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News Release | ConnPIRG | Democracy

ConnPIRG Applauds the Introduction of the Government by the People Act

ConnPIRG applauded Representatives Courtney, DeLauro, Esty, Himes, and Larson today for co-sponsoring new legislation aimed at raising the voices of everyday people in the political process. Every member of the Connecticut House Delegation is a co-sponsor of the Government By the People Act (H.R. 20), legislation that would allow candidates to run competitive campaigns for office by relying on small dollar donors.

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News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Tax

Connecticut could save $19.4 million with proven method to curb offshore tax dodging, new study finds

Connecticut taxpayers could save $19.4 from a reform to crack down on offshore tax dodging, according to a new report released today by ConnPIRG Education Fund. The reform, which has already been proven effective in Montana and passed in Oregon, would require companies to treat profits booked to notorious tax havens as domestic taxable income.

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News Release | ConnPIRG | Budget

NEW FARM BILL CONTAINS MASSIVE TAXPAYER HANDOUTS TO BIG AG

ConnPIRG urges Congress to vote NO on the Farm Bill. At a time of supposed fiscal caution, this bill would put taxpayers on the hook for another five years of billion-dollar handouts to huge, profitable agribusinesses. Even the most modest reforms to trim subsidies for the largest players were stripped out or watered down at the last second by the chairs of the House and Senate Agricultural Committees.

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Report | ConnPIRG | Budget

Closing the Billion Dollar Loophole

Every year, corporations use complicated gimmicks to shift U.S. earnings to subsidiaries in offshore tax havens – countries with minimal or no taxes – in order to reduce their state and federal income tax liability by billions of dollars. Tax haven abusers benefit from America’s markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law – all supported in one way or another by tax dollars. But they use tax havens to escape supporting these public structures and benefits.

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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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News Release | ConnPIRG | Democracy

Distorted Democracy

A new analysis of pre-election data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other sources by ConnPIRG and Demos shows that outside spending in the first presidential election since Citizens United is living up to its hype: new waves of “outside spending” have been fueled by dark money and unlimited fundraising from a small number of wealthy donors.

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News Release | ConnPIRG | Consumer Protection

Over 30 Years, Car Lemon Law Saves Connecticut Consumers Over $60 Million

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the enactment of the Connecticut Car Lemon Law, the first- in-the-nation consumer protection that has returned more than $60 million in refunds and replacement automobiles to Connecticut consumers.  Its passage in Connecticut was followed by similar laws in every state in the country and several foreign countries.

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News Release | ConnPIRG | Higher Ed

FDIC Orders Higher One to Repay Students $11 million in Campus Debit Card Settlement

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today announced an $11 million civil penalty and restitution settlement with the largest campus financial aid disbursement and debit card company, New Haven based Higher One, and its bank affiliate for alleged “unfair” and “unsafe” practices involving overdraft fees imposed on college students. 

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News Release | ConnPIRG Education Fund | Food

Ag Subsidies Pay for 21 Twinkies per Taxpayer, But Only Half of an Apple Apiece

Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup, enough to pay for 21 Twinkies per taxpayer every year, according to ConnPIRG’s new report, Apples to Twinkies 2012. Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one half of an apple per taxpayer.

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News Release | ConnPIRG | Higher Ed

Responding to Students, Congress Extends Low College Loan Rate

Statement of Rich Williams, ConnPIRG Higher Education Advocate, on the Congressional passage of bipartisan legislation to prevent subsidized Stafford student loan interest rates from doubling:

Congress listened to students and their families and delivered a bill that stops student loan interest rates from doubling. Students already face unprecedented student loan debt and adding an additional $1,000 more would not only crunch individual borrowers, but would have further weighed down the recovering economy. We applaud Congress for coming together to pass this much-needed legislation.

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Recipe for Disaster

The recall of more than 500 million eggs from two Iowa egg farms is the largest but not the last of 85 recalls that have taken place in the year since food safety reform moved to the U.S. Senate.

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Road Work Ahead

This report describes how America’s roads and bridges are in disrepair, bringing together a wide variety of statistics and sources with state-by-state analysis. It shows how special interest pressure tilts the playing field toward the construction of new and ever-wider highways at the expense of repair and maintenance. U.S.

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Tax Shell Game: What Do Tax Dodgers Cost You?

Many corporations operating in the United States funnel money through offshore tax havens in order to avoid paying billions in U.S. taxes. In fact, an independent study found that nearly two-thirds of corporations pay no taxes at all. Goldman Sachs, which received a $10 billion taxpayer bailout, managed to get their effective tax rate down to one percent by utilizing maneuvers they describe as “changes in geographic earnings mix.”

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What We Learned From the Stimulus

The latest data on stimulus spending show that funds spent on public transportation were a more effective job creator than stimulus funds spent on highways. In the 10 months since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was signed, investing in public transportation produced twice as many jobs per dollar as investing in roads:

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Trouble in Toyland: the 24th Annual Survey of Toy Safety

The 2009 Trouble in Toyland report is the 24th annual Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) 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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Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening the effectiveness of lifesaving antibiotics. Call on the Obama Administration to put an end to the worst practices.

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