Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
December 20, 2018
Articles on topics relevant to the work of Attorneys General around the nation.
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Washington Times
Attorney General Becerra to Hold Public Forums on California Consumer Privacy Act as Part of Rulemaking Process
December 19, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that the California Department of Justice will hold six public forums on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The forums will provide an initial opportunity for the public to participate in the CCPA rulemaking process. As part of this process, the Department of Justice invites all members of the public to speak at these events. 

The CCPA grants consumers new rights with respect to the collection and use of their personal information. Businesses are prohibited from discriminating against consumers for exercising their rights under the CCPA.

As required by the CCPA, the Attorney General must adopt certain regulations on or before July 1, 2020. Effective January 1, 2020, businesses must comply with the CCPA’s key requirements:
  • Businesses must disclose data collection and sharing practices to consumers;
  • Consumers have a right to request their data be deleted;
  • Consumers have a right to opt out of sale or sharing of their personal information; and
  • Businesses are prohibited from selling personal information of consumers under the age of 16 without explicit consent.

To view the calendar of meetings, please click the "Press Release" below.
Hatch, Schumer Introduce Bipartisan Sports Betting Integrity Legislation
December 19, 2018

US Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018. The bipartisan legislation would put in place world-class safety measures to protect consumers, preserve the integrity of sporting events, and ensure the propriety of the sports wagering market.  

“As I wrote in Sports Illustrated earlier this year, sports betting is inevitable – so let’s make sure it’s done right,” said Hatch. “This bill is the first step toward ensuring that sports betting is done right in the states that choose to legalize it. Just as importantly, it provides protections for states that choose not to go down that path. For the better part of this year, I have engaged with and learned from stakeholders on all sides of this issue – the gaming industry, professional and amateur sports leagues, consumer advocates, data providers, law enforcement, and many others. The result of those discussions is a comprehensive bill that tackles numerous, complex issues and includes provisions to protect the interests of each of those stakeholders. I am pleased that the Minority Leader has joined me in introducing this legislation, confirming that while this may not be an easy issue, it is a bipartisan one. There is much work to be done, but I hope this bill will serve as a placeholder for the next Congress, should they decide to continue working to address these issues.”

“As a lifelong sports fan I treasure the purity of the game, and after Murphy v. NCAA, I knew that Congress had an obligation to ensure that the integrity of the games we love was never compromised,” said Schumer. “That is why I believe the time is now to establish a strong national integrity standard for sports betting that will protect consumers and the games themselves from corruption. The bipartisan legislation that Senator Hatch and I have introduced, follows the principles laid out in the federal framework that I released in August and will serve as solid foundation upon which we build the appropriate guardrails around the burgeoning sports betting industry. I will strongly advocate for this bill to move forward and for Congress to vote to pass federal legislation very soon.”  
AGA Opposes Federal Government Overreach on Sports Betting
Gaming industry committed to eliminating illegal sports betting market, cautions against unnecessary federal engagement
December 19, 2018

The American Gaming Association (AGA) released the following statement in response to the "Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018," introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

“This bill is the epitome of a solution in search of a problem, representing an unprecedented and inappropriate expansion of federal involvement in the gaming industry, which is currently one of the most strictly regulated in the country,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association. “Across the country, nearly 4,000 dedicated public servants already regulate all forms of gaming, including sports wagering, with more than $500 million committed to ensuring the integrity of commercial casinos’ operations and $822 million spent on regulation of tribal gaming in 2015 alone. These state and tribal regulators have decades of experience effectively overseeing gaming operations within their jurisdictions.

“Additional areas this bill seeks to address – including the mandatory use of official league data and the creation of a national sports wagering clearinghouse – can, and should, be decided by marketplace negotiations between private businesses and cooperative agreements among jurisdictions. In the mere six months since the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for legal, regulated sports betting, significant developments on both of these fronts have already occurred without any federal involvement.

“While federal regulation of sports betting will continue to be a non-starter for the gaming industry, we appreciate the sponsors’ recognition that more must be done to curb illegal sports betting operations, which continue to pose the biggest impediment to the success of a legal market that will benefit and protect consumers, sports leagues and casino operators alike.” 
NAAG Policy: Support for First Step Act
December 20, 2018

NAAG sent a letter to House and Senate leadership, announcing support for the FIRST STEP Act.

“As our jurisdictions’ Attorneys General, public safety and the faithful execution of the law fall squarely on our shoulders. Constituents hold us uniquely accountable for ensuring our communities provide a safe place to work and raise a family. To that end, we have supported legislation that strongly punishes criminal conduct while making sure people exiting prison pose less of a threat than when they entered,” reads the letter signed by 38 jurisdictional attorneys general.

The FIRST STEP Act would strengthen the criminal justice system by enacting prison reforms, such as providing additional tools and flexibility to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, ensuring people are prepared for re-entering communities after leaving prison, and allowing prosecutors to seek the most appropriate sentence for each individual.  

The letter concludes, “On a bipartisan basis, we request that Congress enact legislation to strengthen our criminal justice system to better safeguard the people of our states. We believe the FIRST STEP Act contains many helpful reforms and strongly encourage Congress to provide the bill with a full and open debate.

Consumer Alert: Idaho Attorney General Warns Idahoans of Recent Uptick in Imposter Scams
December 13, 2018

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is asking Idahoans to be aware of an increase in scams targeting state residents.
The alert comes after a surge in so-called imposter scams. These scams vary, but always include a scammer pretending to be someone they’re not in order to get money from the target.
“Staff in my office’s Consumer Protection Division have recently seen a significant increase in the number of Idahoans who have been targeted with imposter scam calls. While these scams are not new, I want to make sure all Idahoans are prepared in case their phone rings and there’s a scammer on the other end of the line.”
-- Attorney General Lawrence Wasden
Consumer Alert: Attorney General, State Tax Commission Warn Idahoans of New Tax Scam
December 17, 2018

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and the Idaho State Tax Commission are alerting Idahoans to a new tax scam targeting state residents.
The alert comes after a Nampa woman contacted the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division to verify the legitimacy of a document she’d received in the mail. The mailer was not legitimate, as it falsely claimed she owed $15,390 in income taxes to the State of Idaho.
The mailer was labeled as a “Notice of Default Pending Execution” and included two seals – though not official state seals – at the top. The scammers included a working telephone number in order to continue the fraud attempt via phone.
The consumer alert is the second the Attorney General has issued in the last four days. The other detailed an uptick in the number of so-called imposter scams targeting Idahoans. Included on the list of active scams is the IRS scam, in which a caller pretends to be from the Internal Revenue Service and claims the target owes back taxes. The tax problems will disappear, the scammer says, if the recipient of the call pays the taxes via gift cards, iTunes cards, money wire, etc. Anyone who receives this type of call should hang up immediately.
Senate Approves Trump Nominee to Lead Polarizing Consumer Watchdog Agency
The Washington Post
December 6, 2018

The Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, ushering in business-friendly leadership for a polarizing watchdog agency long detested by Republicans and the banking industry. The chamber voted 50 to 49, along party lines, in favor of Kathy Kraninger’s nomination.

Kraninger will replace the bureau’s acting director, Mick Mulvaney, who is also the White House budget chief and Kraninger’s current boss. Her nomination took much of Washington by surprise. Kraninger, the associate director of general government at the Office of Management and Budget, has no experience in consumer finance but now will become one of the country’s most powerful banking regulators.
Rhode Island Attorney General Kilmartin Announces $4.1 Million in Grants from Volkswagen Settlement
Monies to Benefit Opening of Upper Bay Beach, Lead Poisoning Prevention, Solar Panels at Salty Brine Beach, Asthma Intervention Among Youth, Environmental Mapping and Data Development, Healthy Homes Initiatives, Environmental Stewardship Education Programs, and Many More
December 12, 2018

As a result of a previously announced settlement with Volkswagen for violating Rhode Island state laws prohibiting the sale and leasing of diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed emissions control defeat device software, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced $4.1 million in funding for a variety of environmentally beneficial projects across the state.

Entities receiving grants include the University of Rhode Island, the City of East Providence, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH), Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), HousingWorks RI, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), the RI Schools Recycling Club, and the Farm Fresh Harvest Kitchen.

Projects range in size and scope and include remediation of storm water runoff issues in East Providence, a roof-top solar array at Salty Brine Beach, the construction of a passage for migratory fish at the John (Jay) Cronan Fishing Access on the Pawcatuck River in Richmond, an autonomous electric shuttle pilot program, lead poisoning prevention and asthma intervention programs, green and healthy homes initiatives, GIS mapping, and educational stewardship programs for at-risk youth, among others.
Vermont Attorney General and State Agencies Launch Working Group to Study Blockchain Technology
December 10, 2018

Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced that four State agencies established a working group to study the opportunities and challenges presented by Blockchain technology. In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), the Secretary of State, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) will make up the working group. The working group will engage stakeholders and interested industry experts.

A blockchain is fundamentally a data or record-keeping technology, or a distributed ledger of records that are linked and secured through cryptography. Each “block” in the blockchain contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block and a timestamp – along with encrypted transaction data. Blockchain technology allows parties to record transactions in a secure way that resists modification. Because the technology is new, the working group will convene to determine: 1) what opportunities, challenges, and concerns blockchain may present; 2) whether blockchain-specific regulation or legislation is necessary and, if so, of what type; and 3) how best to protect consumers who may use Blockchain technology or be affected by it.

The Attorney General said working group members plan to meet and commence work in January of 2019.
AB InBev and Tilray Announce Research Partnership Focused on Non-Alcohol THC and CBD Beverages Market in Canada
New Partnership to Focus on Research that will Guide Responsible Innovation
December 19, 2018

AB InBev, the world’s leading brewer, and Tilray, a global pioneer in cannabis production and distribution, announced a partnership to research non-alcohol beverages containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The partnership is limited to Canada and decisions regarding the commercialization of the beverages will be made in the future. The research partnership combines AB InBev’s deep experience in beverages with Tilray’s expertise in cannabis products. AB InBev’s participation will be through its subsidiary Labatt Breweries of Canada, one of the country’s founding businesses and its leading brewery, and Tilray’s participation will be through its Canadian adult-use cannabis subsidiary High Park Company, which develops, sells, and distributes a portfolio of socially responsible cannabis brands and products in Canada. Each company intends to invest up to $50 million USD, for a total of up to $100 million USD.
Montana Receives ‘A’ For Child Sex Trafficking Prevention Efforts
December 17, 2018

A national non-profit has again ranked Montana as one of the top states in the country for its efforts to prevent child sex trafficking.

Shared Hope International recently released its annual state report cards, and graded Montana at an “A,” citing its continued commitment to laws that vigorously protect child sex trafficking victims and hold buyers, sellers, and facilitators accountable. Only two states, Montana and Kansas, raised their grades four levels from 2011 to 2018. Montana has remained at an “A” since 2015, thanks in large part to House Bill 89, which was drafted by and introduced at the request of Attorney General Tim Fox during the 2015 legislative session. The bill was signed into law on July 1, 2015 and updated Montana’s human trafficking laws to reflect the model state human trafficking act.

“The Montana Department of Justice is pleased Shared Hope International has again taken note of our ongoing legislative advocacy and outreach efforts to fight modern-day slavery,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “I have made it a priority ever since I took office to bring perpetrators to justice while taking a victim-centered approach to helping young people whose lives have been shattered by these heinous crimes. I’m proud Montana’s laws have the necessary definitions and penalties to prosecute traffickers and help their victims recover,” Attorney General Fox added.
Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman Announces Important New Tools for Schools to Protect Students
December 18, 2018

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman announced the release of two new critical tools to assist schools in better protecting students. The first tool is the comprehensive  Colorado School Safety Guide , which was researched and written by Sarah Goodrum, Ph.D., Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Northern Colorado, and William Woodward, M.P.A., Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Guide was created as part of the Safe Communities Safe Schools initiative of the Office of the Attorney General, in an effort to provide parents, schools and districts with comprehensive information on steps for promoting school safety.

The guide identifies five components of school safety planning, including: Prevention and Assessment, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. The goal is for schools and communities to rely on available high-quality evidence-based programs, when possible, and to have information on “best practices,” for issues where no research currently exists.
Oregon Leads 10 State Coalition to Support Challenge to EPA’s Mercury Reporting Rule
KTVZ News Oregon
December 17, 2018

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum led a coalition of 10 state Attorneys General in filing an amicus, or “friend of the court”, brief in support of Vermont’s petition challenging loopholes in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently adopted Mercury Rule. A copy of the filing with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals can be found here.
The ‘Lautenberg Act’ amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act, passed in 2016, required the EPA to develop a comprehensive inventory of mercury use in the United States, and required importers and manufacturers of mercury-added products to report if their products contain mercury. Congress instructed the EPA to write rules implementing the Act. But the EPA's rule creates loopholes that violate both the letter and the spirit of the amendments.
Attorney General Rosenblum thanked Vermont Attorney General T. J. Donovan for leading on this issue, and noted that Oregon and Vermont are long-standing partners in environmental protection, including being the first two states to pass ‘bottle bills’ in the early 1970’s.
Oregon was joined on the brief by Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota by and through its Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington. 
Attorney General Becerra: Murder Conviction of California Doctor Who Recklessly Prescribed Deadly Opioids Upheld on Appeal
The defendant is the first doctor in California to be convicted of murder based on the prescription of opioid medications
December 18, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and his legal team secured a critical victory in the fight against opioid abuse when the California Court of Appeal upheld the second-degree murder conviction of a former osteopathic doctor, Hsiu Ying Tseng. Tseng was convicted on February 5, 2016, of second-degree murder for the prescription drug overdoses of three of her patients: Vu Nguyen, Steven Ogle, and Joseph Rovero. Tseng was also convicted of 19 counts of unlawful controlled substance prescription and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The trial court sentenced Tseng to 30 years to life in state prison. 
Doug Chin, Former Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, Joins Downtown Law Firm
December 17, 2018

Former Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin has joined the law firm of Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher as a director focusing on commercial litigation and government relations, the firm announced.

Chin served as Hawaii lieutenant governor for most of this year and was Honolulu city managing director under former Mayor Peter Carlisle from 2010 to 2013. Chin is also a former Honolulu deputy prosecutor and tried about 50 cases to verdict while at the prosecutor’s office, according to the announcement.
Every time we think we have survived the “biggest” data breach, we are hit with another one that compromises new facets of our privacy and identity.

Please join us on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 in Washington, DC to hear from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA), Congressman David Schweikert (AZ), and Attorneys General and Chief Deputies from Arizona, the District of Columbia, New Mexico, Vermont and Virginia.

Together with business leaders, privacy advocates and academics we will dissect the future of privacy in the US and beyond. Agenda in formation.  
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