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OSPIRG, a statewide public interest group, released their 2020 legislative agenda today. The full legislative agenda is available here.
While OSPIRG is monitoring a number of important issues this session, their top three priorities are:
Controlling Prescription Drug Costs: The high cost of prescription drugs is a major driver of rising health care costs and public expenditures. Americans spend $1,000 more per person on prescription drugs than other wealthy nations, despite receiving the same benefits from those prescriptions.
In recent years, OSPIRG has helped win new laws to require prescription drug companies to provide justification when they raise the price of drugs. As a result of these efforts, we now know that, on average, Oregonians pay five times more than the highest international price for prescriptions.
OSPIRG supports HB 4147, which would expand importation of safe, FDA-equivalent prescription drugs from Canada. Opening up this new supply chain will create real market competition and price relief for Oregon consumers.
Student Borrower Bill of Rights: 56% of 4-year degree college students left school in Oregon with debt in 2017, carrying an average debt load of nearly $28,000. Defaulting on a student loan harms a borrower’s credit score, making it more difficult to access jobs and housing.
Student loan servicers are charged with evaluating borrowers for income-driven repayment programs, discharges, and other plans that can help them manage their monthly payments. Failure to properly serve borrowers, however, has led to delinquencies, defaults, and an increase in outstanding student loan debt nationally.
OSPIRG supports SB 1540, which would regulate student loan servicers in Oregon by requiring registration to operate in the state and prohibiting deceptive and misleading practices.
End the Nicotine Trap: The U.S. Surgeon General has declared e-cigarette use, commonly known as vaping, among young people an epidemic due to its popularity and health risks. One in five high schoolers reported vaping in 2018, a nearly 80 percent increase in one year. An entire generation is at risk of nicotine addiction, and millions of kids are already hooked on nicotine with serious implications for their health and future.
Underage users can easily acquire vape devices and e-liquids online. Studies have found that youth can successfully purchase e-cigarettes online in 94 to 97 of their online attempts. Many online retailers conduct minimal age-verification, with some simply requiring purchasers to check a box affirming that they are over age 18 or 21 to enter the website.
OSPIRG supports HB 4078, which would ban online and other remote sales of vaping products, making it more difficult for underage users to purchase vaping devices and e-liquids.
Your donation supports OSPIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.