archive-org.com » ORG » N » NJPIRG.ORG

Total: 460

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Gov. Christie's Veto Means More Delays for Health Reform | NJPIRG
    New Jerseyans are struggling with high cost health care or minimal coverage and 1 3 million have no health care at all The exchange will enable individuals and small businesses to have access to higher quality more affordable care These two groups previously lacked the negotiating power that large businesses have when shopping for plans Small businesses in New Jersey have been struggling to afford health care for their employees and are left with the choice of either not covering them or not having the employees at all Bringing small businesses together in one large pool will help them thrive Gov Christie could still decide to run a state federal partnership exchange Once again New Jersey consumers are left to wait and see NJPIRG is a statewide non partisan non profit consumer advocacy group Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse Of Antibiotics Stop the Highway Boondoggles Democracy For The People Label GMO Foods Making Health Care Work Protecting Consumers Toxic Free Communities Reining in Wall Street Act Now Jobs Donate Newsroom Resources Reports Get our RSS feed Our Affiliates Our Sister c 3 Are you a student Energy Service Corps Our Federation Archives Blog Media Hits News Releases

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/news/njp/gov-christies-veto-means-more-delays-health-reform (2016-04-29)
    Open archived version from archive


  • “IT’S TIME TO LISTEN TO MAIN STREET, NOT WALL STREET” | NJPIRG
    Parker owner of PPSU Computer Service in Williamstown also of NJ MSA These programs are used by small business owners like me who want to retire someday and don t benefit from corporate pensions They also give people a basic income so they have something left to spend in their local economies and in our businesses NJPIRG supports another way to increase revenue closing offshore tax loopholes They released a fact sheet titled What America Could Do With 150 Billion Lost to Tax Havens presenting 16 specific ways the public could benefit from the lost revenue revenue that could guarantee loans to half a million small businesses provide four year Pell Grants to ten million college students or give a 1 068 tax break to every person who filed taxes in America Perhaps most strikingly reclaiming the 150 billion would more than cover the 109 billion in automatic spending cuts that will take effect in 2013 if Congress fails to avert the fiscal cliff When corporations skip out on their taxes the rest of us are left to pick up their tab said Peter Skopec Program Associate at NJPIRG Right now this kind of tax dodging is perfectly legal but it s not fair and it s time to put an end to it There are some tough budget decisions ahead but this should be an easy one Many of America s largest corporations and wealthiest individuals use accounting gimmicks to shift profits made in America to offshore tax havens where they pay little to no taxes This tax avoidance costs the federal government up to 150 billion in tax revenue each year making tax loopholes an issue that should be part of any negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff New Jersey small and mid size business owners have to pay their taxes why should companies like Microsoft Google or Johnson Johnson be allowed to avoid paying their share asked Alexa Zayas owner of Trenton s San Juan Café Businesses should compete based on the quality of the products and services they offer not on the cleverness of their tax attorneys Thirty of America s largest most profitable corporations actually made money off of the tax code between 2008 and 2010 by avoiding taxes altogether and receiving tax rebates from the government For example Wells Fargo paid no federal income taxes during this time in part due to its use of 58 offshore tax haven subsidiaries Americans have resoundingly expressed their support for a more balanced tax system that places less of a burden on the middle class and puts an end to the era of slashing taxes for the wealthiest among us said Congressman Pallone I join NJPIRG and the NJ Main Street Alliance in calling for a fairer tax code that will strengthen the Middle Class and help grow our economy for the long term Corinne Horowitz of NJ MSA concluded with a reminder about the economic challenges small businesses have faced since the 2008 financial crisis As

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/news/njp/%E2%80%9Cit%E2%80%99s-time-listen-main-street-not-wall-street%E2%80%9D (2016-04-29)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Caution: Red Light Cameras Ahead | NJPIRG
    signal it gives drivers more time to react to the signal change which tends to reduce the number of red light violations However some contracts including those in the California cities of Bell Gardens Citrus Heights Corona and Hawthorne potentially impose financial penalties on the city if traffic engineers extend the length of the yellow light at intersections with red light cameras which would reduce the number of tickets the systems can issue Right on Red Enforcement Law enforcement agencies in different cities choose which types of violations to prioritize in the name of public safety including whether or not to ticket motorists who make a rolling stop rather than a complete stop behind the line before turning right on a red light However some contracts require municipalities to strictly issue tickets on all right turns that do not first come to a complete stop or enable vendors to impose financial penalties on cities that choose to alter their enforcement standards ñ including the contracts that Ventura and Napa Valley California have with camera vendor Redflex Ticket Quotas Some contracts include language that could penalize municipalities if they do not approve enough tickets ñ effectively setting a ticket quota and undermining the authority of local officials to decide which violations warrant citations For example Walnut California signed a contract with Redflex that raises the possibility of a financial penalty if the city waives more than 10 percent of the potential violations identified by the private camera system Other contracts give camera vendors the ability to veto proposed camera locations sometimes referring to a minimum ticket number or revenue requirement Contracts between camera vendors and cities can include penalties for early termination ñ or fail to provide provisions for early termination leaving taxpayers on the hook even if the camera program fails to meet its objectives For example After voters in Houston elected to shut off the cityís red light camera program in November 2010 American Traffic Solutions claimed that the city would owe the company 25 million for withdrawing from the contract before it expired in 2014 After San Bernardino California decided to terminate its red light camera program in March 2011 American Traffic Solutions threatened to impose a 1 8 million penalty on the city The city council in Victorville California considered shutting down the local red light camera program but discovered that their new contract with Redflex did not contain a clause addressing early termination The council estimated that pulling out of the contract before its 2015 expiration date would only be possible through litigation The city of Baytown Texas signed a contract through 2019 for a red light camera system with American Traffic Solutions However after voters decided that red light tickets could not be issued unless a uniformed officer was present at an intersection the city began waiving many of the citations issued by the system In response American Traffic Solutions filed a lawsuit alleging that the city was failing to meet its contractual obligation to

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/reports/njf/caution-red-light-cameras-ahead (2016-04-29)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Making the Grade | NJPIRG
    policies and criteria that will determine whether it is ultimately successful in improving health care for consumers Grading the Exchanges Our scorecard breaks exchanges down into four major areas first the governance and overall structure of the exchange second the ability of the exchange to negotiate on behalf of consumers and drive lower rates and higher quality third the overall consumer experience and ease of use when searching for and buying coverage on the exchange and fourth the stability of the exchange and its protections against the risk of adverse selection Within governance key policies include Exchange structure the exchange should be an independent public agency to maximize its flexibility and accountability Board makeup the board should be run by consumers and their representatives not the insurance industry Conflicts of interest board members should not make decisions that implicate their personal or financial interests Size of the exchange the exchange should be open to larger businesses so more consumers can see its benefits Stakeholder input consumers should be consulted as the exchange forms its policies For negotiating power and driving value our criteria are Active purchasing the exchange must have the power to negotiate with insurers and push them to deliver higher value care Delivery and payment reforms by promoting innovations like emphasizing primary care and paying for quality rather than quantity the exchange can reduce premiums and improve value Rate review the exchange should be integrated into the state s rate review system Standardization of products to help make consumers choices more understandable the exchange should be able to standardize plan offerings Important points for the consumer experience include Navigators exchange Navigators will help consumers choose and enroll in coverage they should have strong relationships with communities with a high number of potential enrollees and the program should not be limited to brokers Rating tools the exchange website should provide robust tools to allow consumers to make apples to apples comparisons and pick the plan that s right for them Eligibility and enrollment systems applicants to the exchange should experience a seamless eligibility determination process and if they re eligible for other public programs they should be automatically enrolled in them instead Privacy protections the exchange must safeguard the personal information of enrollees Language access exchange materials must be available in the primary languages spoken by enrollees To ensure the exchange remains stable states must take these actions Ongoing monitoring to protect the exchange from adverse selection which would make the exchange s risk pool sicker and more expensive than the outside market the exchange must monitor the danger and recommend legislation if necessary Prohibitions on steering to prevent insurers or brokers from segregating high risk enrollees onto the exchange the state should prevent steering Restrictions on off exchange plans limiting the availability of high deductible catastrophic plans off the exchange and requiring high benefit products to be offered both on and off the exchange allows the state to mitigate the risk of adverse selection Financing ensuring that fees

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/reports/njf/making-grade (2016-04-29)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Tax-Increment Financing | NJPIRG
    financing can be wasted on projects that Fail to achieve public goals Since TIF divert money from schools parks and other important services they won t be justifiable if the projects supported fails to bring hoped for investment or harms the community in other ways Enrich special interests at the public s expense Poorly designed TIF programs can give government officials a tool to lavish subsidies on favored or well connected developers regardless of the project s public benefits Encourage development in areas where it is least needed TIF is intended to spur redevelopment of areas in difficult economic straits but the tool has also been used to fuel development of previously undeveloped areas The process of awarding tax increment financing often takes place without sufficient public awareness and input creating the opportunity for favoritism and corruption TIF often lacks transparency The public often lacks the tools to evaluate whether a particular TIF project makes sense TIF often lacks accountability TIF laws do not adequately require follow up reporting that would enable the public to determine if the goals of the project were realized TIF can create slush funds that lack public oversight and accountability To prevent these problems states and municipalities should adopt strong rules governing the use of TIF districts and similar development subsidies In short rules should ensure that TIFs are targeted transparent accountable and democratically governed Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse Of Antibiotics Stop the Highway Boondoggles Democracy For The People Label GMO Foods Making Health Care Work Protecting Consumers Toxic Free Communities Reining in Wall Street Act Now Jobs Donate Newsroom Resources Reports Get our RSS feed Our Affiliates Our Sister c 3 Are you a student Energy Service Corps Our Federation Archives Blog Media Hits News Releases Reports Resources Results Take

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/reports/njf/tax-increment-financing (2016-04-29)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Apples to Twinkies | NJPIRG
    worse Between 1995 and 2010 American taxpayers spent over 260 billion in agricultural subsidies Most subsidies went to the country s largest farming operations mainly to grow just a few commodity crops including corn and soybeans While dairy and livestock production also receive some federal support it is these commodity crops that get the lion s share of the subsidies Most of these commodity crops are not simply eaten as is Among other uses food manufacturers process them into additives like high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oils that provide a cheap dose of sweetness and fat to a wide variety of junk food products Thus Americans tax dollars are directly subsidizing junk food ingredients Between 1995 and 2010 16 9 billion in tax dollars subsidized four common food additives corn syrup high fructose corn syrup corn starch and soy oils which are frequently processed further into hydrogenated vegetable oils Outside of commodity crops other agricultural products receive very little in federal subsidies Since 1995 taxpayers spent only 262 million subsidizing apples which is the only significant federal subsidy of fresh fruits or vegetables If these agricultural subsidies went directly to consumers to allow them to purchase food each of America s 144 million taxpayers would be given 7 36 to spend on junk food and 11 cents with which to buy apples each year enough to buy 19 Twinkies but less than a quarter of one Red Delicious apple apiece The fact that so many tax dollars are being wasted on junk food demonstrates the need to reform national agricultural subsidies and end this wasteful spending Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse Of Antibiotics Stop the Highway Boondoggles Democracy For The People Label GMO Foods Making Health Care Work Protecting Consumers Toxic Free Communities Reining in Wall

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/reports/njf/apples-twinkies (2016-04-29)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Toward Common Ground | NJPIRG
    reduction measures This report documents our findings What follows is a general summary of recommendations that fall into four rough categories 1 214 9 billion in savings from ending wasteful subsidies 2 444 8 billion from addressing outdated or ineffective military programs 3 221 6 billion from improving program execution and government operations and 4 132 1 billion from reforms to entitlement programs Each specific recommendation includes an estimate of its savings over the next ten years and a reference to the source from which the estimate was drawn Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse Of Antibiotics Stop the Highway Boondoggles Democracy For The People Label GMO Foods Making Health Care Work Protecting Consumers Toxic Free Communities Reining in Wall Street Act Now Jobs Donate Newsroom Resources Reports Get our RSS feed Our Affiliates Our Sister c 3 Are you a student Energy Service Corps Our Federation Archives Blog Media Hits News Releases Reports Resources Results Take Action Donate JOIN US Priority Action We re teaming up with big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms Call on KFC to stop selling meat raised on routine antibiotics ADD YOUR VOICE Support Us Your donation

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/reports/njp/toward-common-ground (2016-04-29)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Obama's New Consumer Finance Chief Can Lower Student Debt | NJPIRG
    more debt on students because they provide the worst rates and terms to students with the greatest financial need In addition students are targets for high interest high fee credit cards and debit cards on campus The CFPB is a new kind of regulator designed to do one job and do it well protect Americans from toxic financial products However since July 21 the CFPB has been up and running but only with partial powers Now with a director in place the CFPB has additional abilities that kick in including the right to regulate private student lenders like Sallie Mae An agency to protect students from toxic financial products sounds like it should be a no brainer with bipartisan support and it is Recently 37 state Attorneys General on a bi partisan basis had sent a letter to the Senate urging confirmation of Rich Cordray Yet at the behest of both the Wall Street banks some Senators had opposed confirmation of any CFPB director In May 45 Senators had written the president and told him that they would block confirmation of any director until and unless the CFPB s independence and authority were first restricted They want the CFPB weak and powerless and with a tin cup in hand Then on Dec 8 45 Senators blocked Cordray s nomination Final vote 53 Aye 45 Nay but 60 Ayes needed to invoke cloture aka defeat a filibuster Fortunately President Obama has acted to protect students and rejected these outrageous demands to weaken the bureau The president did his job with the recess appointment of Richard Cordray to direct the CFPB Now the CFPB can do its job protecting students from unfair financial practices Higher Ed Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse Of Antibiotics Stop the Highway Boondoggles Democracy For

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/blogs/blog/njp/obamas-new-consumer-finance-chief-can-lower-student-debt-0 (2016-04-29)
    Open archived version from archive



  •