Proposed For-Profit College Watchdog Group Would Call Out Which Problem Schools To Avoid

Proposed For-Profit College Watchdog Group Would Call Out Which Problem Schools To Avoid

For-profit colleges have been dominating the news cycle lately; from a newly proposed “gainful employment” rule to federal agencies suing schools for deceptive marketing tactics. The fight to rein in these sometimes predatory higher-education institutions doesn’t appear to be losing steam. Legislation proposed last week aims to improve the coordination between federal agencies that oversee the industry, while providing student with a list of unsavory schools. [More]

New Legislation Aims To Ensure Accurate Credit Reports, Provide Free Credit Scores

New Legislation Aims To Ensure Accurate Credit Reports, Provide Free Credit Scores

Even a small inaccuracy on a consumer’s credit report can have long-lasting negative affects. From the most simple computer error to mixing up individual’s data, credit reporting agencies have been known to be hard to work with when trying to fix incorrect data. But that could all change under legislation introduced today that aims to ensure issues like these don’t happen. [More]

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Kansas Legislature Wants To Stop Any Other Kansas Cities From Getting Google Fiber

The Kansas state legislature is currently considering a bill that would prohibit municipalities in that state from building out their own municipal broadband networks. Completely coincidentally of course we’re sure, Kansas City is home to the country’s first Google Fiber municipal network. [More]

Some Banks Reward Private Student Loan Borrowers With Refinancing Options

Some Banks Reward Private Student Loan Borrowers With Refinancing Options

Recent college graduates face a number of barriers after getting their diplomas – finding a job, moving out on their own and paying back thousands of dollars in student loans. But now consumers struggling to pay back private student loans might find a bit of relief in new refinancing options from banks. [More]

Federal Judge Blocks Florida's Plan To Drug Test Welfare Recipients

Federal Judge Blocks Florida's Plan To Drug Test Welfare Recipients

Earlier this year, Florida enacted a law that requires welfare recipients to pass drug tests to qualify for benefits. A federal judge stepped in and stopped the law in its track marks over concerns that it violates the Fourth Amendment, which bans illegal searches and seizures. The law would have forced recipients to pay for their own drug tests. [More]

What The Debt Ceiling Bill Means For Your Wallet

What The Debt Ceiling Bill Means For Your Wallet

You need a flowchart and a spreadsheet to understand all the different stages of the debt ceiling bill that passed the House yesterday and is likely to pass the Senate today. But let’s not get hung up on who does what to whom at what point, and when that super-awesome “sudden death mode” of spending cuts kicks in. Instead, let’s look at what the debt-ceiling bill means to you and your wallet. [More]

Hours Left Before Debt Ceiling Vote Deadline, So Read The Bill

Hours Left Before Debt Ceiling Vote Deadline, So Read The Bill

There’s just a few hours to go before the deadline to vote on raising the debt ceiling and steer clear of a federal default. Late Sunday a deal was worked out and the House and Senate are expected to vote on it. Broadly, the deal raises the debt ceiling, reduces the deficit, and avoids a credit default. More specifically… everyone should read the 74 pages of the bill before making a comment about it. If you don’t have time for that, the White House has also released a 1,465 word fact sheet, a “TL;DR” document of sorts for the nation. [More]

Amazon Tries To Dodge California Sales Tax By Dropping Associates Program In State

Amazon Tries To Dodge California Sales Tax By Dropping Associates Program In State

Responding to a new law that would affix a sales tax to Amazon purchases made in California, Amazon announced it will drop its Affiliates program in the state. Affiliates members help sell Amazon products and get a cut of the proceeds. Dropping the program’s California users would presumably spare Amazon from having to collect sales tax on its California transactions. [More]

Tennessee Bans Posting Of Pics That Cause Emotional Distress

Tennessee Bans Posting Of Pics That Cause Emotional Distress

It’s a good thing for the internet that Tennessee lawmakers are around to learn it how to behave. After lawmakers threw down a regulation barring people from sharing passwords for services such as Netflix, the state made famous by Arrested Development (the band, not the show) has created a law that bans the posting of images that cause emotional distress. [More]

Florida Will Screen Welfare Recipients For Drug Use

Florida Will Screen Welfare Recipients For Drug Use

Florida has passed legislation that would force welfare recipients to undergo drug tests before they’re able to receive aid. The law, set to go into effect July 1, would make applicants to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program pay for the tests upfront, but ensures they will be reimbursed if they pass. [More]

Oregon Lawmakers Want To Cash Out Small-Balance Gift Cards

Oregon Lawmakers Want To Cash Out Small-Balance Gift Cards

Gift cards with just a few bucks left on them are nagging annoyances. Oregon’s state house is fed up with the glorified plastic coupons and passed a bill that would require businesses to let customers exchange them for cash. [More]

California Law Would Allow Raids Of Suspected Piracy Facilities Without Warrants

California Law Would Allow Raids Of Suspected Piracy Facilities Without Warrants

If anti-piracy California legislation becomes law, authorities will be able to enter facilities suspected of pirating movie and music discs and seize equipment without first receiving warrants. [More]

Toy Manufacturers Try To Block Online Injury Report Database

Toy Manufacturers Try To Block Online Injury Report Database

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is set to launch a database in the next few weeks that tracks reports of injuries resulting from strollers and cribs. A group of children’s product manufacturers are trying to coax lawmakers to stifle the database and roll back other health regulations. [More]

Florida Aims To Fine Pesky Robocallers

Florida Aims To Fine Pesky Robocallers

Fed up with untimely calls from the Terminator, Robocop and other telemarketrons, Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is going after four telemarketing firms in the state, aiming to stick them with fines and injunctions that will stop them from making more cold calls. [More]

Self-Insured Premiums Jump By 20%, Triggering Warning From White House

Self-Insured Premiums Jump By 20%, Triggering Warning From White House

About 10% of respondents in our informal poll yesterday about health insurance said they pay their own premiums, and according to a new poll from Kaiser Survey, three quarters of those people just faced a premium increase of 20% on average. The recent hikes have prompted the White House to say it will “sternly warn industry executives” today that insurers shouldn’t try to use the new health care law as an excuse to gouge customers, according to the New York Times. [More]

15 Ways To Kick Ass When Testifying

15 Ways To Kick Ass When Testifying

If you are victimized by corporate behavior and asked to testify before a legislative body in order to tell your story and help get a pro-consumer bill passed, it can be really scary. You only have a few minutes to make your case. Are you gonna choke it, or clinch it? Just follow these 15 tips I just learned in a Consumers Union Activist Summit workshop: [More]

Congress May Consider Banning Drop-Side Cribs

Congress May Consider Banning Drop-Side Cribs

Kirsten Gillibrand, a senator from New York, is apparently unsatisfied with the CPSC’s pledge to implement a voluntary ban of drop-side cribs. Gillibrand plans to introduce legislation this week that would outlaw the sale of drop-side cribs and ban them from daycare centers and hotels. Earlier this month, the CPSC said that this crib design has killed at least 32 infants and toddlers since 2000, that over 7 million drop-side cribs have been recalled since 2005. [More]

Wireless Industry Lobbyists Explain Why The FCC Should Back Off

Wireless Industry Lobbyists Explain Why The FCC Should Back Off

The president and a vice-president for CTIA, a lobbying organization for the wireless industry, spoke recently with CNET about why they think the FCC should leave their members alone. The vice-president, Chris Guttman-McCabe, is a lawyer and as such his answers are useless. President Steve Largent, however, actually has a couple of candid moments during the interview. [More]