U.S. Postal Service Looking For More ‘Experimental’ Delivery Ideas, Cost Savings

U.S. Postal Service Looking For More ‘Experimental’ Delivery Ideas, Cost Savings

The U.S. Postal Service has adapted to a future where we send and receive fewer first-class letters, but need many more packages delivered to our doorsteps. In testimony to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs this week, Postmaster General Megan Brennan told the assembled senators that the postal service is still looking for new things to deliver to make more money, but hopes that the Senate can pass legislation meant to make it less broke. [More]

Bill Requiring Childproof Packs For Liquid Nicotine Heads To President’s Desk

Bill Requiring Childproof Packs For Liquid Nicotine Heads To President’s Desk

The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act, intended to reduce the odds of kids getting their little hands on tasty-looking – but poisonous – liquid nicotine, appears destined to be the first new federal law regulating e-cigarettes. Yesterday, Congress passed the measure, which now goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature. [More]

Senate Passes Bill Barring Companies From Using “Gag Clauses” To Block Negative Reviews

Senate Passes Bill Barring Companies From Using “Gag Clauses” To Block Negative Reviews

A nationwide ban on the use of tricky “non-disparagement” or “gag” clauses — which prevent consumers from providing their honest opinions in public forums — cleared the Senate today, bringing it one major step closer to becoming law. [More]

Legislation Would Require Liquid Nicotine Come In Child-Proof Packages

Legislation Would Require Liquid Nicotine Come In Child-Proof Packages

Legislation to ensure children aren’t able to get their little hands on tasty-looking – but poisonous – liquid nicotine has made it past one hurdle: the Senate unanimously passed the measure yesterday, indicating widespread support for the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015.  [More]

(bluwmongoose)

Lawmakers Open Inquiry Into College Accreditation Agencies

One might assume that a college accreditation is an indicator the school has met high standards for education and financial security. But as the recent collapse of Corinthian Colleges demonstrated, this is not always true. In an effort to ensure that America’s students aren’t duped into racking up huge debts to pay for substandard schools, lawmakers are looking to improve the oversight of accrediting agencies.
[More]

California Senate Approves Bill To Regulate E-Cigarettes Like Traditional Tobacco Products

California Senate Approves Bill To Regulate E-Cigarettes Like Traditional Tobacco Products

Eight months after the California Department of Health declared that e-cigarettes were a threat to public health, the state’s lawmakers are taking steps to ensure the devices are regulated much like their traditional counterparts. [More]

Bill Would Create Program To Notify Drivers Of Safety Recalls When Applying For Registration

Bill Would Create Program To Notify Drivers Of Safety Recalls When Applying For Registration

Earlier this year, legislators introduced a bill that would require consumers to fix any outstanding safety recall on their vehicle before a registration renewal would be granted. While that measure has gone nowhere since March, a newly introduced highway reauthorization bill includes a provision that would create a pilot program for a similar plan. [More]

Senate Committee Votes Down Several Auto Safety Reforms

Senate Committee Votes Down Several Auto Safety Reforms

Since automakers began recalling vehicles in force last year – punctuated by the millions of models covered by General Motors’ massive ignition switch defect and Takata’s explosive airbags – lawmakers have been trying to push through reforms that would make it more difficult to keep potentially deadly automobiles on the roadways. But proposed laws such as those that would impose fines on owners of vehicles who don’t follow-through with recall repairs or barring used car dealers from selling vehicles with unrepaired recalls likely won’t see the light of day after being voted down by a Senate committee last week. [More]

Uber Halts Operations In Kansas After Legislature Votes To Mandate Background Checks, Insurance Coverage

Uber Halts Operations In Kansas After Legislature Votes To Mandate Background Checks, Insurance Coverage

It seems like every few months a new city or state announces it will no longer allow Uber to operate in its jurisdiction. But in a slight change of pace, the ride-sharing company is actually taking itself out of the equation in Kansas. [More]

Takata Airbag Defect Now Linked To 105 Injuries, Six Deaths

Takata Airbag Defect Now Linked To 105 Injuries, Six Deaths

The number of injuries and deaths associated with Takata-produced airbags that have been found to spew pieces of shrapnel at passengers and drivers upon deployment increased once again, now totaling 105 injuries and six deaths, according to data received from the parts manufacturer. [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Tesla Faces One Last Hurdle In New Jersey After Senate Passes Bill Allowing Direct-To-Consumer Sales

A little more than a year after the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission unanimously voted to block the sale of Tesla vehicles directly to consumers, the state’s Legislature passed a bill allowing the car company to bypass auto dealerships and continue its unique model of car sales. [More]

Lawmakers Want To Know Who’s Tracking You Online, And Where The Info Goes

Lawmakers Want To Know Who’s Tracking You Online, And Where The Info Goes

Everything you do online — on your phone, on your computer, with anything — leaves a digital wake. Put those trails together and you’ve got one massive big data industry that can (and does) track it all and sell it to the highest bidder. After decades of digital detritus building up, regulators and Congress both are contemplating some steps that would help protect consumers’ info. [More]

(JeepersMedia)

Lawmakers In House, Senate Investigating Fraudulent Returns Filed With TurboTax

Joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service on the case of bogus tax returns filed used Intuit’s TurboTax software will now be lawmakers from both the House and Senate, who have started probing the recent flurry of fraudulent activity. [More]

Senate Once Again Blocks Bill To Allow Borrowers To Refinance Federal And Private Student Loans

Senate Once Again Blocks Bill To Allow Borrowers To Refinance Federal And Private Student Loans

A bill that would have allowed millions of private and federal student loan borrowers to refinance their debts to the lower rate currently being issued on new federal and private student loans was once again blocked in the Senate. [More]

Wireless Carriers Are Victims Of Phone Cramming Too, They Just Make Billions Of Dollars Instead Of Losing It

Wireless Carriers Are Victims Of Phone Cramming Too, They Just Make Billions Of Dollars Instead Of Losing It

Opening your monthly mobile phone bill to find it significantly more expensive than it’s supposed to be can be infuriating. Finding out that it’s more expensive because you were charged for products you never requested is even worse. But wireless cramming is a practice that more and more consumers – and wireless providers (huh?) – are finding themselves victims of. [More]

Bill To Allow Students To Refinance Private And Federal Loans Dies After Senate Debate

Bill To Allow Students To Refinance Private And Federal Loans Dies After Senate Debate

A bill to allow consumers to refinance their student loans to the rate currently being issued on new federal and private student loans succumbed to a painful death on the Senate floor Wednesday despite being championed by consumer advocates. [More]

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]

Senate Report: Target Missed Multiple Warning Signs Leading Up To Data Breach

Senate Report: Target Missed Multiple Warning Signs Leading Up To Data Breach

A new Senate staff report from the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee released last night charges Target with missing multiple warning signs before hackers stole the personal information of up to 110 million customers late last year. [More]