MASSPIRG Ban Roundup & CFPB Homepage 3.16.17

What's New

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

The Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule for Investment Advice

U.S. PIRG federal legislative director Jerry Slominski on The Release of the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule for Investment Advice

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

What is payday lending? | Kathryn Lee

We are a leading member of Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition that was instrumental in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by Congress in 2010. The CFPB is currently working on a rule to reign in the payday lending industry. We, along with AFR, are working to make sure the rule is a strong one. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Lowering your APR might be easier than you think | Kathryn Lee

Many Americans are walking around with a balance on their credit card because of high interest rates, or annual percentage rate (APR) charges for unpaid balances. It's best to pay off your balance in full but if you don't or can't, a higher APR makes your debit grow faster. What most people don’t realize is this APR can be negotiated to a lower rate.

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Blog Post | Public Health

Flint Pediatrician Gave a Voice to the Voiceless in Flint, Michigan | Anna Low-Beer

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is the Flint pediatrician who led the charge in proving that Flint water was tainted by lead and was poisoning the community. Without her drive and dedication to the children of Flint, it is hard to say how long government officials might have left the public in the dark about the mounting crisis. In honor of Women’s History Month we’re recognizing Dr. Hanna-Attisha -- a doctor, mother, and activist -- who has relentlessly fought for the public interest. 

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Blog Post | Public Health

U.S. PIRG Testifies in Favor of Strong Chemical Plant Safety Rule | Carli Jensen

Earlier this month, the EPA formally proposed a long-awaited rule on chemical plant safety in response to an executive order issued in 2013 by President Obama, which called on several agencies, including the EPA to modernize their chemical plant safety rules. The new proposed rule triggered a 60-day public comment period, and with it, a public hearing in Washington, D.C., where Legislative Director Jerry Slominski gave the following statement for U.S. PIRG:

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Hank Investigates: Excise Tax Bill Errors

MASSPIRG's Deirdre Cummings was interviewed on Channel 7 News to discuss excise tax bills errors by the Department of Transportation

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Public Health, Consumer Protection, Health Care

Some Good, Some Bad in Obama Executive Order on Protecting Antibiotics

New executive order on antibiotics takes several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it misses the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Public Health

Some Good, Some Bad in Obama Executive Order on Protecting Antibiotics

Today, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order – Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. While the order takes several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it misses the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Democracy

Statement of Janet Domenitz on today’s United States Senate vote on the constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United

“Today’s vote in the U. S. Senate was a milestone in the fight to reclaim our democracy. The 2010 Citizens United decision unleashed a tide of big money from mega-donors and super PACs into our elections, and it has threatened to drown out the voices of ordinary Americans..."

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The Failure Of Cable Deregulation

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 restructured the entire telecommunications industry and left virtually all cable subscribers without protection from unrestricted rate hikes.

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Who's Watching The Watchdogs?

Conflicts of interest and lack of independent funding have doomed both the national and state level accounting oversight systems in the United States. The state accounting boards and the network of overlapping, mostly self-regulatory federal accounting overseers act as classic regulators, serving management instead of serving investors and taxpayers.

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Deflate Your Rate

At the end of the year 2000, U.S. households were accruing interest on $574 billion of revolving credit card debt, or debt carried over to the next month rather than paid off entirely.

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Report | Solid Waste

Where There's Smoking, There's Fire

Across the nation, over 1,000 people are killed and 3,000 injured as a result of cigarette fires each year. These fires cause more than $400 million in property damage. In Massachusetts alone in 2000, 1,280 fires were attributed to cigarettes. Those fires killed 17 people, injured 81 civilians, and wounded 61 firefighters in the line of duty. Insurers and property owners lost over $9.3 million due to the same blazes. Despite igniting 5% of the 24,931 reported fires in 2000, cigarette fires killed 17 civilians, or 22% of all civilian fires deaths

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Salem Citizens Call on Keenan to Update the Bottle Bill | Janet Domenitz

Citizens in Salem are clamoring for the Updated Bottle Bill. Check out this Letter to the Editor from the Salem News:

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Blog Post | Health Care

Reducing the Cost of Health Care | Deirdre Cummings

 In 2006, Massachusetts became a model for the nation when we enacted a law that expanded access to health care. Our success will unravel, however, if we fail to reverse the trend of rising health care costs that are now among the highest in the nation.  

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Senate to take up Prescription Drug Marketing Reforms | Deirdre Cummings

 

MASSPIRG calls on Senate to defeat Pharma supported amendments to state budget which will roll back the prescription drug gift ban and prohibition on prescription drug marketing coupons. MASSPIRG praises the inclusion of the academic detailing program in the Senate budget which, acting as a counter balance to industry marketing,  provides unbiased, data supported  information to physicians about prescription drugs and best practices for their use.  

 

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

March Madness and the Updated Bottle Bill | Janet Domenitz

The TUE committee postpones moving the bill out of Committee (technically called an ‘extension’), AGAIN.

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Blog Post | Democracy

Testimony in favor of A Resolution Restoring Free Speech | Janet Domenitz

The resolution calls upon the United States Congress to pass, and send to the states for ratification, a constitutional amendment to restore the First Amendment and fair elections to the people. The impetus for this resolution was a decision issued by the United States Supreme Court in January 2010 which basically allowed for unlimited, as well as untraceable, corporate money in our electoral campaigns.

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Defend the CFPB

Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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