News Releases

News Release | TexPIRG | Transportation

Austin passes Prop A, bringing light rail to Austin

AUSTIN-- With 58% support in the early vote, Austinites have unofficially passed Proposition A, the ballot measure that will revolutionize getting around Austin. Prop A gives a green light to Project Connect,  bringing two new, all-electric light rail lines, a downtown station and tunnel, improvements to current express routes, more electric buses and hundreds of millions of dollars in affordable housing investments. 

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

CFPB Approves Modified Final Debt Collection Rule

On Friday, the CFPB released a modified final version of its Debt Collection Rule, although it delayed action until December on one of its most controversial provisions, allowing collection of  time-barred zombie debt. A statement by Consumer Program Associate Lucy Baker follows.

News Release | TexPIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Report: More than 10% of Texas nursing homes have no N95 masks

Seven months into this pandemic, PPE shortages have become much worse, according to “Nursing home safety during COVID: PPE shortages,” a report by the TexPIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group. Our analysis of data submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes shows:

  • In Texas, 12.7% of nursing homes had a critical shortage of N95 masks, of which 10.9% had none at all, higher than the national average

News Release | TexPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New report: COVID-19 pandemic worsens existing consumer problems with car buying

Consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding vehicle loans and leases have increased sharply during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report by the TexPIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group. The analysis suggests that consumers in Texas and across the United States are facing abusive and deceptive practices from the automobile lending industry.  

“Personal car ownership was once a symbol of freedom in the United States. Now, for too many Americans, owning a vehicle isn’t a choice, but an expensive necessity,” said Bay Scoggin, Director of TexPIRG Education Fund. “That’s why making it easier to get around without a car, including by building more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly infrastructure and improving the cost and availability of public transit, is an important step to help Americans reduce their exposure to auto debt.”

News Release | TexPIRG | COVID-19

TexPIRG statement on Gov. Abbott’s decision to reopen bars

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that he will allow bars to operate at 50 percent capacity starting October 14 although leading health professionals, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have warned that bars are high-risk venues for spreading the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Texas continues to have virus levels nearly 15 times higher than the rate of new daily cases that health professionals would consider safe for reopening. And according to the Covid Exit Strategy Map, the state also is trending poorly in key metrics for measuring the spread of the virus.

In response, TexPIRG Director Bay Scoggin released the following statement:

“Many Texans, myself included, are looking forward to a Shiner Bock at a local bar whenever the pandemic ebbs. But we’re not close to that yet. The governor has not shown the leadership or commitment to our health for that to happen. This announcement is not good for Texans."

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