Consumer Protection

Legal Aid and VPIRG lead push to prevent utility shut offs

No Vermonter should have to worry that their utilities could be disconnected during this pandemic because they are unable to make bill payments.  Last March, the Vermont Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued an order halting all involuntary utility disconnections in the wake of the emerging COVID crisis. That order is set to expire in just over a week, but …

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House Committee Advances Community Broadband Bill

The House Energy and Technology Committee advanced legislation (H.360) Wednesday aimed at accelerating the development of community broadband in Vermont. If enacted, this VPIRG-supported legislation will make significant resources available to the state’s Communications Union Districts (CUDs) – public, municipal entities formed to provide universal, affordable, world-class broadband to their regions. Notably, the legislation would …

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VPIRG Supports a Moratorium on Auto Repossessions During the Pandemic

This isn’t breaking news, but it can’t be repeated enough – the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic devastation it has wrought has caused many Vermonters to face incredible hardships. In Vermont, our elected leaders have enacted a number of policies to mitigate the financial impact of this crisis – and VPIRG members have supported several …

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Student Privacy and Consumer Protection Law Takes Effect

Act 89 – a wide-ranging data privacy and consumer protection law goes into effect today. This VPIRG-supported law contains a number of key provisions that safeguard Vermont students’ privacy, better informs all Vermonters when their data has been compromised and keeps Vermonters out of unwanted ‘zombie contacts.’ VPIRG members and advocates supported Act 89 during …

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Student Data Privacy Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

S.110 – a wide-ranging data privacy and consumer protection law is on Governor Phil Scott’s desk. This VPIRG-supported bill contains a number of key provisions aimed at better protecting Vermonters’ personal information, informing them when their data has been compromised and keeping them out of unwanted ‘zombie contacts.’ S.110 was introduced at the beginning of …

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Governor Signs Broadband Expansion Bill

Today, Governor Scott signed into law the most significant set of policies in years to expand and improve broadband internet access throughout the state. H.513 – the VPIRG-backed broadband expansion bill – increases the funding needed to boost state government support for local internet startups and establishes a state revolving loan fund to help these …

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House Advances Broadband Expansion Bill

Today the Vermont House took one of the most significant steps in years to expand and improve broadband internet access throughout the state. The House passed H.513 – a VPIRG-backed broadband expansion bill – on an overwhleming 139-2 vote. In doing so, legislators have recognized that the largest telecom companies will not adequately serve all …

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Student Online Privacy Bill Passes VT Senate

The Vermont Senate gave final approval Thursday to a VPIRG-backed bill (S.110) aimed at protecting students and their parents from the misuse of data collected via educational software. The bill is modeled on legislation enacted in California in 2016 that prevents technology companies from using student data gathered via educational software and websites for non-educational …

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Marriott Data Breach: What You Need to Know

Last week, Marriott International revealed that it suffered a breach of its Starwood reservation database. The breach exposed the personal information of up to 500 million people. The breach began back in 2014 and anyone who stayed at any of Marriott’s Starwood properties (i.e. W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, …

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