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Blog Post | Transportation

Pulling a FAST one on our Transportation Future | Sean Doyle

For the first time in a decade, and after roughly three dozen short-term extensions, Congress has pulled together and passed a transportation-funding law lasting longer than two years. There is only one problem: the new law is the wrong deal for the country.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Tax

Government Agencies Allow Corporations to Write Off Billions in Federal Settlement Payments

A new study by California Public Interest Research Group Education Fund analyzes which federal agencies allow companies to write off out-of-court settlements as tax deductions and which agencies are transparent about these deals. The study found that five of the largest government agencies that sign settlement agreements with corporations rarely specify the tax status of the resulting payments. Billions of dollars are allowed to be written off as cost of doing business tax deductions. Additionally, the report found that major government agencies do not consistently disclose the details of corporate settlement agreements.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Tax

Settling for a Lack of Accountability?

When large companies harm the public through fraud, financial scams, chemical spills, dangerous products or other misdeeds, they almost never just pay a fine or penalty, as ordinary people would. Instead, these companies negotiate out-of-court settlements that resolve the charges in return for stipulated payments or promised remedies. These agreements, made on behalf of the American people, are not subject to any transparency standards and companies often write them off as tax deductions claimed as necessary and ordinary costs of doing business.

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Blog Post | Democracy

Three ways you can join the fight against big-money politics

We're still a year away from the 2016 presidential election, but we've already seen massive fundraising numbers coming from Super PACs and outside groups. Here are a few ways you can fight big money politics right now.

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Blog Post | Public Health

Not-so-secret-Santas in Congress Using Spending Bill To Roll Back Health, Safety, Wallet Protections | Ed Mierzwinski

With spending authorization for the federal government set to end on December 11, Congressional leaders are working with powerful special interests on their not-so-Secret-Santa lists to use spending bills as vehicles to gut health, safety and wallet protections popular with the general public but not with Wall Street or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They know they cannot win a fair fight. So they’re loading up the must-pass funding bill with so-called “riders,” which are unrelated policies that couldn’t get passed on their own. Everything we fought for in Wall Street reform, including the CFPB, is on the chopping block. So are many other PIRG health, safety, wallet and democracy priorities.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Public Health

Stop the Superbugs

Doctors across the state today called upon the California legislature to immediately restrict the use of antibiotics on factory farms when animals are not sick. The doctors are part of a nationwide coalition of more than 4,000 medical professionals working against the declining effectiveness of antibiotics due to overuse and misuse.

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Media Hit | Public Health

Viewpoints: Legislature must protect public health on antibiotics and livestock

California should be at the forefront of protecting public health by ending the use of antibiotics on animals that are not sick. We applaud the Legislature for tackling the issue this year, but we’re troubled that it is pushing through a bill that will bring little change instead of a measure that would have a real impact.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/18/6564275/viewpoints-legislature-must-pro...

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Media Hit | Public Health

Overuse of antibiotics on farms (radio interview)

CALPIRG Legislative Advocate Garo Manjikian spoke with Kelli McKay of KVTA about the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Democracy

Bill to allow California Voters to Take a Stand Against Big Money in Politics Passes Out of Key Comittee

California Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee passed SB 1272 (Lieu), a bill to put a voter instruction measure on the 2014 ballot that calls for a constitutional amendment of Citizens United vs FEC

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Tax

Study: 70% of Fortune 500 Companies Used Tax Havens in 2013

SACRAMENTO – Tax loopholes encouraged more than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies – HP, Google, and Apple here in California – to maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens as of 2013, according to “Offshore Shell Games,” released today by CALPIRG Education Fund and Citizens for Tax Justice. Collectively, the companies reported booking nearly $2 trillion offshore for tax purposes, with just 30 companies accounting for 62 percent of the total, or $1.2 trillion.

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Report | Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) & University of Massachusetts, Amherst | Consumer Protection

How Wall Street Speculation is Driving Up Gasoline Prices Today

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Building a Better Health Care Marketplace Brief #7

The exchange is a store where consumers can buy health insurance products – and anyone who’s worked retail knows that however much work has gone into crafting strong policies and building an efficient back-office, if customers  can’t understand, compare and choose the products that are right for them, it just won’t work.  

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Building a Better Health Care Marketplace: Policy Briefing #6

Medicaid will see its eligibility significantly increased in 2014, the same year the state exchange will open its doors. 

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Report | CALPIRG | Budget, Tax

Tax Shell Game

The United States loses approximately $100 billion in tax revenues every year due to corporations and individuals sending their money to offshore tax havens.

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Big Banks, Bigger Fees

Since Congress largely deregulated consumer deposit (checking and savings) accounts beginning in the early 1980s, the PIRGs have tracked bank deposit account fee changes and documented the banks’ long-term strategy to raise fees, invent new fees and make it harder to avoid fees. 

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Blog Post | Democracy

In The Capitol: Removing Barriers To Voting | Pedro Morillas

AB 1436—Establishes an election day registration system in California.

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Blog Post | Budget

In The Capitol: Privatization Safeguards | Pedro Morillas

SB 1303 (Simitian)—Provides clear guidelines and safeguards for the growing use of outsourced “red light cameras” for traffic enforcement.

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Blog Post | Democracy

In The Capitol: Getting Money Out Of Politics | Pedro Morillas

SB 1426 (Blakeslee)—Bans specified gifts from lobbyist employers to legislators.

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Blog Post | Budget

In The Capitol: Holding Corporations Accountable | Pedro Morillas

AB 2439 (Eng)—Requires the 1500 largest publicly traded corporate taxpayers in California to disclose the amount they pay in taxes to the state.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

California AG Launches New Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit | Jon Fox

CALPIRG applauds the creation of the Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit in the Department of Justice.

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Priority Action

We're teaming up with big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Call on KFC to stop selling meat raised on routine antibiotics.

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