many Americans believe that drivers pay the full cost of the roads they use through gas taxes and other user fees. That has never been true, and it is less true now than at any other point in modern times. Today, general taxes paid by all tax- payers cover nearly as much of the cost of building and maintaining highways as the gas tax and other fees paid by drivers.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

PIRG Commends Supporters of Duckworth Amendment to Protect Our Troops From High-Cost Loans

Last night, on a 32-30 bipartisan vote, the House Armed Services Committee supported the Tammy Duckworth (IL) amendment to strike language from the National Defense Authorization Act that would have delayed Pentagon-proposed improvements to the Military Lending Act of 2007. It's a critical victory for servicemembers, veterans and their families, although the fight to protect our troops from high-cost loans will continue.

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Media Hit | Transportation

Fairfield County Drivers Choosing Public Transit Over Driving

 

A new study published this week by the public-interest organization ConnPIRG finds that people across America's largest urbanized areas are driving much less than before, and Fairfield County is no different.

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Media Hit | Transportation

Connecticut Drivers Are Driving Less

Connecticut commuters are driving less and utilizing public transportation more, especially in the state’s urban areas.

 

That’s according to a report released Wednesday by the Connecticut Public Research Institute.

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News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Report Shows Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport-Stamford Residents Driving Less, Using Transit and Alternatives More

 

A first-of-its-kind report by ConnPIRG Education Fund shows reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in Connecticut’s urbanized areas—including the Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport-Stamford areas —and greater use of public transit and biking. 

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News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group’s 28th annual Trouble in Toyland report.  The survey of hazardous toys found that despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season.

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News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Public Health, Food

Food Safety Scares 2013: How FDA Delays are Putting American Lives at Risk from Unsafe Food

 

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) delays in implementing the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act have put Connecticut lives at risk and cost the country $22 million in economic costs, according to a new report by the ConnPIRG Education Fund.

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Report | ConnPIRG and Citizens for Tax Justice | Financial Reform

Representation Without Taxation

Marking the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case, this report takes a hard look at the lobbying activities of profitable Fortune 500 companies that exploit loopholes and distort the tax code to avoid billions of dollars in taxes.

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Trouble in Toyland

The 2011 Trouble in Toyland report is our 26th annual survey of toy safety. In this report, we provide safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for young children and provide examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

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Report | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Making the Grade

This report assesses the progress that the states have made, and for the states that have begun to set up their health care exchange, evaluates them on the myriad policies and criteria that will determine whether it is ultimately successful in improving health care for consumers.

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Report | Food

Apples to Twinkies

America is facing an obesity epidemic – one that’s hitting children especially hard. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the last three decades, with one in five kids aged 6 to 11 now obese.

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Report | U.S. Public Interest Research Group and National Taxpayers Union | Budget

Toward Common Ground

To break through the ideological divide that has dominated Washington this past year and offer a pathway to address the nation’s fiscal problems, the National Taxpayers Union and ConnPIRG joined together to identify mutually acceptable deficit reduction measures. This report documents our findings.

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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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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Recycling Bill Introduced | Evan Preston

On the first day of the legislative session, a bill was introduced that would significantly overhaul recycling in Connecticut.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Small Business Supports an Updated Bottle Bill

Small, local businesses have signed on in support of updating the bottle bill, and this week we reached a milestone.  Over 50 businesses -restaurants, package stores, grocers, and others - agree that it’s past time for a common sense update to the bottle bill.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Piles of Petitions

We’ve hit our goal of collecting over 4,000 petitions to the Connecticut legislature calling on them to update the bottle bill.  Now we have the large task of sorting through the piles of petitions to make sure we deliver each one to the correct legislator.

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Blog Post | Health Care

What’s Next on Health Care Costs? | Evan Preston

Now that the election is over, talk has turned to the need to work together and get results for America. It’s a tall order, and on the polarized issue of health care, it may seem at first like an impossible task. But I am hopeful that we can make significant progress together. 

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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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