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News Release | OSPIRG Foundation | Transportation

Report Shows Portland Driving Less, Using Transit and Alternatives More

A first-of-its-kind report by OSPIRG Foundation shows reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in Portland, and greater use of public transit and biking.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Transportation

Transportation in Transition

OSPIRG Foundation's report, “Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America’s Biggest Cities,” is the first ever national study to compare transportation trends for America’s largest cities.

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News Release | OSPIRG Students | Consumer Protection

Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to OSPIRG’s 28th annual Trouble in Toyland report. The survey of hazardous toys found that despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2013

The 2013 Trouble in Toyland report is the 28th annual OSPIRG survey of toy safety. In this report, OSPIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards. 

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News Release | OSPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

Report: In Oregon, Equifax Gets Big Complaints

A new report by OSPIRG Foundation found that the most complained-about credit reporting agency in Oregon is Equifax, and that Oregon ranks 18th nationally in credit report complaints per 100,000 residents.

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News Release | OSPIRG | Higher Ed

Interest Rate for 121,570 Student Loan Borrowers in Oregon Doubles

Due to Congressional inaction, the interest rates on federally subsidized student loans doubled on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. The change will affect 121,570 students in Oregon, and in total the rate increase will hike the cost of Oregon students’ loans by over $110 million. That translates into a $906 increase in debt per student, per loan.

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Media Hit | Health Care

Oregon slashes 2014 health insurance premium requests by as much as 35 percent

Oregonians who buy their own insurance have the first clear indication of what 2014 premiums will look like after state regulators Tuesday slashed carriers' rate requests by as much as 35 percent.

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News Release | OSPIRG

Oregon Legislature Passes Bill to Cut Offshore Tax Haven Abuse

For too long, Oregonians have waited for Congress to fix the problem of offshore tax haven abuse from multinational corporations. Rather than wait for Congress to make the first move, Oregon’s legislators have taken matters into their own hands.

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Media Hit | Health Care

OSPIRG: 16 Health Insurance Companies Need To Justify Rates

An Oregon consumer group says the 16 companies that have proposed insurance rates for the state's new health exchange haven't offered adequate justification for prices.

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News Release | OSPIRG Foundation | Health Care

Proposed 2014 health insurance rates lack adequate justification

Sixteen Oregon health insurance companies have proposed their premium rates for next year, and according to new OSPIRG Foundation analysis released today, many have failed to adequately justify their prices.“With some insurers proposing rates twice as high as others for identical coverage, it is more critical than ever to scrutinize the basis for these rates,” said Jesse O’Brien, OSPIRG Foundation Health Care Advocate.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Tax

Transparency in City Spending

Cities across the country have been moving toward making their checkbooks transparent by creating transparency portals and posting recipient-specific spending data online. This report evaluates the progress of America’s 30 largest cities, including Portland, toward a standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility.

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Report | USPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Elections Confidential

“Elections Confidential” describes how secret donors poured hundreds of millions into the 2012 election through social-welfare groups that are really political vehicles and via shell corporations formed as conduits to hide a funder’s identity. The first post-Citizens United presidential election cycle was bought and paid for by a handful of wealthy donors, but the corrosive influence of money in politics was amplified by the fact that we don’t know who – or what – actually provided much of the funding.

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Democracy

Outside Spending, Outsized Influence

The 2012 elections were by far the most expensive in history thanks primarily to the tidal wave of outside, special interest money triggered by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.The federal House races in Oregon, where outside groups spent over $1.1 million, were no exception. 

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Report | OSPIRG Foundation | Democracy

Billion-Dollar Democracy

The first presidential election since Citizens United lived up to its hype, with unprecedented outside spending from new sources making headlines. Demos and OSPIRG Foundation analysis of reports from campaigns, parties, and outside spenders to the Federal Election Commission found that our big money system distorts democracy and creates clear winners and losers: favoring wealthy donors over average citizens and powerful special interests over the public interst.  

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Report | OSPIRG | Tax

What America Could Do with $150 Billion Lost to Offshore Tax Havens

Many corporations and wealthy individuals use offshore tax havens—countries with minimal or no taxes—to avoid paying $150 billion in U.S. taxes each year. This $150 billion is a lot of money, especially at a time of difficult budget choices. To put this sum in perspective, we present 16 potential ways that income could be used.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Why are young people driving less? | David Rosenfeld

New report by OSPIRG Foundation and Frontier Group that documents the nationwide decline in driving—and finds that young people are leading the trend. The report explores the many factors that have led to the decrease in driving among the young. Bottom line: if these trends are structural, as the data suggests, then transportation planners will need to overhaul their assumptions about whether the nation needs (or can afford) major highway expansions.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

50 Years Ago This Week, JFK Ushered in Modern Consumer Protection Era | Ed Mierzwinski

I've got a new column at Huffington Post, "50 Years Ago This Week, JFK Ushered in Modern Consumer Protection Era." I discuss President Kennedy's visionary "Special Message to the Congress on Protecting the Consumer Interest" announced on March 15, 1962. He declared that consumers have rights and government should protect them. Read the full column after the jump.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

B of A tests new fees, CFPB asks for your checking account complaints | Ed Mierzwinski

Reporters are calling about BofA's proposed new checking account fees, "Ed, what does it mean?" Meanwhile the CFPB says checking accounts can be "complex and confusing" and announced it is now  ready and waiting for your checking account complaints. Find out more.

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Blog Post | Tax

Could Obama's Business Tax Reform Realize Its Potential? | Matt Orchant

The much anticipated corporate tax reform framework released last week by President Obama hit all the right notes but lacked the details to know if can fully realize it’s potential.

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Blog Post | Ed's Blog

White House Announcing Online Privacy Push | Ed Mierzwinski

White House urges privacy rights, industry promises "Do Not Track Sometimes" while states investigate Google

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