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“We Buy Ugly Houses” Company Overhauls Policies in the Wake of ProPublica Investigation

HomeVestors franchises will be required to provide prospective home sellers with a disclosure that includes a three-day window to terminate a sales contract.

FTC Orders Maker of TurboTax to Cease “Deceptive” Advertising

The federal agency, after an investigation prompted by ProPublica’s reporting, blasted Intuit for misleading customers about its “free” tax-filing program and directed the company to take specific steps to fix its ads.

FEMA Leader Overseeing $4 Billion Fund to Pay Victims of New Mexico Wildfire Steps Down

Longtime agency official Angela Gladwell has overseen the fund to pay victims of a wildfire accidentally started by the federal government. Her departure comes amid criticism of FEMA’s handling of payments for damages.

Congressional Watchdog Will Launch Inquiry Into FDA Oversight of Medical Device Recalls

Sens. Dick Durbin and Richard Blumenthal asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the regulatory agency, citing ProPublica and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on the 2021 recall of Philips breathing machines.

Idaho Governor Proposes $2 Billion in Funding for School Buildings Over Next 10 Years

Gov. Brad Little cited reporting by the Idaho Statesman and ProPublica as he laid out his plan for a massive infrastructure investment in the state’s public schools during Monday’s State of the State address.

Health Plans Can’t Dodge Paying for Expensive New Cancer Treatments, Says Michigan’s Top Insurance Regulator

After ProPublica reported on a health insurer that refused to cover the only medicine that could save a cancer patient’s life, Michigan insurance regulators clarified that, by law, many plans must pay for any clinically proven treatments.

DTE Energy Facing Oversight of “Hardship-Inducing” Debt Collection Practices

The large utility must turn over details of its sales of customer debt, which previously were kept in the dark, but has fought off a ban on the practice.

The Remains of Thousands of Native Americans Were Returned to Tribes This Year

Following decades of Indigenous activism and the 2023 publication of ProPublica’s “Repatriation Project,” federal officials have seen more activity leading to the return of ancestral remains to tribal nations than any other year since 1990.

In a Major Shift, Northwest Tribes — not U.S. Officials — Will Control Salmon Recovery Funds

The Biden administration punted on key demands from Indigenous leaders to tear down hydroelectric dams hindering salmon. But tribes won control over $1 billion for other salmon efforts.

Los Angeles Orders More Residential Hotels to Stop Renting to Tourists

Twenty-one hotels have been cited so far. If the citations are enforced and upheld in court, hundreds of rooms could be turned back into low-cost permanent housing for the city’s poorest residents.

NYPD Will Stop Withholding Body-Camera Footage of Police Shootings From Civilian Investigators

After questions from ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, the New York Police Department pledged to end its practice of not sharing videos in ongoing investigations with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Idaho Lawmakers Are Discussing a Proposal That Would Make It Easier to Repair Schools

For decades, Idaho’s high bar for school bonds has led to building conditions that students and teachers say make it difficult to learn. Amending the state constitution would help districts secure funding, but doing so won’t be easy.

Mayors Are Presiding Over Their Town Courts Despite Guidance Saying They Shouldn’t. A Lawmaker Calls for Reform.

We found more than a dozen places in Louisiana where the mayor sat on the bench of a court that pulled in a sizable share of the town’s revenue. The state says this arrangement could be unfair to defendants.

Michigan Enacts Laws to Reform Its Juvenile Justice System

In the aftermath of revelations from ProPublica, a government task force pushed for changes. New laws aim to keep low-level offenses out of court, provide more resources to young offenders and eliminate fines.

“Unacceptable”: Senators Call on GAO to Probe FDA’s Oversight of Medical Devices, Citing Series on Philips CPAP Recall

Sens. Dick Durbin and Richard Blumenthal sent a letter noting how the agency missed opportunities to protect the public from faulty medical devices, citing reporting by ProPublica and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Representatives Propose Ban on Insurers Charging Doctors a Fee to Be Paid Electronically

After a ProPublica investigation examined how giant insurers and their intermediaries are imposing fees on doctors and hospitals for electronic payment, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a bill to end the practice.

New Federal Rules Aim to Speed Repatriations of Native Remains and Burial Items

The new Interior Department regulations address long-criticized loopholes and issues identified by ProPublica’s reporting. They will go into effect in 2024.

A Washington Special Education School Accused of Abusing Students Is Closing Amid Scrutiny

The state’s investigation of Northwest SOIL, a private program serving public school students, was prompted by reporting from The Seattle Times and ProPublica that uncovered accusations about staff restraining and injuring vulnerable students.

Texas Judge Orders Release of Uvalde Shooting Records

For more than a year, the state Department of Public Safety has blocked the release of records that could offer more clarity into the police response. The agency can appeal the ruling.

Senate Committee Authorizes Subpoenas of Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo as Part of Supreme Court Ethics Probe

The subpoenas ask for details on gifts, travel and other perks the two men provided or helped arrange for Supreme Court justices and their relatives, but Senate Democrats will need help from their GOP colleagues if Crow and Leo defy the subpoenas.

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