Reports

Report | TexPIRG Education Fund

Open for Business

Government transparency is a vital part of an inclusive and well-functioning democracy, especially when it comes to how our tax dollars are spent. At all levels – federal, state, and local –governments spending and revenue collection should serve the public benefit. Therefore, it is our right to have the necessary access to information that allows us to be knowledgeable citizens, voters, and participants in our government. This includes information about how our state is spending its’ money. Transparency of the public purse matters because it promotes fiscal responsibility, bolsters public confidence in government and deters corruption. This report uses public records requests to examine unreported information about Texas’ two largest economic develop subsidy programs: The Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF), which together dispensed almost a billion dollars in subsidies, mostly to private companies. It examines the degree of transparency at these programs and whether the information they provide online allows Texans to hold these programs accountable for their use of tax dollars. It also highlights specific opportunities available to increase transparency and accountability among economic development funds and incentives generally. 

Report | TexPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

The Innovative Transportation Index

This report reviews the availability of 11 technology-enabled transportation services – including online ridesourcing, carsharing, ridesharing, taxi hailing, static and real-time transit information, multi-modal apps, and virtual transit ticketing – in 70 U.S. cities. It finds that residents of 19 cities, with a combined population of nearly 28 million people, have access to eight or more of these services, with other cities catching up rapidly.

Report | TexPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2014

Among the toys surveyed this year, we found numerous choking hazards and five toys with concentrations of toxics exceeding federal standards. In addition to reporting on potentially hazardous products found in stores in 2014, this installment of the report describes the potential hazards in toys and children’s products.

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