CALPIRG 2016 Legislative Priorities

As the California state legislature begins to consider new bills on myriad issues, CALPIRG lays out our policy priorities for 2016.



Protect Public Health

Toxic pollution, dangerous chemicals in consumer products, and hazardous pesticides continue to threaten the health, safety, and well-being of the public. CALPIRG supports policies that:

– Protect the public from exposure to toxic pollution, including fossil fuel extraction, storage, processing gand transportation 
– Minimize waste and toxic products 
– Give consumers information about potentially harmful toxic chemicals in the products they purchase
– Promote producer and polluter-pay policies

Reclaim our Democracy 

The influence of wealthy special interests in the funding of elections has eroded public trust in our political system and has discouraged civic participation. We need to ensure that every citizen, regardless of wealth, has more or less equal opportunity to influence the actions of our government. CALPIRG supports policies that: 

– Make it easier for the public to access information about political spending
– Support innovative, effective policies to amplify the power of small donors at the state and local level
– Help overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions which have unleashed unprecedented spending by a handful of millionaires and corporations in our elections 
– Increase opportunities for Californians to register to vote and/or update their registration
– Increase options for Californians to cast a valid ballot on or before Election Day 

Protect Consumers

Consumers should be able to shop for products on the marketplace without concerns about hidden dangers or scams. Consumers should also be confident that they are not unfairly being discriminated against in the housing or goods marketplace. CALPIRG supports policies that: 

– Prevent discrimination in the housing and goods marketplaces 
– Prevent identity theft and provide increased protections for consumers whose financial information has been compromised
– Give consumers accurate information about the products they purchase

High-quality, affordable health care

While millions of additional Californians have insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, health care costs continue to rise, and more insurance plans are requiring significant deductibles and cost-sharing plans that burden consumers with high costs. CALPIRG is working to reduce health care costs and increase the quality and efficiency of care. CALPIRG supports policies that: 

-Provide increased transparency and consumer protections against unjustified health insurance rates 
– End surprise out-of-network bills from providers 
– Protect Californians from price gouging by the prescription drug industry

Promote clean, efficient energy use

California’s reliance on polluting fossil fuels and risky nuclear power put our health and safety at risk. The growth of cleaner technologies in California benefits both our environment and our economy. CALPIRG supports policies that:

– Increase conservation and energy efficiency to reduce pollution and save consumers money
– End our dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power and transition our economy to clean, renewable sources of energy.

Encourage Transit Not Traffic 

Our transportation system should reflect and support the myriad ways we want to travel within our cities and around our state, with less congestion and pollution. CALPIRG supports policies that:

– Invest in transportation infrastructure that creates more transportation choices, improves air quality and serves communities in need 
– Prioritize using road dollars on repair and maintenance of our current aging infrastructure 
– Invest in infrastructure that empowers Californians to travel by rail, bus, bike, and on foot, including better local public transit investments and high-speed rail connecting our cities

Sound Budget & Tax Policy 

Californian taxpayers have the right to know how our money is being spent, and no company should be able to game the tax system to avoid paying what it legitimately owes. CALPIRG supports policies that: 

– Encourage transparency and accountability in public spending
– Eliminate corporate tax-avoidance schemes