Replogle, Jill


Jill Replogle has worked as a freelance journalist in the Bay Area and Central America for eight years. She is now a student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Jill is currently an intern for Protect Consumer Justice.

Spoiled: California Food Safety Legislation Dies On The Vine

By Jill Replogle
Protect Consumer Justice

Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez started the year with high hopes that he could transform California’s system of ensuring food safety .


The issue had drawn national attention. “Omnivore’s Dilemma” was atop the best seller lists, while authorities announced they had detected salmonella in hundreds of tainted peanut butter, paste and other products produced by Peanut Corporation of America, prompting a massive recall and a bankruptcy.

Bowed But Far From Broken, Big Banks Stilll Hold Sway



 

By Jill Replogle

Financial institutions, including several banks that received taxpayer bailouts, spent almost $4.01 million on lobbying in Sacramento in the first three quarters of the year as they sought to blunt legislation to rein them in.

That represents a slight dip from the $4.5 million they spent on lobbying here during the same periods in 2007 and 2008. But the spending shows that two and a half years after the mortgage industry began its plunge, banks and their trade groups are willing and able to assert their sway within the Capitol.

Banking Lobby Spent its Way Around Regulation



Jill ReplogleBy Jill Replogle

SACRAMENTO–A senior executive for mortgage lending giant, New Century Financial Corp., calmly assured California legislators that risks associated with subprime loans were entirely manageable. Lawmakers should be exceedingly careful about requiring any changes, or else Californians would be frozen out of the housing market, he warned.

The date was Jan. 31, 2007.

The Senate banking committee had convened in a first floor hearing room in the Capitol hoping to sort out the reasons behind nagging reports from their districts about the rise in foreclosures.

Judge Blocks Chemical From Being Labeled Carcinogen

jill_snapshot.jpgBy Jill Replogle
Special to the California Progress Report

A Sacramento Superior Court judge has blocked the state from declaring that a chemical widely used in plastic food packaging is a carcinogen.

On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Shelleyanne W.L. Chang affirmed a tentative ruling granting a preliminary injunction on behalf of styrene manufacturers, who sued to keep state environmental regulators from listing styrene as a cancer-causing substance under provisions of Proposition 65. The 1986 initiative seeks to regulate and notify consumers about toxic products.

Efforts To Regulate Mortgages Return From The Dead

jill_snapshot.jpgBy Jill Replogle
Special to the California Progress Report

A bill designed to ban predatory mortgage lending has been revived from the governor’s 2008 veto necropolis, and is gearing up for a new round of battle.

Assemblyman Ted Lieu’s AB 260 would ban some of the riskiest lending practices that contributed to the subprime mortgage fiasco.

While strongly supported by many consumer groups and unions, the Torrance Democrat’s bill faces opposition from the well-greased lobbying machine of the mortgage and real estate industries. Some consumer advocates are lukewarm toward the bill, saying it doesn’t go far enough.

Lawmakers to press for BPA regulation

jill_snapshot.jpgBy Jill Replogle
Special to the California Progress Report

Legislators Square Off with Lobbyists on Mortgage Modifications

jill_snapshot.jpgBy Jill Replogle
Special to the California Progress Report

Lobbyists working on banking and lending issues are especially busy at the Capitol these days.

As lawmakers debated a half-dozen contentious bills that could help shape future lending practices in California last week, lobbyists dashed back and forth between hearing rooms where the Assembly Judiciary Committee and Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee met, speaking the minds of their clients on the record and in not-so-hushed whispers around the committee rooms

Consumer advocates faced off with Realtors, long one of the most powerful groups in Sacramento. Consumers seemed to have the upper hand last week. But the bills have many more stops before they reach the governor’s desk.

Protecting Seniors From Reverse Mortgages

jill_snapshot.jpgBy Jill Replogle
Special to the California Progress Report

Just as Congress grapples with the Wall Street, banking and subprime mortgage mess, California’s legislature is attempting to reshape state laws governing the financial services industry, hoping to avoid a future fiasco a la subprime. Its success is likely to be mixed, at best. This is the first in a series of posts that will lay out issues and the status of bills seeking to overhaul state law on banking and lending.

No policy rollbacks, say public interest groups

jill_snapshot.jpgBy Jill Replogle
Special to the California Progress Report

Labor, environmentalists and consumers are calling on lawmakers to maintain basic protections of Californians even as they prepare to close a $24 billion budget maw.

The groups, including the California Labor Federation-AFL-CIO, are urging that legislators not use the budget crisis as an excuse to trade away environmental protections, guarantees limiting work days to eight hours and requiring lunch breaks, and laws that restrict contracting-out services to private firms.

In addition to the Labor Federation, the Sierra Club of California, the California League of Conservation Voters and Consumer Attorneys of California signed a letter to Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Los Angeles).