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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Weakened Consumer Advocate Approved By Legislature

Late Wednesday night the Legislature reauthorized a weakened version of Colorado’s Consumer Advocate, allowing the consumer watchdog to continue to advocate for Coloradans but only on gas and electric issues moving forward. Despite its track record of success and clear role in future telecommunication cases coming before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) from 9-1-1 surcharge increases to the state’s high cost fund, Republicans in the Senate locked down with a party line vote that stopped the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) from representing consumers on telecommunication issues.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Watchdog Will Get Disconnected Without Action

Colorado’s consumer watchdog is poised to get disconnected from telephone issues by the Colorado State Senate Friday. Unless an amendment is approved to allow Colorado’s consumer advocate, the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), to continue to do its job on telecom issues, Coloradans will be in danger of losing the representative that for 30 years has fought against unjustified prices and anti-consumer practices and won.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

As 9-1-1 Fees Rise, Senate Bill Aims to Disconnect Consumer Watchdog

On the day a State Senate committee considers a bill to stop Colorado’s consumer watchdog from reviewing the 9-1-1 fees charged to Coloradans each month on their telephone bills, a new report highlights how some Colorado residents fees are four times higher than others. According to the report by CoPIRG, 9-1-1 surcharges on customer telephone bills, which fund a patchwork of local communities’ 9-1-1 services like Call Centers, have grown by 44% since 1998 and residents in Summit County and San Juan County in Colorado pay the highest fees.

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Report | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

9-1-1 Surcharges

Whether you are a farmer on the Eastern Plains with a cell phone, a small business owner in a Western Slope town with a traditional landline, or a retired couple in suburban Denver using an internet-based cable phone service, you pay a fee every month on your telephone bill to ensure that when you dial 9-1-1, your call will be answered.  As fees increase and new 9-1-1 technologies are considered, it is critical that Colorado’s consumer advocate, the Office of Consumer Counsel, is allowed to do its job and ensure consumers are getting the value and service they deserve from our 9-1-1 networ

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Weakened Consumer Advocate Approved By Legislature

Late Wednesday night the Legislature reauthorized a weakened version of Colorado’s Consumer Advocate, allowing the consumer watchdog to continue to advocate for Coloradans but only on gas and electric issues moving forward. Despite its track record of success and clear role in future telecommunication cases coming before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) from 9-1-1 surcharge increases to the state’s high cost fund, Republicans in the Senate locked down with a party line vote that stopped the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) from representing consumers on telecommunication issues.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Watchdog Will Get Disconnected Without Action

Colorado’s consumer watchdog is poised to get disconnected from telephone issues by the Colorado State Senate Friday. Unless an amendment is approved to allow Colorado’s consumer advocate, the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), to continue to do its job on telecom issues, Coloradans will be in danger of losing the representative that for 30 years has fought against unjustified prices and anti-consumer practices and won.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

As 9-1-1 Fees Rise, Senate Bill Aims to Disconnect Consumer Watchdog

On the day a State Senate committee considers a bill to stop Colorado’s consumer watchdog from reviewing the 9-1-1 fees charged to Coloradans each month on their telephone bills, a new report highlights how some Colorado residents fees are four times higher than others. According to the report by CoPIRG, 9-1-1 surcharges on customer telephone bills, which fund a patchwork of local communities’ 9-1-1 services like Call Centers, have grown by 44% since 1998 and residents in Summit County and San Juan County in Colorado pay the highest fees.

> Keep Reading
News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Governor Steps up to the Plate for Consumers

Governor John Hickenlooper stepped up to the plate for consumers on Monday by calling for the full reauthorization of Colorado’s Consumer Advocate, the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC). For 30 years, the OCC has gone to bat for consumers and saved Coloradans $1.7 billion but could be permanently benched if the Legislature does not renew the agency by May 6th.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Legislature, Governor Must Step up to the Plate for Consumers

 Despite a 30-year track record of going to bat for consumers and saving Coloradans $1.7 billion, Colorado’s Consumer Advocate is in danger of being permanently benched if the Colorado General Assembly and Governor do not step up to the plate and reauthorize it. With just ten days left before the Legislature adjourns, CoPIRG launched a late inning push to get the Legislature and Governor to go to bat for Colorado’s consumer MVP so it can continue to fight for consumers on electric, gas and telecommunication utility issues in the upcoming years.

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Result

Energy Savings: 5 Years Later, Efficiency Policy Saves 800 Million Kwh

5 years after the landmark CoPIRG-backed energy efficiency bill passed the General Assembly, Coloradans have seen 800 million kwh of energy saved per year.

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President Appoints "America's Consumer Watchdog"

CoPIRG applauds President Obama for standing up for consumers by making a recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Result | Health Care

656 Participate in Forums about CO Health Benefit Exchange

656 Coloradans participated in CoPIRG-oragnized forums designed to raise the voice of Coloradans around the design and implementation of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange. 

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Result | Public Health

KIDS’ SCHOOL LUNCHES NOW SAFER

For years, America’s schoolchildren have been eating beef, chicken and other foods that would have been rejected as substandard even by fast food chains. Thanks in part to our advocacy, the U.S.D.A. has stopped buying such low-quality meat for school lunches.

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Result | Health Care

Making Prescription Drugs Affordable For All

Gov. Bill Ritter signed a measure to create a preferred drug list and investigate a prescription drug buying pool

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Report | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

9-1-1 Surcharges

Whether you are a farmer on the Eastern Plains with a cell phone, a small business owner in a Western Slope town with a traditional landline, or a retired couple in suburban Denver using an internet-based cable phone service, you pay a fee every month on your telephone bill to ensure that when you dial 9-1-1, your call will be answered.  As fees increase and new 9-1-1 technologies are considered, it is critical that Colorado’s consumer advocate, the Office of Consumer Counsel, is allowed to do its job and ensure consumers are getting the value and service they deserve from our 9-1-1 networ

> Keep Reading
Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Transportation

The Innovative Transportation Index

This report reviews the availability of 11 technology-enabled transportation services – including online ridesourcing, carsharing, ridesharing, taxi hailing, static and real-time transit information, multi-modal apps, and virtual transit ticketing – in 70 U.S. cities. It finds that residents of 19 cities, with a combined population of nearly 28 million people, have access to eight or more of these services, with other cities catching up rapidly.

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Report | CoPIRG | Democracy

The Money Chase

Five years after the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision, what are the roles of large donors and average voters in selecting and supporting candidates for Congress? This report examines the role of money in the 2014 congressional elections from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives, and demonstrates how matching small political contributions with limited public funds can change the campaign landscape for grassroots candidates.

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Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2014

Among the toys surveyed this year, we found numerous choking hazards and five toys with concentrations of toxics exceeding federal standards. In addition to reporting on potentially hazardous products found in stores in 2014, this installment of the report describes the potential hazards in toys and children’s products.

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Report | CoPIRG Foundation and Demos | Democracy

The Dominance of Big Money in the 2014 Congressional Elections

In 2014, large donors accounted for the vast majority of all individual federal election contributions this cycle, just as they have in previous elections. Seven of every 10 individual contribution dollars to the federal candidates, parties, PACs and Super PACs that were active in the 2013-2014 election cycle came from donors who gave $200 or more. Candidates alone got 84 percent of their individual contributions from large donors.

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Blog Post

Two Years After West Disaster, Are Communities Any Safer? | Danny Katz

Two years ago, a fertilizer plant explosion devastated West, Texas. In the two years since, there have been over 350 other preventable chemical accidents, yet the EPA has failed to take action to protect our communities from future preventable chemical disasters.

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Blog Post | Public Health

Some Good, Some Bad in Obama Administration Plan to Protect Antibiotics | Sujatha Jahagirdar

Today, the National Task Force for Combatting Resistant Bacteria released a five-year action plan to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.  While the plan will take several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it will miss the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

House Floor Vote on Budget Delayed over Special Interest "Riders" From Wall Street, Other Powerful Interests | Ed Mierzwinski

UPDATED: Opposition to a controversial provision authored by Citibank forced House leaders to delay consideration of the "CRomnibus" appropriations package just hours before funding for the federal government expired at midnight Thursday. Eventually the bill passed narrowly with the Wall Street provision intact. Action now shifts to the Senate, which has a 48-hour window to pass the bill, but any one Senator can block it under Senate rules. The provision would again allow Wall Street banks to place risky bets with taxpayer-backed funds, and require taxpayers to bail them out if the bets fail, repealing a key protection added in the 2010 Wall Street reform law. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

The CFPB at Three: A Child Prodigy | Ed Mierzwinski

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turned just three years old Monday, July 21st, but when you look at its massive and compelling body of work, you must wonder: Are watchdog years like plain old dog years? Is the CFPB now a full-sized, 21-year-old adult? The answer is no, not yet. The CFPB is still growing and developing and adding programs and projects. The CFPB is, however, at three years old, certainly a child prodigy. Despite overwhelming public support, however, powerful special interests continue to attack it. Yet, the idea of the CFPB needs no defense, only more defenders.

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Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening these lifesaving medicines. Call on big restaurants to do their part and stop buying meat raised with critical antibiotics.

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