Updates

News Release | Illinois PIRG | Food

Ag Subsidies Pay for 21 Twinkies per Taxpayer, But Only Half of an Apple Apiece

Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high fructose corn syrup, enough to pay for 21 Twinkies per taxpayer every year, according to Illinois PIRG’s new report, Apples to Twinkies 2012. Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one half of an apple per taxpayer.

Report | Illinois PIRG Ed Fund | Food

Apples to Twinkies 2012

At a time when America is facing an obesity epidemic, crushing debt and a weak economy, billions of taxpayer dollars are subsidizing junk food ingredients.  In 2011, over $1.28 billion in taxpayer subsidies went to junk food ingredients, bringing the total to a staggering $18.2 billion since 1995. To put that figure in perspective, $18.2 billion is enough to buy 2.9 billion Twinkies every year - 21 for every single American taxpayer.  In contrast, only $637 million has gone to subsidies for apples since 1995.  That's enough to buy 77 million apples per year on average - just half of one apple per taxpayer.

News Release | Illinois PIRG | Health Care

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Health Reform Law

"Today’s decision is good news for consumers in Illinois. Insurance companies can’t go back to the days of dropping your coverage once you become ill, or denying coverage to sick children. And beginning in 2014, the days of insurers being able to deny anyone coverage for “pre-existing conditions” will be history. Now it’s time for Illinois leaders to move forward on the next steps, and make sure health reform delivers lower costs and better quality coverage."

Instead of embracing reform, the Senate decided to continue to send tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to Big Ag.

News Release | Illinois PIRG | Food

SENATE VOTE ON FARM BILL A DISAPPOINTMENT

"Illinois PIRG is disappointed in the Senate’s approval of the 2012 Farm Bill, which will send tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to Big Ag. The Senate missed a golden opportunity to tackle the problem of wasteful agricultural subsidies, which have cost taxpayers $260 billion since 1995."

Central to the success of the economic development program Tax-Increment Financing (TIF), is job creation and retention, as increased employment is an indicator of economic growth and improved public well-being.  But when we dig deeper into the specifics of many of the TIF Redevelopment Agreements and the “Employment Certifications” provided by developers to the City, a couple of alarming patterns begin to emerge.

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

At Stake: What’s on the Line for Health Care Consumers in the Pending Supreme Court Case

The outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have far reaching impacts on consumers. In this issue brief, we highlight the number of people the law has helped so far and the costs already saved to illustrate what’s at stake for Illinois consumers in the pending Supreme Court case.

News Release | Illinois PIRG | Food

Flawed Farm Bill heads to the senate floor

The Senate is moving to vote on the farm bill, S.3240, that would continue the current system of agricultural subsidies to large, profitable agribusiness.

More TIF money spent without transparency

By

In the City Council meeting held today, the council voted to enact two ordinances approving new TIF projects. With so much taxpayer money being spent, one would expect a transparent and thorough analysis of the projects to ensure they are worthwhile.  But for the most part, specifics are unavailable to the public.

Super-Sized Loophole for Super PACs

By | Brian Imus
State Director

If you hate corruption in Illinois – I’ve got some bad news. The Illinois House of Representatives voted in favor of SB 3722, legislation that creates a super-sized loophole in the Illinois contribution limits law established in 2009.

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Tell the CEO of Jewel: Stand with consumers and give us the right to know what's in our food. Label your store-brand products that contain GMOs.

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