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News Release | WISPIRG Foundation | Transportation

New Report Finds Expensive Highway Projects Might Be Unnecessary

A new report from the WISPIRG Foundation finds that usage of seven recently completed highways has not developed as projected, and questions whether building massive and costly new highways is the best way to spend Wisconsin’s scarce transportation resources. The report, Road Overkill: Wisconsin Spends Big on Questionable Highways Even as Driving Declines, also finds that Wisconsinites are driving less per capita today than we did in 1997, further raising doubts as to whether expensive new highways are the best investments for Wisconsin’s transportation future. 
 

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Blog Post | Democracy

IRS Scandal Highlights Need for Increased Transparency in Campaign Financing | Bruce Speight

The public has long agreed that transparency in campaign spending is critical to the integrity of our democracy. The Supreme Court acknowledged this common-sense proposition in its notorious 2010 Citizens United decision: even as they opened the door for dark money to enter our elections by allowing all corporations, including nonprofits, to spend directly on elections, the majority of Justices reaffirmed the long-standing notion that the identity of campaign donors must be disclosed.
 

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Report | WISPIRG Foundation | Transportation

A New Direction

The Driving Boom—a six decade-long period of steady increases in per-capita driving in the United States—is over.  Americans drive fewer total miles today than we did eight years ago, and fewer per person than we did at the end of Bill Clinton’s first term. The unique combina­tion of conditions that fueled the Driving Boom—from cheap gas prices to the rapid expansion of the workforce during the Baby Boom generation—no longer exists.

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News Release | WISPIRG Foundation | Transportation

New Report: Reduction in Driving Likely to Continue

As the average number of miles driven by Americans heads into its eighth year of decline, a new report from the WISPIRG Foundation finds that the slowdown in driving is likely to continue. Baby Boomers are moving out of the phase in their life when they do the most commuting, while driving-averse Millennials move into that phase. These demographic changes will likely keep driving down for decades, according to the report, “A New Direction: Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America’s Future.”
 

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Report | WISPIRG | Consumer Protection

The Rent-to-Own Rip-off

The 2013-2015 biennial executive budget, proposed by Governor Walker, includes an exemption for the rent-to-own industry from Wisconsin’s consumer protection laws. Rent-to-own businesses are appliance and furniture retailers that arrange “lease agreements,” rather than typical installment or credit sales contracts. These leases are regulated as a form of credit because the consumer is buying a product over time and paying a very high premium over the product’s sale price.

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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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