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Cronkite News Service: Public interest group: Outsourcing traffic cameras has pitfalls

Arizona communities should put public safety ahead of profits when deciding whether to install traffic cameras through private companies, a public interest group contends in a new report.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Making the Grade

When it comes to health care, there are few magic-bullet solutions for the many problems consumers face in the marketplace: insurers don’t compete for their business, leading to higher prices and lower quality. Important information about coverage is buried in the fine print, making it hard to know what’s really covered or which plan is right. And costs are continuing their unsustainable rise.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

STUDY OF NEW HEALTH EXCHANGES SHOWS ARIZONA HOW TO LOWER COSTS FOR CONSUMERS

Many states are creating health exchanges to deliver better value for consumers, and Arizona should follow their lead, according to Making the Grade, a new report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund.  Health exchanges are competitive marketplaces that can empower individuals and small businesses with better, more affordable options for coverage.  Under the federal health reform law, each state will have an exchange up and running in 2014.

 

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Budget

Tax-Increment Financing

Tax-increment financing (TIF) has been a widely used tool for municipalities seeking private investment. TIF allows cities and towns to borrow against an area’s future tax revenues in order to invest in immediate projects or encourage present development. When used properly, TIF can promote enduring growth and stronger communities for blighted neighborhoods; but TIF can also end up wasting taxpayer resources or channeling money to politically favored special interests.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Budget

New Report Shows Problems with Widely Used Local Economic Development Tool

New research released today outlines problems with the growing trend among cities to borrow against future growth and divert tax revenues as a way to attract economic development.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Democracy

Statement of Diane E. Brown, Executive Director, on U.S. Senate Passage of Landmark Lobby and Ethics Reform

Today’s vote in the U.S. Senate was a very good win for the American people.  Following the U.S. House action earlier this week, the landmark bill now heads to the President’s desk where we expect he will sign the bill. The reforms passed this week represent the most sweeping changes to the rules on lobbyists in a generation. 

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Democracy

Historic Ethics Reform Passes U.S. House

The Arizona Public Interest Research Group (Arizona PIRG) applauds today’s U.S. House vote on lobby and ethics reform.  The bill represents a momentous step toward reining in the special access and influence exerted by powerful interests in Washington, D.C.  It is without question the most significant change to the rules in a generation.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Food

U.S. Senate Legislation Would Undercut Critical State Food Safety Measures

Legislation considered in the U.S. Senate Health, Employment, Labor and Pension Committee today would abolish more than 150 state and local food safety and notification requirements. The National Uniformity for Food Act (S. 3128) would implement sweeping changes to America’s food safety net by severely restricting the role of state and local governments in ensuring food quality and providing information to consumers.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Democracy

Statement on the Need for Independent Ethics Enforcement - Diane E. Brown, Executive Director

The current system is broken.  Overseeing one’s own colleagues is difficult under any circumstances, but oversight in a charged partisan environment like the U.S. Congress is impossible.  This is not to say that members of Congress are any less capable than others of self-policing-- no one self-polices well.  In the Executive Branch there is an Office of Government Ethics. Businesses have outside auditors. Congress needs independent and professional oversight and enforcement of the rules.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Consumer Protection

Arizona Moves Closer Towards Combating Identity Theft

The House Judiciary Committee today voted in favor of SB1345, a bill that unanimously passed the Senate and would give consumers the right to put a security freeze on their credit files.

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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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