Cutting wasteful handouts to special interests that prop up polluting industries related to these categories will reduce pollution and free up money that can be spent on modern infrastructure investments.
Illinois PIRG has joined AARP Illinois and the Environmental Law & Policy Center to form the Take Our Power Back coalition, which aims to win restitution, regulation and reform in the wake of the Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) corruption scandal. Since 2012, automatic utility rate hikes have produced record profits for ComEd while raising Illinoisans' electricity delivery rates by 37 percent.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed the Predatory Loan Prevention Act into law — endorsed by Illinois PIRG and more than 50 consumer, labor, community and civil rights organizations — which will institute a 36 percent interest rate cap on consumer loans. Too often, payday loans trap borrowers in cycles of debt through excessive and predatory interest rates.
Energy company Exelon's plans to separate its regulated utility business from its customer-facing power supply business will help curb the conflicts of interest that helped its subsidiary ComEd accumulate unchecked political influence in Springfield. But our state must do more to fully reform utility political power and its costly consequences for consumers.
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News & Research
President Biden's recent Executive Order on promoting competition in the economy includes several specific recommendations on improving competition in the financial sector. It proposes that the CFPB give consumers more choices by giving them control of their financial data. It proposes that regulators strengthen oversight of bank mergers, which for years have been routinely rubber-stamped. While it doesn't specifically address the payment system oligopoly that raises the prices everyone pays, lowering swipe fees is also a logical outcome of the EO.
Cover photo of the Marriner Eccles Federal Reserve Building, Washington, DC by Rafael Saldaña via Flickr, Some Rights Reserved.
The Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act (VCFCA) was reintroduced in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Wednesday. This bill would limit interest rates on loans and go a long way toward protecting consumers, especially veterans, who are often victimized by predatory lenders.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau celebrated its 10th birthday last Wednesday. It begins its second decade refocused on its mission of protecting you and me after a few years of, ironically, championing shady business practices over consumers. The agency’s first decade was full of success, setbacks, and promise.
A bipartisan group of senators met Tuesday afternoon to prepare for a vote planned Wednesday on a $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework that aims to boost federal investment in U.S. infrastructure, including billions for roads, clean water and power infrastructure, according to media reports.
In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve taken steps for all of our staff to work remotely for safety reasons. But rest assured, we’ll keep advocating for you as we work for a healthier, safer world.