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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Historic legislation to prevent predatory loans passes Illinois General Assembly

Illiinois PIRG applauds passage of predatory lending reform capping usury ceiling at 36% APR. Measure sent to governor. Illinois will become the 18th state, along with the District of Columbia, that effectively bans payday loans.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

Rebooking airline tickets: How to sort out various vouchers and credits for future flights | Jacob van Cleef

With vaccines here, it may soon be time to reschedule vacations and other trips for later this year

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Blog Post

Landmark consumer victory protects consumers from surprise billing | Patricia Kelmar

There is no worse feeling than getting a large unexpected bill in the mail. And in the case of a surprise medical bill, it usually comes at the worst time - when you are home recovering from an illness or injury. But most of those bills will soon be a thing of the past.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Looking ahead: PIRG’s 2021 federal and state priorities

The new year is just around the corner. In 2021, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the state PIRGs will work to improve our health, safety and well-being by bringing Americans together to advocate for new laws and other positive changes

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Looking ahead: PIRG’s 2021 federal and state priorities

The new year is just around the corner. In 2021, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the state PIRGs will work to improve our health, safety and well-being by bringing Americans together to advocate for new laws and other positive changes

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Government funding bill coverage: Resources and interview opportunities

A new bill that would fund the government through September 2021 and provide accompanying COVID-19 relief is awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature. While direct disbursements to Americans, many of whom are struggling with medical, utility and rent or mortgage payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have taken center stage, numerous other components of the budget bill will play a starring role for a long time to come. Many of the bill’s provisions will fund -- at varying levels -- key public health, environmental and consumer protection initiatives. The nonprofits U.S. PIRG and Environment America and their state affiliates have been leading voices on -- and drivers of -- policy in these areas for decades. As you continue your coverage of the varied aspects of the 5,600-page legislation, please consider contacting our experts for interviews or background information. Here are the experts available to interview on the these topics, either over the phone or via Zoom/Skype.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Year in review: public health, voters’ rights and consumer protection wins in 2020

Between a global pandemic, raging wildfires and severe hurricanes, 2020 has been a chaotic and difficult year. Hundreds of thousands of Americans lost their lives and millions took ill. But we persevered, as our community members, friends and family made sacrifices, both large and small. Through it all, U.S. PIRG has advocated on behalf of the public interest.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | COVID-19

U.S. PIRG statement on COVID-19 relief legislation

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are poised to pass legislation Monday that, if signed into law, would provide some financial relief to Americans and small businesses struggling during the pandemic, but would fail to adequately fund key virus-fighting tools. U.S. PIRG is urging Congress to pass additional legislation to pay for increased testing to control the virus. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Statement: U.S. PIRG cheers bipartisan Congressional vote to end unfair surprise medical bills

After two years of debate in four congressional committees, Congress seemed likely to pass bipartisan legislation Monday that, if signed into law, will protect millions of consumers from unfair surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers. In response to the expected congressional passage of the surprise billing legislation, Patricia Kelmar, U.S. PIRG’s Health Care Campaigns director, made the following statement: “If passed, this will be the most far-reaching consumer protection that Congress has passed in recent memory...

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Result | Public Health

KIDS’ SCHOOL LUNCHES NOW SAFER

For years, America’s schoolchildren have been eating beef, chicken and other foods that would have been rejected as substandard even by fast food chains. Thanks in part to our advocacy, the U.S.D.A. has stopped buying such low-quality meat for school lunches.

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Result | Health Care

Young People Now Covered

This year, the federal health care reforms that MontPIRG worked to win have started to pay off for young people. In the past, teens saw their premiums soar or were denied coverage when they turned 19, even if they’d been insured their whole lives. Now, they can remain on their parents’ plans until age 26. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Consumers for Auto Reliability And Safety (CARS) Foundation | Consumer Protection

Unsafe used cars for sale

AutoNation, which bills itself as “America’s Largest Auto Retailer,” is selling recalled used vehicles that contain dangerous safety defects. In a survey of over 2,400 used vehicles for sale at 28 AutoNation locations, 1 in 9 were found to have unrepaired safety recalls.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Electric Buses in America

New report profiles six case studies of early electric bus adopters across the nation. By understanding common pitfalls and best practices, cities, agencies and school districts can ensure a smoother roll-out of electric buses, helping reduce climate pollution and protect public health.

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Report | U.S.PIRG Education Fund and Kids In Danger | Consumer Protection

Recalled Infant Sleepers

Every day, millions of kids are dropped off at child care facilities across the country by parents and caretakers who are looking forward to seeing them safe and sound at the end of the day. But new research found some dangerous recalled products are still in use at child care facilities across the country.

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Report | MontPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Highway Boondoggles 5

Highway Boondoggles 5 finds nine new budget-eating highway projects slated to cost a total of $25 billion that will harm communities and the environment, while likely failing to achieve meaningful transportation goals

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

Composting in America

America throws out immense amounts or trash, most of which is dumped into landfills or burned in trash incinerators. This is a costly system that damages the environment and harms our health. Luckily, communities across the country are turning toward a common-sense and beneficial solution: composting. Composting programs divert organic material – such as food scraps, leaves, branches, grass clippings and other biodegradable material – away from landfills and incinerators and turn it into a valuable product.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

Online shopping tips: Don't let last-minute desperation make you careless | Jacob van Cleef

Here's some advice to help keep your information and wallet safe

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Gift Guide: How to avoid toxics in beauty products | Gina Werdel

Gifting beauty products to family and friends this holiday season? Here's a guide to purchasing safer beauty products.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

Did your auto insurance company refund you enough for driving less this year? | Jacob van Cleef

State-by-state analysis shows companies financially benefited from fewer claims but barely compensated customers

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

16 ways to have a zero waste holiday in 2020 | Haley Clinton

With many cancelling annual gatherings, this is the year to think of ways to have a more sustainable, zero waste holiday season. Here are some ideas:

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

Gift cards are a popular holiday purchase, but be careful this year | Teresa Murray

COVID-19 could push more stores and restaurants out of business soon

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Not one, not two, but four more states ban single-use plastic bags

The number of statewide plastic bag bans in the U.S. tripled in June, with Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Oregon adding themselves to the list.

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Blog Post

PIRG Consumer Watchdog: Recalled baby rockers could still be at your child's day care

Adam Garber, the PIRG consumer watchdog, was shocked when he discovered recalled baby rockers at his infant son's day care this June.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Here's why we're not satisfied that Equifax agreed to pay $650 million for its big data breach

Equifax has agreed to pay $650 million two years after its data breach put 147 million people at risk. It's not enough.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Nathan Proctor advocates for our right to repair at the FTC’s 'Nixing the Fix' workshop

We've been telling everybody who will listen that the companies that make electronics and other products should make it easier to repair your stuff. In July, we got to tell the Federal Trade Commission...

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Blog Post | Public Health

Public education, member action strengthen call to ban Roundup

The more we educate the public about Monsanto's weedkiller, Roundup, the more support we find for banning the product—the residue of which can be found practically everywhere, from breakfast cereal to ice cream.

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Blog Post

Shortages improved during the fall but worsened in December

News Release | US PIRG

A new analysis by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group found that 8 percent of nursing homes nationwide had a critical shortage of surgical-grade N95 masks, as of Dec. 27. And 4 to 6 percent of homes reported shortages in at least one other category of PPE.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger submitted her resignation Wednesday soon after the inauguration of new President Joe Biden. Resignation opens seat for President Biden’s new nominee Rohit Chopra.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

The number of U.S. deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic surpassed 400,000 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

President-elect Joe Biden announced Monday that he intends to nominate Rohit Chopra as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director and Gary Gensler as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Financial Reform

Congressional override finally bans anonymous shell companies

From terrorist financing to Medicare fraud, anonymous shell companies have shielded the identities of wrongdoers and served as financial getaway cars for hiding dirty money. But in a historic override of a presidential veto, Congress has outlawed anonymous shell companies in the United States.

 

Health Care

Bipartisan bill to stop surprise medical billing becomes law

Americans will now be protected from surprise medical bills sent by out-of-network providers thanks to a new bipartisan law prohibiting "balance billing," where providers charge patients the difference between their fees and the maximum allowed by the patient's insurance.

 

Consumer Protection

General Motors recalls 7 million vehicles with exploding Takata airbags

The automaker announced it will recall 7 million large pickup trucks and SUVs built with potentially explosive Takata airbags, which have forced the recall of tens of millions of vehicles in the last 12 years and killed 18 people.

 

Consumer Tips

'Fixed for the Holidays' guide helps consumers save on refurbished electronics

Looking for a phone, laptop or tablet this holiday season? U.S. PIRG's guide gives consumers the scoop on refurbished electronics for Black Friday prices.

 

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