Announcements, information and updates from the AG Alliance Members and Associates
December, 3rd 2020
UPCOMING WEBINARS
Substance Abuse & Mental Health During COVID-19
Tuesday, December 15th
1 - 2pm ET

Moderated by Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Mississippi

Panelists:
  • Dr. Marvin D. Seppala, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
  • Dr. Charles Smith, Ph.D.,Regional Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, BSW, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP, Executive Director, NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals
Chair's Initiative Breakout Sessions Enter Fourth Week:
Thinking About a National Strategy and Response to the Pandemic

The AGA Chair’s Initiative is focused on primarily domestic issues related to COVID-19 vaccines. The Initiative remains ongoing and the cohorts have discussed innumerable topics. Note instructions for joining in the conversation [link to where it is in the newsletter].
One topic that does not fit neatly into a cohort is that of “vaccine nationalism.” In a paper published by a National Security Institute (NSI) entitled Stopping the Spread: Pandemics, Warning, and the IC it is argued that the US Health and Human Services should be included in the US Intelligence Community and be full participating member of the national security apparatus.
This recommendation may be controversial. There is already controversy surrounding the announcement of a new “climate czar” that will be part of the National Security Council. But perhaps if the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institute of Health (NIH) were more involved in the international intelligence machinery, global pandemic identification and response could occur sooner and be more robust?
At a minimum it is worth asking the question and considering the consequences of non-inclusion as we seek to improve our health systems, get through this pandemic, and avoid the next epidemic. As NSI Fellow Jim Danoy states, “the opportunity exists to build on the work that has been done to-date by deepening existing relationships the IC has with the public health sector and by forging new partnerships as part of a whole-of-society approach to combatting the spread of infectious diseases.”
ATTORNEY GENERAL ACTIONS
CITIZEN RIGHTS

  • D.C. AG Racine led a bipartisan coalition pushing to incentivize amending state and local laws infringing rights of residents. See the amicus brief here.

  • D.C. AG Racine announced a settlement over unlicensed trash hauling in residential neighborhoods, operating without a license, and refusing to pay fines.

COVID-19 RELIEF

  • Montana AG Fox joined a coalition of attorneys general urging Congress to extend the CARES Act funding. In a letter sent to Congress the attorneys general asked members to extend the December 30, 2020 deadline.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

  • Idaho AG Wasden announced a settlement agreement with three Idaho gas retailers following an investigation into their fuel prices during the state’s COVID-19-related state of emergency. 

  • South Dakota AG Ravnsborg announced that South Dakota has reached a settlement agreement with Sanford Health resolving a case involving Medicaid payments. 
ENVIRONMENT

  • Attorneys General Balderas and Becerra oppose the latest effort to undermine Department of Interior's Royalties Valuation Rule.

HOLIDAY SCAM ALERTS

  • Oregon AG Rosenblum reminded Oregonians to “Give Wisely” and make careful and informed decisions when donating to charities this holiday season.
CONSUMER PROTECTION


  • CFPB announced additions to its executive team. View the leadership positions here.

  • CFPB filed a lawsuit against DMB Financial, LLC for allegedly violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Cooley LLP announced in November Colorado Department of Labor and Employment adopted the Equal Pay Transparency Rules which clarify employer obligations under the Equal Pay Act that will go into effect January 2021.

ENVIRONMENT

  • Tri-State filed its first electric resource plan to Colorado Public Utilities Commission that includes an 80% reduction in greenhouse emissions associated with Colorado wholesale sales by 2030.
CHAIR'S INITIATIVE FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Thanks to everyone for your continued interest and support of the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) and the AG Alliance (AGA) Virtual Chair Initiative: A COVID-19 Attorney General Legal and Policy Response Manual. The response from our partners has been fantastic.

We invite you to virtually attend the fourth and final week of this series as we continue to explore the policy and legal challenges we are all confronting during this pandemic.

Participation for this initiative is strongly encouraged for sponsors at the *Premier level and above and we will be hosting an ongoing policy dialogue between AGO’s and experts for each of the five cohorts that are actively meeting and working towards a common goal and deliverable related to COVID-19 vaccinations:
  1. Vaccine Methodologies and Legalities led by ID and WA;
  2. State’s Role in Vaccine Administration led by NM and AK;
  3. Deceptive Trade Practices, Diversion and Black Market Issues led by SD and NV;
  4. Governmental Authorities led by CO and ND; and
  5. Vaccine Collaboration and Antitrust Concerns led by NE and CO.
Each cohort is being led by a bipartisan group of state AG office staff and has identified more specific legal and policy issues that will be addressed in their assigned area to develop an issue guide for policymakers. Cohorts meet via Zoom on a weekly basis between 11/10 and 12/10.
 
For more information about participation, please contact Andrea Friedman at AFriedman@AGAlliance.org.
VIRTUAL SEMINAR LIBRARY
Missed our live programs? No problem! Follow the button below to visit our Virtual Seminar Library for access to all recordings.

Do you have a webinar topic suggestion? We want to hear from you! Please email ideas to Andrea Friedman at AFriedman@AGAlliance.org.
CWAG Executive Committee
- Wayne Stenehjem - Phil Weiser -
- Jason Ravnsborg - Hector Balderas -

AG Alliance Co-Chairs
- Lawrence Wasden - Sean Reyes - Karl Racine -
AGA |  (916) 478-0075 | WWW.AGALLIANCE.ORG