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Chuck Grassley
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Oct 22, 2013

Consumer Advocates Want An End To Prescription Drug ‘Pay-For-Delay’ Deals

People in Illinois with various medical conditions have had to fork over 10 times more on average than what’s necessary for at least 20 brand name drugs, according to a report from Illinois PIRG and Community Catalyst.

Costs for these 20 drugs, including Lipitor and Cipro, were kept high, because brand name pharmaceutical companies paid generic makers to keep cheaper versions off the market for a time. These agreements are known as “pay for delay.”

“It’s outrageous that drug companies are paying off the competition to keep prices high,” said Illinois PIRG State Director Brian Imus in a statement. “Because of this, people in Illinois pay inflated drug prices, or go without necessary medication. This needs to stop.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Aug 7, 2013

U.S. Senators Push To Limit Tax Subsidies For 'Performance-Based' CEO Pay

U.S. Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) want to stop unlimited corporate tax write-offs on CEO performance-based pay, which leaves taxpayers holding a $5 billion tab each year.

The two senators introduced a bill Friday that would limit the tax deductibility of executive pay to $1 million and eliminate the exception for commission-based and performance-based compensation.

The bill, the Stop Subsidizing Multimillion Dollar Corporate Bonuses Act, S.1476, would expand the restrictions to all current and former employees of all corporations that file periodic reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the legislation will rein in $50 billion in tax revenue over a 10-year period, the senators said.

“Even as income inequality rises and middle-class wages stagnate, American taxpayers are subsidizing tens of billions of dollars in corporate bonuses,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “We should be investing in working families, not using taxpayer dollars for tax breaks to corporations that overpay their executives.  Corporations should be free to pay their executives whatever they wish, just not at the expense of American taxpayers -- many struggling to make ends meet.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Jun 14, 2013

Poll: Illinoisans Overwhelmingly Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

A new state poll released by Public Policy Polling Thursday shows that 78 percent of likely Illinois voters strongly or somewhat support the bipartisan, immigration reform legislation currently being debated in the U.S. Senate.

The survey of 502 likely Illinois voters also shows that 75 percent strongly or somewhat support a bill that includes a tough, but fair pathway to citizenship.

“It’s clear that the public is demanding action on comprehensive reform,” said Dave Bender, executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois, on a conference call with reporters Thursday regarding the poll.

Read more »