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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

Final 2019 State Budget Includes Increase in Regional Transit Investment

Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed a state budget for fiscal year 2019 that funds the Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) at a total $88 million, which represents the first significant increase in RTA investment in several years. The RTAs provide essential public transportation services to over 32 million riders across the Commonwealth, but have been forced to propose service cuts due to rising costs coupled with, until now, stagnant funding.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

MA Legislature Passes Important Consumer Protection Bill

The Massachusetts Legislature, with bipartisan, unanimous votes of 151-0 in the House and 38-0 in the Senate, passed a key identity theft protection bill  An Act Relative to Consumer Protection from Security Breaches, HB 4806 which, if signed into law, will enable consumers to safeguard their personal financial information by allowing them to “freeze” and “thaw” their credit files for free, among other protections.

 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MASSPIRG and Over 20 Organizations Send Letter to Governor Baker in Support of Investment in Regional Transit

MASSPIRG and over 20 organizations representing diverse communities throughout the Commonwealth delivered a letter to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker in support of investmet in the Regional Transit Authorities, which provide bus services throughout the Commonwealth. The letter urges Governor Baker to fund the Regional Transit Authorities at $88 million for the next year. Read the letter here.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

Massachusetts to Spend VW Settlement Money on Electric Buses and EV Charging Infrastructure

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) released a draft plan that proposes using the first $23.5 million the state is receiving as part of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal settlement on electric vehicle infrastructure. The plan dedicates $11 million for the purchase of new, all-electric buses, $5 million for the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and reserves the rest to be used on other projects that will help electrify the state’s transportation network.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

As senators consider confirming Kathy Kraninger to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, more than 100 groups release online video to defend the CFPB

As the Senate Banking Committee begins a scheduled confirmation hearing for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director nominee Kathy Kraninger, MASSPIRG and 103 other groups representing consumers, small businesses, students, and workers, released an online video on Twitter and Facebook about the current state of the CFPB. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

MA Senate Passes Much Needed Consumer Protections for Student Loan Borrowers

The Masachusetts Senate adopts vital consumer protections for borrowers of student loans.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MASSPIRG Statement on Regional Transit Authority Budget in House Fiscal Year 2019 Spending Plan

On Wednesday, the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee released its fiscal year 2019 budget recommendation, which decreases funding for the Regional Transit Authorities to $80 million. This comes despite the urgent requests from  public transportation advocates and the RTAs, for adequate funding at a level of $88 million.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

EVERSOURCE GRANTED HIGH PROFIT MARGINS, AUTOMATIC ANNUAL RATE INCREASES, AND DETRIMENTAL CHARGES FOR NEW SOLAR CUSTOMERS:

57 Consumer, Clean Energy, and Community Organizations Call on State Leaders to Address Counterproductive Decisions

 

 

 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

MASSPIRG, RTA Officials, Regional Community Leaders and Students Discuss Transportation Issues in Southeastern, MA at UMass Dartmouth

 On Thursday, April 5, at UMass Dartmouth, MASSPIRG hosted a transportation forum where RTA officials, regional community leaders, and students discussed transportation issues in Southeastern Massachusetts.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Tax

Picking Up the Tab 2015

Every year, corporations and wealthy individuals 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 federal and state income tax liabilities by billions of dollars. While 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 – they continue to avoid paying for these benefits. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Picking Up The Tab 2015: Small Businesses Pay the Price for Offshore Tax Havens

Every year, corporations and wealthy individuals 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 federal and state income tax liabilities by billions of dollars. While 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 – they continue to avoid paying for these benefits.

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Report | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Budget, Tax

Following the Money 2015: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data

Every year, state governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars through contracts for goods and services, subsidies to encourage economic development, and other expenditures. Accountability and public scrutiny are necessary to ensure that the public can trust that state funds are spent as well as possible.

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Report | MASSPIRG

MASSPIRG's 2015-2016 Legislative Agenda

Each legislative session, we choose several bills that represent public interest reforms and we work with the chief sponsors and cosponsors to promote them. These are selected state and federal priorities from our legislative agenda for the 2015-16 session.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Keeping On Track

Keeping on Track provides you with updated information about the financial state of the Commonwealth's transportation system, completed statutory requirements, missed deadlines, and improvements made through new transportation investments.

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Blog Post | Transportation

As Vehicle Miles Traveled Rise, So Do Traffic Fatalities | Matthew Casale

Driving in Massachusetts can be deadly. More deadly than ever before, according to new data released by the National Safety Council (NSC). The new data show that in Massachusetts, there were 180 motor-vehicle fatalities from January 2017 through June 2017, a 46 percent increase compared to the same period in 2013. What accounts for the increase in the death toll? Well, more people are driving more miles. According to the NSC, the increase in fatalities in 2017 likely results from the improving economy and low gas prices. Both of those factors lead to more traffic, as more people commute to work and can afford to drive farther and take vacations. What is most frustrating about the increase in motor-vehicle deaths is that it is largely preventable. Investing in roads that are designed to calm traffic and increase options for people walking, biking and taking transit is not only a more efficient use of limited financial resources—it will saves lives. In short, if we shift our transportation policies to incentivize non-motor-vehicle modes of travel, fewer people will die.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Well, Well, Wells Fargo! Poster Child for Defending CFPB, Dodd-Frank. | Ed Mierzwinski

As the big Wall Street banks, payday lenders and other opponents of consumer protection intensify pressure on Congress to weaken financial reform and gut the CFPB like a fish, numerous reports of further Wells Fargo malfeasance serve as a warning that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the rest of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act are needed more than ever.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

CFPB Finds So-Called Overdraft Protection Costs Some $450/Year | Ed Mierzwinski

This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rolled out draft "Know Before You Owe" disclosures for banks marketing so-called "Standard Overdraft Protection," a controversial product that requires consumers to "opt-in" for the "privilege" of overdrafting debit and ATM transactions for a so-called convenience fee averaging $34. It also  released a study that finds that at-risk consumers who opt-in pay $450/year more in fees than other at-risk consumers.

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Blog Post | Democracy

Election Modernization Coalition Statement on Chelsea Collaborative v. Galvin | Janet Domenitz

Court strikes down barrier to voting, coalition praises decision.

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Blog Post | Health Care

Health Care Reform for all of Us | Deirdre Cummings

Policymakers must go back to the drawing board and start working on solutions that will fix the fundamental problems in the American health care system.

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