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News Release | WISPIRG | Consumer Protection

Survey Finds Astronomical Rent-to-Own Prices, Interest Rates

A new report found that five rent-to-own stores in Rockford, IL on average charged an annual percentage rate of 221% and displayed outright cash purchase prices as much as two to seven times the cost of the same or similar products at other major retailers. The legislature is currently debating a controversial proposal in the executive budget proposal to provide a special exemption from the Wisconsin Consumer Act for the rent to own industry and which would eliminate the requirement to disclose an APR for Rent-to-Own products sold in Wisconsin.
 

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Media Hit | Transportation

State needs to build better transportation budget

The state needs a better transportation budget.  . . . .  One promising idea is a proposal from 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, WISPIRG and the state chapter of the Sierra Club to cut 10% from highway spending. The money would be used "to reduce bonding by $200 million, increase local road reimbursements by $82 million, and increase transit funding $21 million (a 10% increase in local road reimbursement and transit funding)," according to a news release the group issued last week.
 

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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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News Release | WISPIRG | Safe Energy

New Report Shows Building New Nuclear Plants Is A Bad Investment

With the state considering solutions to reduce our global warming pollution, a new WISPIRG report finds that renewable energy sources can produce far more electricity than nuclear plants for less money.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

Diverse Coalition Endorses RTA Proposal

With the Joint Finance Committee scheduled to take up Governor Doyle’s Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) proposal Thursday, a diverse coalition of business, labor, municipal, environmental, religious, and public interest organizations have come together to urge the legislature, and members of the Joint Finance Committee, to support the RTA proposal in A.B. 75.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

Obama Issues Plan for $8 Billion High Speed Rail Grant Program

Following today’s announcement by the Obama Administration regarding a program that will allow governors to apply for a share of $8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds set aside for high-speed passenger rail projects, WISPIRG and UEDA today applauded Governor Doyle for showing leadership and collaboration in ensuring Wisconsin aggressively pursues funding that will set the stage for future transportation improvements, bring much needed jobs to the region, and put Wisconsin on the path to leading the nation in 21st Century transportation innovations.

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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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