Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
January 18, 2018
2018 CWAG Chair's Initiative
May 3-4, 2018
Scottsdale, Arizona
CWAG Chair, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, announces his 2018 CWAG Chair's Initiative, which will focus on cyber security, data privacy, and digital piracy. Please mark your calendars and prepare to engage in a dialogue on these important topics!

Building on CWAG's Cyber Security efforts in 2016 and 2017 at the Cyber Security and Technology Forums and the Cyber Security Working Group established in June 2017, General Brnovich's Initiative will feature an in-depth conversation to discuss financial technology and government and industry cooperation, vertical integration and platform development issues, encryption and data security issues facing public, private and law enforcement along with national and international privacy concerns.

To find complete details about hotel accommodations, suggested transportation and to register online, use the following link CWAG 2018 Chair's Initiative Registration Site. To register click on the "Register" link and enter your name, last name and email address, then select your registration type.

If you are an existing sponsor you may use the registration code that was provided to you to register for the Annual Meeting. If you need your code re-sent, please contact Event Coordinator and Meeting Manager Ale Stephens at or 303.304.9206.
United States Supreme Court Grants South Dakota’s Petition to Review Tax Fairness Case

CWAG Attorney General Marty Jackley of South Dakota announced that the United States Supreme Court has granted the State’s petition for a writ of certiorari filed in State of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Overstock and Newegg . “South Dakota is leading the nation to fight for main street America. As Attorney General, I will give main street businesses a strong and long awaited voice in our highest court,” said Attorney General Jackley. “I want to extend my appreciation for the support we have received from the 35 Attorneys General, the National Governors Association, educational leaders, and the business community to bring tax fairness for our local retailers and to help support main street businesses.” Ultimately, the State asks the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule the physical-presence requirement which currently prevents the State from requiring out-of-state retailers to remit taxes for sales made within South Dakota. (Read more)
Supreme Court Accepts Review of Culverts Case

CWAG Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear United States of America et al. v. State of Washington . “Today the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear our appeal of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in the culverts case. We have worked hard to reach a resolution in this case outside of court. To that end, I have personally met with tribal leaders three times in an effort to reach agreement. While we made progress, we have not reached a mutually acceptable resolution. Now that the Supreme Court has accepted review of the case, I hope that all 21 tribal governments will agree on a proposal that recognizes the State's serious concerns with the Ninth Circuit ruling and allows us to continue our conversations. If we cannot reach a resolution, I have a duty on behalf of the taxpayers of Washington state to present our case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Salmon are vital to our way of life here in Washington. Regardless of the outcome of this case, the state must do more to restore salmon habitat. However, important issues are at stake in this appeal, as explained by the many dissenting Ninth Circuit judges. For example, the Ninth Circuit’s decision forces the state to expend significant resources on fixing culverts that will not benefit salmon. That makes no sense. The decision also requires Washington taxpayers to shoulder the entire financial burden for problems largely created by the federal government when it specified the design for the state’s old highway culverts. That’s not fair.” (Read more)
Attorney General Coffman Defends Sovereign Authority over Water Rights in the Supreme Court

CWAG Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman of Colorado presented arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court in Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado to protect the authority and jurisdiction of the Western States to manage water rights within their own borders and across state lines in cooperation with neighboring state officials. “Arguments over water rights have been going on since the beginning of statehood, but the authority to manage this critically important natural resource has always belonged first and foremost to the States,” said Attorney General Coffman. “We cannot allow the federal government to encroach on our rights and interfere with our ability to manage water resources on equal footing with our Sister States.” Colorado Solicitor General Fred Yarger argued on behalf of the State. (Read more)
Attorney General Brnovich Teams Up with Truckers to Save Victims of Human Trafficking

CWAG Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona, Truckers Against Trafficking, the Arizona Trucking Association, Albertsons, and Help Inc., are proud to announce a new partnership to help rescue victims of human trafficking. More than 25,000 rescue stickers will be placed on semi-trucks throughout Arizona to encourage victims of human trafficking to call or text for help. January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month. “Our goal is to reach out to victims of human trafficking and hopefully give them the courage to call or text for help,” said Attorney General Brnovich. “Truckers are on the front lines of this global epidemic. They are our eyes and ears on Arizona highways and if just one rescue sticker or observant driver helps save a life, then we've made a difference." In just the first six months of 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received over 200 tips about human trafficking incidents in Arizona. That’s more than 1 call per day in Arizona alone. In 2015, Attorney General Brnovich created a unit dedicated solely to combating sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Arizona. Attorneys have investigated more than 75 defendants with ties to sex trafficking and currently have approximately 30 open cases involving sexual exploitation of minors. (Read more)
Attorney General Becerra: Central Valley Sex Traffickers Plead Guilty

CWAG Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California announced that defendants Quinton Brown and Gerald Turner have pled guilty to multiple felony charges of sex trafficking of a minor. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Quinton Brown is expected to serve a 28-year sentence, and Gerald Turner is expected to serve an 11-year sentence. “Today’s guilty pleas are a prime example of how we will fight to ensure that justice is served upon those who commit the heinous crime of sex trafficking,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Delivering justice for victims of these crimes is a top priority for me as Attorney General. I want to thank all of the law enforcement agents and officers throughout the State who worked tirelessly on this investigation and who work every day to ensure Californians are safe. My team will continue to work to protect victims from sex trafficking and prosecute those who profit from the exploitation of human beings.” In July 2017, Attorney General Becerra filed 54 felony charges against the defendants. The criminal complaint alleged that Brown lured victims from the Central Valley and trafficked them throughout the State. It also alleged that Turner trafficked minors in the Central Valley and that McNeil fraudulently procured luxury vehicles and apartments used to facilitate the trafficking. The victims, including eight minors, were sold for commercial sex throughout the Central Valley, Bay Area and Los Angeles. (Read more)
Attorney General Schmidt asks Legislature to Increase Protections for Victims of Human Trafficking

CWAG Associate Attorney General Derek Schmidt of Kansas requested introduction of legislation to increase protections for victims of human trafficking. Current law allows courts to issue a protection from stalking or sexual assault order restraining a defendant from harassment, communication and abusive behaviors in addition to placing restrictions on physical proximity to the victim. The new legislation would provide these same protections for victims of human trafficking. “Since our state’s first anti-human trafficking law was enacted in 2005, Kansas has worked with strong bipartisan support to make great strides in combating this crime against human dignity,” Attorney General Schmidt said. “This legislation will provide further protection to victims and provide additional tools for law enforcement to arrest traffickers.” (Read more)
Attorney General Peterson Announces the “Demand An End” Campaign

CWAG Associate Attorney General Doug Peterson of Nebraska was joined by many partners to announce the Demand An End public awareness campaign addressing child sex trafficking. The campaign focuses on the supply and demand model of trafficking by targeting those who purchase sex. Sex trafficking of minors occurs not only in larger cities but also in rural areas across Nebraska. In fact, the Human Trafficking Initiative reports that in Nebraska 11% of those sold for sex online are advertised under the age of 21. In 2016, Attorney General Peterson was joined by many partners while spearheading the creation of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force (NHTTF). NHTTF’s objectives are to help survivors of trafficking, stop traffickers, and eliminate the human trafficking market. Attorney General Peterson said, “Although it is very troubling to know that young people are being trafficked in Nebraska, I am encouraged that so many Nebraskans have united to fight child sex trafficking. Together, we must demand an end to this form of slavery.” (Read more)
Attorney General Laxalt Creates First of its Kind Partnership with Nevada VA Medical Centers to Host Resource Fairs

CWAG Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt of Nevada announced his Office of Military Legal Assistance’s partnership with the Reno and Las Vegas VA Medical Centers to host free resource fairs. The fairs are an opportunity for Nevada active duty military, guard and veterans to receive access to free legal assistance and medical care. Collectively, legal and medical experts will be available to discuss family law, bankruptcy, landlord/tenant, public benefits, consumer law/protection, veteran benefits, wills, powers of attorney, mental health, health care and suicide prevention. “Serving in our military is both an honor and a sacrifice that countless Nevada families have made,” said Attorney General Laxalt. “As a veteran of the Iraq war, I know firsthand the issues faced by our military communities, and hope this program will ensure that the sacrifices made by our service members and veterans are met with support and gratitude. My Office of Military Legal Assistance is proud to partner with the US. Department of Veterans Affairs to bring these needed resources to local VA Medical Centers, and hopes our military communities will take advantage of these free services.” (Read more)
CWAG Attorney General Balderas Calls on Congress for Banking Legislation for Legalized Use of Marijuana

CWAG Attorney General Hector Balderas of New Mexico joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general urging Congress to advance legislation allowing states with legalized medical or recreational marijuana to bring that commerce into the banking system. Banks and other depository institutions are currently hindered by federal law from providing financial services to marijuana businesses, even in states where those businesses are regulated. “New Mexican businesses that supply medical marijuana to treat veterans with PTSD and cancer patients must have a lawful banking system that allows them to conduct business safely and securely,” said Attorney General Balderas. “A regulatory system that forces businesses to operate in the shadows increases the risk of criminal activity and is contrary to the rule of law.” Joining Attorney General Balderas in the letter are attorneys general from Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington. (Read more)
Attorney General Becerra Sues FCC Over Repeal of Net Neutrality Rules

CWAG Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California announced a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission, challenging its attempt to repeal net neutrality rules. Net neutrality allows consumers to access online content without any interference by an internet service provider. Without these rules, ISPs may force websites to pay fees for faster internet speeds, while limiting consumers’ ability to access the internet content of their choice. The FCC’s action also purports to limit the rights of California and other states to impose their own net neutrality requirements. “Internet access is a utility – just like water and electricity. And every consumer has a right to access online content without interference or manipulation by their internet service provider. However, in repealing the net neutrality rules, the FCC ignored consumers’ strong support for a free and open internet,” said Attorney General Becerra. Joining Attorney General Becerra in filing the lawsuit were the Attorneys General of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. (Read more)
Attorney General Laxalt Joins 18-state Coalition Urging Federal energy Commission to Ensure Tax Savings are Passed on to Consumers

CWAG Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt Nevada joined a bipartisan coalition of 18 states in urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take action to ensure that public utility companies pass along recent tax savings to consumers. The savings arise from a recently enacted federal tax reform plan that, effective January 1, reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. As a result of this reform, public utilities now pay lower taxes than were anticipated when their regulated rates were set. “This letter urges FERC to act quickly to ensure that utility consumers can benefit as soon as possible from the recent federal tax reform plan,” said Attorney General Laxalt. In addition to Nevada, other states and advocates that participated in issuing this letter include: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. (Read more)