Latest Consumer protection and advocacy News

Court: Kansas "Ag-Gag" unconstitutionally bans free speech

Jan. 22, 2020 8:55 PM EST

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Provisions in a Kansas law that ban the secret filming at slaughterhouses and other livestock facilities unconstitutionally criminalize free speech, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil mostly sided with a coalition of animal rights and consumer...

Gov. Brian Kemp, center, is flanked by House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, right, and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan as he speaks during the State of the State address before a joint session of the Georgia General Assembly Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in Atlanta.(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

A look at week 1 of Georgia's 2020 legislative session

Jan. 18, 2020 9:36 AM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s 2020 legislative session opened Monday, bringing a flurry of activity back to the state Capitol. As lawmakers returned, they saw quick movement on legislation seeking to protect consumers from unexpected medical bills and tighten sales tax collection by online businesses....

House committee tackles consumer protections, cybersecurity

Jan. 16, 2020 7:11 PM EST

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In one of the more modern meeting rooms at the over two centuries old State Capitol, 22 lawmakers gather on Mondays to confront the increasing cybersecurity threats looming over Virginia residents. This session the House Committee on Communications, Technology and Innovation will...

Highlights of California governor's second annual budget

Jan. 10, 2020 9:30 PM EST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom presented a $222 billion budget proposal to state lawmakers on Friday, setting off six months of hearings and negotiations before the Legislature must act by mid-June, in time for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. The state also will...

Judge sides with Kushner-owned company in apartment lawsuit

Jan. 10, 2020 11:10 AM EST

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore judge has ruled in favor of an apartment company owed by President Donald Trump's son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner in a lawsuit that claimed the company charged improper fees. Westminster Management was granted a motion for summary judgment on Thursday, with...

Consumer group wants review of shutdown costs at coal plant

Jan. 3, 2020 9:22 PM EST

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An advocacy group for utility customers urged the New Mexico Supreme Court on Friday to allow state utility regulators more time to vet a proposal to close a major coal-fired power plant and divvy up shutdown costs. The court is under pressure from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and...

FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2018, file photo downtown Los Angeles buildings and officer workers are reflected in the front windows by a bank. When applying for a personal loan, some lenders may ask you for information that isn’t on your credit report. In some cases, information like where you live, where you went to school and your major are taken into account. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

You may have to give more personal data to get personal loan

Dec. 26, 2019 9:32 AM EST

Would you feel comfortable disclosing your bank account information on a personal loan application? What about your work history? Your college major? That’s what it could take to borrow money from some loan companies that consider alternative data — which can be anything that isn’t in your...

Massachusetts sues 8 retailers over sales of flavored vapes

Dec. 23, 2019 3:10 PM EST

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts attorney general announced Monday she has sued eight online retailers of e-cigarettes she alleges violated the state's new ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products. “These companies are in flagrant violation of our new state law that was put in place to protect...

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, right, is joined by senior adviser Melanie Fontes-Rainer, left, during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. One of Northern California's largest health systems is paying $575 million to settle claims that it used anti-competitive practices to bump up costs for patients. Becerra on Friday called the settlement with Sutter Health one of the nation's largest actions against anti-competitive conduct in the health care marketplace. (AP Photo/Don Thompson)

Health system pays $575 million to settle anti-trust lawsuit

Dec. 20, 2019 5:58 PM EST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — One of Northern California's largest health systems will pay $575 million to settle claims that it used anti-competitive practices to bump up costs for patients, the state's attorney general said Friday, though that falls short of damages sought in a related private lawsuit that...

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the entrance hall of Google France in Paris. France's competition authority has fined Google 150 million euros ($166 million) for

France fines Google $166 million for abusing ad dominance

Dec. 20, 2019 8:37 AM EST

PARIS (AP) — France’s competition authority fined Google 150 million euros ($166 million) on Friday for “abusing its dominant position” in the online ad market. The agency said the U.S. tech company mistreated buyers of ads based on keywords. Methods used by its Google Ads platform are...