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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 | 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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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

WISPIRG to Wisconsin Public Officials on Recovery Spending: Stop Neglecting Transportation Priorities

As Governor Doyle, state and local officials, and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation prepare lists of transportation projects to be funded under the stimulus, WISPIRG today released a report showing the many ways the money can be used to address Wisconsinites’ transportation priorities and get the biggest bang for the buck.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

Wisconsin Economic Recovery Now in Hands of Governor, DOT, MPOs

As President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, WISPIRG called on Governor Doyle and state legislative leaders to ensure that the transportation portion revitalizes the Wisconsin economy, focusing on job creation by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and investing in much needed public transit.

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News Release | WISPIRG | Health Care

New Report: Without Reform, Health Costs Will Double

Without action from Congress, premiums and deductibles for residents of Wisconsin with employer provided insurance will nearly double by 2016, according to a new report released today by the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG).

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News Release | WISPIRG | Transportation

House Acts To Create Jobs, Put Nation On Path To Economic Stability

WISPIRG lauds today’s passage of H.R. 1, the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act by the United States House of Representatives.  According to Gary Kalman, the director of WISPIRG’s Federal Legislative Office, “This legislation will spark immediate economic growth and lay the foundation for continued prosperity in a quickly changing global economy.”

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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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