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Illinois PIRG

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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:25pm
Mon Oct 31, 2016

Benefits Of Rooftop Solar Power Largely Exceed Net Metering Costs, Analysis Finds

A recent report from the Environment America Research & Policy Center finds that "solar power’s rewards are far greater than its costs."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:18pm
Tue Jun 23, 2015

Public Interest Group Urges Subway To End Antibiotic Use In Meat (VIDEO)

An Illinois public interest group and its affiliates across the country launched a nationwide campaign Tuesday urging Subway to serve only antibiotic-free meat and poultry at its sandwich shops.

Specifically, the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) is calling on Subway to "stop using meat raised with the routine use of antibiotics."

Illinois PIRG canvassers promoted the public interest group's "Subway: Go Antibiotic-Free" campaign late Tuesday morning at a Chicago Subway restaurant at 319 S. Jefferson St.

Outside the Subway location, Illinois PIRG volunteers and interns distributed flyers and asked passersby to pose for photos with signs reading, "I was craving a sub, but I wanted meat raised without antibiotics."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:07pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Illinois Transportation Advocates: Rauner Budget Could Mean Major Fare Hikes, Service Cuts (VIDEO)

Illinois public transportation advocates are calling attention to the potentially "devastating" effects Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's 2016 budget proposal could have on train and bus services across the state.

Spearheaded by the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, the coalition of advocates has launched a new campaign called "Grow Illinois Transit" to raise awareness about Rauner's proposed budget cuts to Amtrak, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, Pace and downstate bus services. Other organizations involved with the coalition include the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, the Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois PIRG and the Sierra Club's Illinois chapter.

Under Rauner's budget plan for the 2016 fiscal year, which beings July 1, the CTA, Metra and Pace could see their collective funding slashed by over $160 million. Amtrak faces a $16 million cut, which represents a 40 percent reduction in funding.

Speaking at a Chicago press conference Monday afternoon, transit advocates said Rauner's fiscal plan could result in significant fare hikes as well as bus and train services being reduced or eliminated altogether. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:53pm
Wed Apr 29, 2015

The High Cost Of Offshore Tax Havens On Small Illinois Businesses

If Illinois small business owners were to collectively offset state and federal revenues lost annually due to corporations using offshore tax havens, they would each have to pay $4,570 in additional taxes a year.

That what-if scenario is laid out in a recent report from the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) examining the issue of "corporate tax haven abuse" and what it means for small businesses.

Through the use of accounting "gimmicks" to shift profits offshore, corporations avoid paying $110 billion annually in federal and state income taxes combined, according to Illinois PIRG's "Picking up the Tab" report. Specifically, about $90 billion in federal and $20 billion in state corporate income tax revenue is lost each year to tax havens, the research reveals.

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
3:16pm
Thu Mar 26, 2015

Op-Ed: Some Good, Some Bad In Obama Administration Plan To Protect Antibiotics

The following comes from Dev Gowda, an advocate with Illinois PIRG.

Plan fails to adequately address growing public health threat

Tomorrow the National Task Force for Combating Resistant Bacteria will release 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.

President Obama gets an 'A' for tackling this problem from multiple angles. But in terms of addressing the biggest problem, the troubling overuse and misuse of antibiotics on large factory farms, the administration gets an incomplete.

This lack of action to address the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture is notable in the face of recent commitments by several major retailers to curtail the purchase of meat raised with the routine use of the drugs.  Earlier this month, for instance, McDonald's announced it will phase out chicken raised with medically important antibiotics in its U.S. restaurants.  This policy will likely do more to confront the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture than the policies recommended in today's plan. 

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