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Scott Walker's rent-to-own budget provision brings strong reaction

Rent-to-own stores would be able to sell customers high-cost financing plans for televisions, appliances and other goods without disclosing their interest rates, under a provision in Gov. Scott Walker's proposed state budget. In addition to exempting the industry from state consumer protection laws, the measure would cap how much wronged customers could get if they sued rent-to-own stores. The stores typically sell products under plans that cost buyers two or three times prices they would pay elsewhere, according to a report by the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group.
 

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News Release | WISPIRG | Consumer Protection

Statement of WISPIRG Director Bruce Speight Regarding Rent-to-own Provisions in State Budget

Carving out a special interest exemption for a predatory industry that traps consumers, especially low-income consumers, in a cycle of high-cost, perpetual debt is not good for Wisconsin’s economy and it’s not good for Wisconsin consumers.  Unfortunately, the executive budget proposal does exactly that for the rent-to-own industry.
 

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Report | WISPIRG | Transportation

The 10% Solution

Wisconsin taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be wasted on unnecessary and costly highway expenditures, when local transportation infrastructure is crumbling.  Unfortunately, the transportation budget being considered by state leaders increases spending on highways while neglecting local needs.  It’s time to get our transportation priorities straight and invest taxpayer dollars wisely, maintaining a modern highway system while meeting local road repair and transit needs. The 10% Solution offers a budget alternative that achieves these goals.
 

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Media Hit | Transportation

Environmentalists, Municipal Leaders: Let's Fix Roads, Not Build New Ones

Some municipal leaders and environmentalists say Governor Scott Walker's proposed transportation budget is out of sync.
 

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

The 10% Solution: A Better Plan for Wisconsin’s Transportation Future

Local elected leaders, municipal representatives from across Wisconsin, and transportation advocates presented a new budget proposal that would cut wasteful highway spending, reduce the structural deficit in the Transportation Fund, help repair and maintain local roads, and restore the devastating 10% cut to transit service approved in the 2011-2013 biennial budget. The proposal was made in response to the executive transportation budget proposal, which would leave local roads and bridges in disrepair, and transit systems underfunded, in order to funnel billions of dollars into highway projects.
 

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News Release | WISPIRG Foundation | Budget

Study: Wisconsin Has Better Reporting on Economic Stimulus Spending Than Most States But Still Needs Improvement

A new study of official state websites focusing on the federal stimulus program finds that Wisconsin ranks better than most states but still needs to improve the quality of its online reporting.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

Historic Day for Intercity Passenger Rail in Wisconsin

Governor Doyle announced today an agreement with Talgo, the Spanish train manufacturer, that will bring jobs to Wisconsin manufacturing and maintaining high-speed passenger rail. Also, the House Appropriations Committee approved $4 billion in federal funds for inter-city passenger rail; this is in addition to the $8 billion in high-speed passenger rail funds approved as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Health Care

Gaps in Medical Research Result in Poorer Care and Higher Costs

A new report by the consumer watchdog Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) finds that for the majority of medical conditions, no studies exist to help doctors – and their patients – choose the most effective course of treatment.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

Report Finds Stimulus Funding Decisions Missed Opportunity to Make Progress on Transportation

A new report released today by Smart Growth America, WISPIRG, and UEDA based on official data of the states' American Reinvestment and Recovery Act transportation funding decisions thus far, found Wisconsin in the bottom third of the state ranking for allocations that spur long-term growth  and capitalize on an opportunity to invest in a 21st century transportation system. The report shows that some states are moving aggresively to make badly needed repairs and prepare for a 21st century transportation system. Others are letting their roads and public transportation deteriorate, adding new capacity while they cannot take care of what they have.

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News Release | WISPIRG Foundation | Transportation

Wisconsin Mayors Support Assembly Action on RTAs, Discuss Importance of Transit for Growing Wisconsin’s Economy

Wisconsin mayors and business leaders came together on Tuesday afternoon to tout the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) enabling legislation passed by the Assembly, to discuss the importance of enhanced public transportation networks to grow Wisconsin’s economy, and to urge the state Senate to keep the creation of RTAs moving forward in the budget. 

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