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News Release | CALPIRG | Food

California GMO Labeling Bill Moves Forward

SACRAMENTO, CA — A bill that would require the labeling of all foods sold in California containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) advanced out of another policy committee today despite heavy opposition from big agribusinesses and biotech lobby groups. “Consumers have real concerns about the impact of GMOs,” said Austin Price, field director with CALPIRG. “From coast to coast, consumers are demanding the right to know how their food is produced.”

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News Release | CALPIRG | Public Health

Legislators, Health Professionals and Advocacy Groups Rally to Ensure Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Livestock

SACRAMENTO, CA  – Health profesionals, advocacy groups and legislators gathered in the State Capitol on Tuesday in support of AB 1437, a bill introduced by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin (CA-22) that seeks to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by limiting the use of medically important classes of antibiotics in meat and poultry production. AB 1437 would ensure that antibiotics are only given to animals when they are sick, and in rare circumstances, when there is a disease outbreak. Additionally, the bill would require meat companies to provide greater transparency about their exact antibiotic use. 

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See which airlines get the most and least complaints

Spirit Airlines generated the most complaints per 100,000 passengers and Southwest the least, according to a study released Thursday. The study, by the CALPIRG Education Fund, analyzed complaint data for 13 large domestic airlines lodged with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division from 2009 through 2013. It found that most complaints are about delayed or canceled flights.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Health Care

Health Insurance Rate Review Has Saved Californians $349 Million

 This report looks at the impacts and effects of the first three years of health insurance rate review in California, and makes policy recommendations to strengthen and expand the process to more extensively protect Californians from unjustified health insurance premium hikes.

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Report | CALPIRG | Health Care

California Health Insurance Rate Review

In its first three years, health insurance rate review in California has saved consumers and small businesses $349 million.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New Report: University Campuses Like UC Davis Are Transportation Trailblazers as Students Lead Shift From Driving

Davis, February 5th – As Millennials lead a national shift away from driving, universities like UC Davis are giving students new options for getting around and becoming innovators in transportation policy, according to a new report released today. The report, titled, “A New Course: How Innovative University Programs Are Reducing Driving on Campus and Creating New Models for Transportation Policy,” was released by CALPIRG Education Fund and features UC Davis.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Democracy

CALPIRG Applauds the Introduction of the Government by the People Act

The Government By the People Act (H.R. 20), introduced today, would allow candidates to run competitive campaigns for office by relying on small dollar donors. Seventeen California representatives are original co-sponsors of the bill. 

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Tax

California Could Save $246 Million With Simple, Proven Method to Curb Offshore Tax Dodging, New Study Finds

Sacramento, January 30th – California taxpayers could save $246 million from a simple reform to crack down on offshore tax dodging, according to a new report released today by CALPIRG. 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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Media Hit | Health Care

Anthem to raise some premiums as much as 25%

Los Angeles Times: "We are very concerned Anthem proposed a rate hike this high without adequate justification," said Emily Rusch, CALPIRG's director.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Food

New Farm Bill Contains Massive Taxpayer Handouts To Big Ag

CALPIRG 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. 

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

The Future is Calling

CALPIRG Education Fund releases a new report titled explaining how mobile payment systems work while providing consumers with the information they need to best utilize mobile payment systems in a safe and secure way.

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Report | CALPIRG | Higher Ed

Issue Brief: Student Loan Debt in California

Without a new plan from Congress, on July 1 the interest rate on subsidiezed Stafford student loans will double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. This brief highlights the impact on California borrowers and the California economy.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Comments on the Blue Shield of California Proposal to Increase Small Employer Health Insurance Rates, Effective July 1, 2013.

After analysis of the complete filing – inclusive of the three subsequent submissions – it appears that for the most part, Blue Shield provided sufficient background data for the requested rate increase. However, we note that it took repeated requests for Blue Shield to provide the information necessary to justify the rate increase.

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Prescription for Danger

New report shows that compounding pharmacies have been exploiting loopholes in the regulatory system for at least a decade.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

A New Direction

The Driving Boom—a six decade-long period of steady increases in per-capita driving in the United States—is over.

Americans drive fewer total miles today than we did eight years ago, and fewer per person than we did at the end of Bill Clinton’s first term. The unique combination of conditions that fueled the Driving Boom—from cheap gas prices to the rapid expansion of the workforce during the Baby Boom generation—no longer exists. Meanwhile, a new generation—the Millennials—is demanding a new American Dream less dependent on driving.

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Blog Post | Budget, Consumer Protection, Higher Ed

New FCC rules to prevent cramming on landline phone bills | Jon Fox

FCC announces new rules to stop “Cramming” on land lines, ignores wireless phone lines.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

LA Times highlights failure to provide cheap broadband Internet | Jon Fox

LA Times columnist David Lazarus highlights the fact that the USA is falling behind the rest of the world in providing access to low coast quality Internet service.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

CFPB Release new tools to help students manage debt | Jon Fox

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launches a beta version of the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper - an interactive online tool designed to help students plan for the costs of higher education.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

CFPB to announce mortgage servicing rules and other consumer news of the week | Ed Mierzwinski

(Update: phottos added.) Today, U.S. PIRG will be an invited guest as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposes new mortgage servicing rules to prevent, among other things, a recurrence of the robo-signing scandal. Among the other important news items of the week, in case you missed it, Ohio has made it harder for aggrieved consumers to obtain redress when ripped off.

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Blog Post | Tax

Tax Credits For Oil Spills

From guest blogger Chris Jones: My brother, Gordon Jones, was one of the eleven hard-working men killed aboard the Deepwater Horizon deepwater oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. Unlike BP, I believe my brother was more than a number or tax credit.

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Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening the effectiveness of lifesaving antibiotics. Call on the state Legislature to ban the mass distribution of antibiotics to livestock.

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