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News Release | CALPIRG | Safe Energy

High Costs for Faulty Nuclear Plant Finally Spur Closure

Statement by CALPIRG State Director Emily Rusch on today’s announcement that San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant will shut down for good.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Higher Ed

Student Loan Interest Rates to Double for 550,928 Californians

Unless Congress acts, on July 1, the interest rate for 550,928 student loan borrowers in CALIFORNIA will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. According to an issue brief released today by CALPIRG, the rate increase would hike the cost of California students’ loans by $543,765,936 million. That translates into a $987 increase in debt per student, per loan.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Democracy

Google’s Lack of Political Spending Transparency Threatens Brand, Hurts Democracy

Google Inc.’s lack of transparency in its political spending and its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pose a threat both to Google’s brand as well as to our democracy, according to letters sent this week by shareholders and citizen groups to Google’s board of directors.

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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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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection, Higher Ed

As Fall Financial Aid is Disbursed, Senator Issues Urgent Warning to Students Using Campus Debit Cards

Financial aid distributed in the next weeks can quickly be lost to predatory bank fees .

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Media Hit

Farm Bill Needs to Cut Dangerous Pork

With Congress back in session, the biggest remaining item on its to-do list is how to deal with the farm bill before it expires at the end of September. The farm bill sets our nation’s agricultural and food policy, including a raft of food-related programs such as food assistance and rural development programs. But it also authorizes a set of misguided agricultural subsidy programs that lavish billions of taxpayer dollars on large, profitable agribusinesses.

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News Release | CALPIRG

100 California Small Farmers and over 59,000 California Citizens Speak Out Against Agricultural Subsidies in Farm Bill

Small farmers and ordinary citizens across the country are taking a stand against wasteful agricultural subsidies in the federal Farm Bill. With only a few weeks left before they adjourn for the election, reauthorizing or extending the Farm Bill is one of Congress’s top priorities.

 

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News Release | CALPIRG | Budget

100 Small Farms in California Call for an End to Wasteful Subsidies in Farm Bill

Over the past 15 years, America has spent more than $260 billion on agricultural subsidies. A number of these subsidies were created during the Great Depression to provide emergency aid to small family farmers. Unfortunately, in the decades that followed, many of these programs have lost their way.  Today 74 percent of agricultural subsidies go to just 4 percent of all farmers – including some of the largest operations in the country.  This is a list of the 100 family farms in California that have endoresed CALPIRGs campaign to end wasteful agricultural subsidies.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Common Sense Accounting Reforms For California Investors And Taxpayers

The California marketplace is plagued by increasing conflict-of-interest problems that lead to inaccurate corporate audits, an upsurge in “earnings restatements”, and a loss of investor confidence.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Rent-A-Bank Payday Lending:

One consequence of deregulation of interest rates, high credit card interest rates and high bank fees has been the rapid growth of the alternative financial services (or fringe banking) industry, which includes check cashing outlets, payday loan companies, rent-to-own stores, high cost second mortgage companies, sub-prime auto lenders, traditional pawn shops and the growing business of auto title pawn companies. This report examines payday lending in detail.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Election, Inc.

The presence of corporate money in California politics is one of the biggest challenges facing our democracy. The federal government has long realized that corporations, as fundamentally economic institutions, have no place in the political process. Corporate contributions to federal candidates were banned in 1907.

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Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening the effectiveness of lifesaving antibiotics. Call on the Obama Administration to put an end to the worst practices.

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