Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates

August 23, 2018
HOT TOPICS
Articles on topics relevant to the work of Attorneys General around the nation. ( Note: Subscription may be required for access .)
CHILD SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH
Attorney General Bondi Reminds Parents, Drivers to Keep Kids Safe on the Roads
August 17, 2018
 
August is a busy month for Florida families, as children head back to school and summer break comes to an end. It is also a month dedicated to child safety awareness. Students across our state, this month, will board busses, cross traffic and join carpools going to and from school. It is important that parents, drivers and all Floridians take extra caution to ensure children are safe. 
In 2017, nearly half of all children that died in a car crash were not buckled up. This is unacceptable. The simple act of buckling in a child could save a life. Car seats need to be installed correctly. The Florida Highway Patrol offers free car seat installation and safety checks at stations throughout the state. 
It is also important to take measures to ensure children are not left in a hot car. The temperature inside a parked car can increase 20 degrees in 10 minutes. So if it is 80 degrees outside, the inside of a parked car could quickly reach 100 degrees. Never leave a child in a car, and if anyone sees a child left in a car they should call law enforcement immediately. 
Finally, intersections near schools are now being crossed by thousands of tiny feet. Crossing guards are helping kids get safely across traffic. Florida drivers can help by being patient, obeying crossing guards and minding road signs. 
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is leading efforts to protect children this Child Safety Awareness Month and has even more safety tips online. I encourage all Floridians to check out the DHSMV  website  and work together to help ensure a happy, safe school year for children across our state. Please share this message with your friends, co-workers and employees.
SCHOOL SAFETY
AG Sean Reyes Encourages SafeUT Use in Schools, Introduces new Features
SafeUT team averages 1,178 students chats per month
August 16, 2018

Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes announced two new features of the SafeUT app and encouraged schools to enroll and participate in a proven resource that helps keep students and schools safe. The new features, just in time for the new academic school year, include a parent/educator button and access to services for higher education institutions.

The SafeUT app, launched in 2016, was geared toward elementary, junior high, and high school students struggling with suicide, relationship difficulties, and a variety of other mental and behavioral health issues. Every public school district in Utah is enrolled, but not every school has taken advantage of the SafeUT app and its services. Eleven new schools enrolled in the SafeUT program for the upcoming school year, which means that 77% percent of K-12 schools in Utah are now utilizing the app.
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
Federal Appeals Court: Chemical Disaster Rule Must Go into Effect
Washington AG Ferguson successfully challenges Administration’s delay of facility safety rule
August 17, 2018

A federal appeals court agreed with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and 10 other attorneys general that the Administration’s delay of the Chemical Disaster Rule violated the Clean Air Act. The Chemical Disaster Rule updates important safety requirements for large industrial facilities that handle hazardous chemicals.

The Chemical Disaster Rule aims to reduce the threat of chemical releases with new standards and required safety audits, in addition to bolstering emergency preparedness. The rule applies to more than 12,000 facilities nationwide, including refineries, chemical manufacturers and others that use, store or have the potential to release highly hazardous chemicals.

Once a rule is finalized, the Clean Air Act allows for a 90-day delay to reconsider it in response to litigation. Beyond 90 days, the act clearly states that “reconsideration shall not postpone the effectiveness of the rule.”

The Chemical Disaster Rule was finalized on Jan. 13, 2017. On Jan. 26, under the Trump Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency delayed its effective date for 60 days — along with 29 other environmental regulations — shortly after the president took office. The Trump Administration postponed the 30 environmental regulations without providing an opportunity for public comment.

After the initial delay on Jan. 26, the Trump Administration postponed the Chemical Disaster Rule twice more while it reconsidered the rule.

The New York Attorney General's office led a coalition of 11 attorneys general who sued over the EPA's delay of the rule. In addition to Washington, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont also joined the lawsuit.
Attorney General Frosh Joins Coalition of States, Counties in Opposing EPA Plan to Censor Science Data
August 17, 2018

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, part of a 23-member coalition of states, counties, and cities, called on Acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler to withdraw his predecessor’s “harmful and deeply flawed” proposal to censor science at the Agency.  The call was part of detailed legal and technical  comments  submitted by the coalition on former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposed “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” rule.

That proposed rule would exclude from EPA decision-making any scientific studies, models, and other important information that have been validated by peer review simply because not all underlying data are available to the public. The coalition charges that, in addition to making “little sense as a matter of science,” the proposal is “arbitrary and capricious, violates controlling federal law, and contains clear errors in reasoning.” The coalition affirms that they “stand ready to pursue legal remedies should EPA persist in this misguided effort.” 
Senator Barrasso Seeks to Limit States’ Veto Power Over Clean Water
August 17, 2018
 
Sen. John Barrasso is not pleased with Washington state.
Although that is not an unusual position to hold in Wyoming — which is engaged in a legal dispute with the coastal state over coal — what the senator plans to do about his frustration could narrow a unique power that allows states to veto the federal government.

Barrasso has proposed changes to the Clean Water Act that he argues will close loopholes that are ripe for abuse. The provision up for revision, section 401, grants states the authority to certify projects that could affect their waterways. The flip side of that authority is states can refuse to greenlight a project or require conditions for certification — even if the federal government has approved it.

Many times in Wyoming, certification is a fairly straightforward process. But large fossil fuel projects have been blocked in other parts of the country through the use of the Clean Water Act. Of particular irritation in Wyoming is the ongoing battle over a coal export terminal that’s been blocked by the state of Washington.

Barrasso’s bill has not come up for a vote. But environmental groups are riled up that a cornerstone environmental law could be snipped away by Congress and are criticizing Wyoming for not standing up for states’ rights.
OPIOIDS
Utah’s Overdose Deaths Fall 12% Despite Nationwide Surge
August 18, 2018
 
Defying a worrisome national trend, Utah recently recorded the nation's second-largest drop in drug overdose deaths in  estimates  from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
The day after related data was  first reported , officials in Utah expressed cautious optimism about a 12 percent decline in fatal overdoses over a one-year period ending January 2018.
 
They credited local efforts to reduce the number of opioids being prescribed and to distribute a life-saving overdose reversal drug known as naloxone. But they also said drug deaths — increasingly heroin and maybe soon synthetic opioids — remain of dire concern in a state that  ranked seventh in opioid deaths  from 2013 to 2015.
CONSUMER PROTECTION
AG Rosenblum Leads Group of 29 AG’s to File Comments with Federal Trade Commission
August 20, 2018

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum led a bipartisan group of 29 Attorneys General in filing comments with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) highlighting the significant role State Attorneys General play in consumer protection, and asking the FTC to include their viewpoint and expertise as the agency holds public hearings on “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21 st  Century.”
 
In June, the FTC announced the agency will hold a series of public hearings, “on whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement law, enforcement priorities, and policy.” The FTC asked interested parties to submit comments by August 20, 2018.
WORKER PROTECTION
AG Ferguson: Eight More Restaurant Chains Will End No-Poach Practices Nationwide
Applebee’s, Church’s Chicken, Five Guys, IHOP, Jamba Juice, Little Caesars, Panera and Sonic to end restrictions on low-wage workers nationwide
August 20, 2018
 
In a second major announcement as part of an initiative to eliminate no-poach clauses nationwide, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that eight more corporate fast-food chains will remove “no-poach” provisions from their franchise contracts nationwide. No-poach clauses put downward pressure on wages and restrict worker mobility.

As a result of Ferguson’s investigation, eight companies — Applebee’s, Church’s Chicken, Five Guys, IHOP, Jamba Juice, Little Caesars, Panera and Sonic — will remove the language from current and future contracts, and will no longer enforce no-poach provisions included in franchise agreements.

These eight companies have more than 15,000 locations nationwide. This legally binding agreement will positively affect hundreds of thousands of workers nationwide.
PROTECING SENIORS
Arizona AG Brnovich: How Best to Protect Seniors from Scams, Swindlers, and Con Artists
August 21, 2018

In the continuation of their conversation  with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute discusses the problem of financial scams and con artists who target the elderly.

Scams targeting seniors take many forms. According to  the National Council on Aging (NCOA) , the top ten scams targeting seniors are:
  • Medicare/health-insurance scams;
  • Counterfeit prescription drugs;
  • Funeral and cemetery scams;
  • Fraudulent anti-aging products;
  • Telemarketing or phone scams;
  • Internet fraud and email-phishing scams;
  • Bogus investment schemes;
  • Home equity and reverse-mortgage scams;
  • Sweepstakes and lottery scams; and
  • People pretending to be grandchildren or relatives.

“Educating people that everything that glitters is not gold is a very important part of helping seniors avoid frauds and scams,” explains Brnovich. “One of the things we’ve tried to do is create a list, where seniors can sign up and get a palm card every month describing the latest scams, and what to do and not to do, in order to protect themselves from identify theft.”
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT
Welcome to the Sponsor Spotlight, where each week CWAG will celebrate one of our private sector partners.

Ranked among the top 100 law firms in the country, Cozen O’Connor has more than 700 attorneys in 26 cities across two continents. We are a full-service firm with nationally recognized practices in litigation, business law, and government relations, and our attorneys have experience operating in all sectors of the economy. Our diverse client list includes global Fortune 500 companies, middle-market firms poised for growth, ambitious startups, and high-profile individuals.

In an industry built on talk, Cozen O’Connor has made its name by doing. We have built our firm one case, one victory at a time. Our attorneys have impeccable academic credentials and are able to combine intellectual rigor with practicality and efficiency. We provide sophisticated, business-minded advice aimed at one simple goal: getting the right result for our clients. No matter how complex, contentious, or critical the undertaking, we persevere until the job is done.

What you’ve built, we can defend. What you envision, we can help construct.
AILD
Updated American Indian Law Deskbook Is Now Available

The American Indian Law Deskbook  is a concise, direct, and easy-to-understand handbook on Indian law. The chapter authors of this book are experienced state lawyers who have been involved in Indian law for many years.

American Indian Law Deskbook  addresses the areas of Indian law most relevant to the practitioner.
Topics include:
  • Definitions of Indians and Indian tribes
  • Indian lands
  • Criminal, civil regulatory, and civil adjudicatory jurisdiction
  • Civil rights
  • Indian water rights
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Environmental regulation
  • Taxation
  • Gaming
  • Indian Child Welfare Act and tribal-state cooperative agreements
AG ELECTION TRACKER
Follow the 31 AG Races in 2018 on this Interactive Website
A significant number of states, 30 and the District of Columbia, have contests for the Office of Attorney General. Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Practice hosts an interactive map for those interested in following the races throughout the country. The State AG Election Tracker includes state-by-state AG candidate snapshots, filing deadlines and primary election dates; daily news, insights, polling and fundraising data; and the ability to sign up for real-time election-night updates via text and email. Access is free.
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