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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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30 years of toy safety

For the past thirty years, our sister organization U.S. PIRG Education Fund has taken a close look at the safety of toys sold in stores. Their reports have led to more than 150 regulatory actions. In November 2015, they released our 30th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

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Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health, Consumer Protection

2015: Potentially Hazardous Toy List

This year's list of potentially dangerous toys.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health, Consumer Protection

30th Annual Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

– Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to Maryland PIRG’s 30th annual Trouble in Toyland report. The survey of potentially hazardous toys found that, despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season.

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Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health

Trouble in Toyland 2015

For 30 years, Maryland PIRG Foundation has conducted an annual survey of toy safety, which has led to over 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years, and has helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and wellbeing of children.

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News Release | Solid Waste

MARYLAND PIRG HOSTS LITTER CLEANUP IN SUPPORT OF BOTTLE BIL

Bladensburg, MD: 40 Maryland PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) volunteers hosted a litter cleanup of the Bladensburg waterfront this morning to illustrate the problem of recyclable bottle litter. They were joined by State Senator Brian Frosh, Julie Lawson from the Trash Free Maryland Alliance, and Bladensburg Councilmen Chris Mendoza. The event is part of Maryland PIRG’s Don’t Trash Maryland Campaign, which is working to increase recycling and reduce litter by passing a Maryland bottle bill.

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Media Hit | Solid Waste

Bottle bill would boost recycling in Maryland

As Gov. Martin O'Malley points out in his newly launched comprehensive climate plan, less than 25 percent of our bottles and cans are being recycled. This means more leaky landfills, dirtier air from incinerators, and more litter and litter cleanup costs. Maryland can do better.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | Solid Waste

MARYLAND PIRG APPLAUDS INCLUSION OF BOTTLE BILL IN GOVERNOR O’MALLEY’S COMPREHENSIVE CLIMATE PLAN

Governor O’Malley has rightly included container recycling in his newly introduced Climate Change plan, in the form of a deposit on recyclable beverage containers, more commonly referred to as a Bottle Bill. The plan would get our state to an achievable goal of an 80% container recycling rate by 2020.

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Media Hit | Safe Energy

Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant at risk for ‘early retirement,’ report says

Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant was listed as one of almost 40 nuclear reactors across the U.S. that is at risk of closing early, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School.

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News Release | Health Care

Twenty Top Generic Drugs Delayed By Industry Payoffs

Marylanders with cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and other conditions have been forced to pay an average of 10 times more than necessary for at least 20 blockbuster drugs, according to a report released today by Maryland Public Interest Research Group (Maryland PIRG) and Community Catalyst.

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Blog Post | Budget, Food, Tax

Ending Subsidies for Big Ag in the Farm Bill | Michael Russo

Current food policy has disproportionately subsidized the largest agribusinesses, who are already profitable and don’t need taxpayer handouts. And subsidized crops have often been used to produce unhealthy food. The current scheme of agriculture subsidies, including the notorious Direct Payments program, is heavily skewed towards largest agribusinesses, with only 4% of U.S. farmers pocketing 74% of subsidy payments. Directing taxpayer dollars to these mature, profitable businesses enriches them and allows them to prosper at the expense of smaller, unsubsidized farmers, without any benefit to the taxpayers who are footing the bill. 

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Blog Post | Food, Tax

Maryland PIRG Advocate Jenny Levin on the Senate vote today to approve the 2012 Farm Bill: | Jenny Levin

Maryland PIRG is disappointed in the Senate’s approval of the 2012 Farm Bill, which will send tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to Big Ag. The Senate missed a golden opportunity to tackle the problem of wasteful agricultural subsidies, which have cost taxpayers $260 billion since 1995.  Instead, this bill recommits to taxpayer support for the largest agribusinesses. 

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Blog Post | Democracy

U.S. PIRG Democracy Advocate on summary reversal in American Tradition Partnership vs. Bullock

Today the Supreme Court passed on the opportunity to revisit its disastrous 2010 Citizens United decision—which is wreaking havoc on democracy—and it has done so in a way that avoids giving the American public a much deserved explanation.

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Blog Post | Food, Tax

Senate Farm Bill Moves to Floor | Jenny Levin

The Senate is moving to vote on the farm bill, S.3240, that would continue the current system of agricultural subsidies to large, profitable, agribusiness. Taxpayers’ hard earned dollars will be handed out needlessly in the billions. And subsidies will continue for corn and soy, which is then processed into junk food ingredients, like high fructose corn syrup, accelerating the obesity epidemic in America. 

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Blog Post | Higher Ed

Statement of Rich Williams, U.S. PIRG Higher Education Advocate, on the Congressional passage of legislation to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling:

"Congress listened to students and their families and delivered a bill that stops student loan interest rates from doubling," stated U.S. PIRG Higher Education Advocate Rich Williams. "Students already face unprecedented student loan debt and adding an additional $1,000 more would not only crunch individual borrowers, but would have further weighed down the recovering economy. We applaud Congress for coming together to pass this much-needed legislation."

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Defend the CFPB

Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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