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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Tax

Last week’s other big bank settlement also shifts burden to taxpayers

Goldman Sachs will be able to take a $420 million tax write off on the bank's FHFA settlement for its mortgage misdeeds. A similar settlement paid in 2010 to the SEC specifically prohibited such tax deductions.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

We oppose merger between giants Comcast & Time Warner Cable | Ed Mierzwinski

Along with a number of state PIRGs, we have joined the Consumer Federation of America in a petition to deny the merger of cable/Internet giants Comcast & Time Warner Cable. The petition argues that the FCC must deny the merger, which would perpetuate unrestrained cable price increases, allow terrible service to deteriorate further and stifle innovation.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Tax

Bank of America settlement loophole creates at least $4 billion burden for taxpayers

 The Justice Department allows Bank of America to write off most of its legal settlement for mortgage abuses as a tax deduction, shifting at least $4 billion back onto taxpayers.

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Media Hit | Public Health

California Antibiotics Bill Closer to Becoming Law

On Monday, the California Assembly passedSenate Bill 835 to ban the use of antibiotics for growth promotion and require a veterinarian prescription for a livestock antibiotic.

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Media Hit | Public Health

Why Advocacy Groups Oppose Bill Limiting Use of Antibiotics in Animals

Amid growing concern of the use of antibiotics in livestock, California’s Assembly will consider on  Monday a bill to limit their use. But a coalition of a dozen health and consumer advocacy groups — the very groups that often back such measures — are pressing lawmakers to vote it down. The groups say the bill is not aggressive enough and want California to take a more forceful role in the way antibiotics are regulated in meat production.

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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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News Release | CALPIRG | Food

Bill to Label GMOs Narrowly Fails on California Senate Floor

SACRAMENTO — A bill that would require the labeling of all foods sold in California containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) narrowly failed on the California Senate floor today, falling just two votes short of the 21 it needed to pass.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Comments on the Anthem Blue Cross Proposal to Raise Health Insurance Rates

Anthem Blue Cross has proposed rate increases as high as 24.9% for policyholders in their “grandfathered” health insurance plans that were established before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. The rate changes average out to a 16 percent increase for 153,000 policyholders, impacting a total of 238,000 Californians currently covered under the plans. Our review found that Anthem failed to provide adequate justification for this rate increase.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

A New Course

Universities and colleges across the country are taking steps to encourage their communities, students, faculty and staff to decrease their reliance on personal vehicles.  These efforts are working well - saving money for universities, improving the quality of life college in towns, and giving today's students experience in living life without depending on a car.

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Report | CALPIRG | Tax

Closing the Billion Dollar Loophole

Every year, corporations 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 state and federal income tax liability by billions of dollars. 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. But they use tax havens to escape supporting these public structures and benefits.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Higher Ed

Fixing the Broken Textbook Market

The cost of college textbooks has skyrocketed in recent years. CALPIRG Education Fund and CALPIRG Students conducted this study to investigate the continued effects of high textbook prices on students and higher education, as well as to evaluate student interest in alternatives to the traditional textbook. 

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Credit Cards, Consumer Complaints

California consumers file more complaints about Capital One than any other credit card company, according to a report released today by CALPIRG Education Fund. The report, which looked at data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) public Consumer Complaints Database, also found that California consumers filed the most credit card complaints.

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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

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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