Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
June 6, 2019
HOT TOPICS
Articles on topics relevant to the work of Attorneys General around the nation.
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OPIOID CRISIS
The Wall Street Journal
CWAG ANNUAL MEETING SANTA BARBARA
The CWAG Annual Meeting
June 17 - 20, 2019
Santa Barbara, CA

The Conference of Western Attorneys General, New Mexico Attorney General and CWAG Chair Hector Balderas, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra look forward to seeing our registered attendees at the CWAG 2019 Annual Meeting in Santa Barbara, California this June 17 to 20, 2019. While the meeting itself is now sold out, we are excited to announce that some of our sessions will be live streamed throughout the conference. As always, the full conference will be available for complimentary viewing on the CWAG website 2 weeks after the close of the event, and most sessions will be available for CLE credit via our partnership with West LegalEdCenter after the event as well. 

Our draft agenda is now available below, we will see you soon!
SPORTS BETTING
Legalized Sports Betting is Paying Off
The Hill
June 1, 2019

A year ago, New Jersey’s fight to overturn the failed federal ban on sports betting was vindicated by the Supreme Court, with the justices deeming the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional. After 25 years of federal inaction and rampant illegal sports betting, it took states just a year to demonstrate why Congress never should have taken away state lawmakers’ freedom to regulate the activity as they and their constituents see fit.

Please see the attached MSJ order that was issued from the federal judge in New Hampshire. It sets aside the 2018 Wire Act opinion and reverts back to the 2011 opinion that says the Wire Act is limited to sports betting.
We look forward to further discussing this issue in the Online Sports Betting panel at the CWAG Annual Meeting.
ANNUAL MEETING PANEL
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
11:15am – 12:00pm    
Online Sports Betting
Moderator: Alan Wilson, South Carolina Attorney General
     
  • Brian Kane, Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General, Idaho Attorney General’s Office
  • Stanton Dodge, Chief Legal Officer, DraftKings
  • Chris Cylke, Vice President, Government Affairs, American Gaming Association
  • John Pappas, Public Affairs, Geocomply
 
Panel Overview: 
In the aftermath of DOJ’s release of its updated opinion on the application of the Wire Act of 1961 (18 U.S.C. §1084) in January, states and the gaming industry are continuing to weigh its potential impact. Reversing the government’s 2011 position, the recent opinion re-interprets the Wire Act’s prohibitions to apply to any form of gambling that satisfies the statute’s interstate commerce requirements—not just online sports betting. This decision effects industrywide systems and practices founded on long-held understandings and precedent limiting the statute’s application to sports wagering. Additionally, this decision potentially imperils state-operated lotteries, along with online gaming, intrastate gambling, and brick-and-mortar casinos. It may also reach interstate lottery games such as Powerball: on the face of DOJ opinion, many purely intrastate state lotteries and interactive gaming devices (progressive slot games, etc.) located throughout the country that use the Internet to transmit data in support of their operations could suddenly be deemed illegal by DOJ. This panel will explore the impact of this opinion on States and industries and the future of gaming and fantasy sports. 
CANNABIS
Three Years into Legal Cannabis and California Still Doesn't Have a Reliable Test for Driving While High
The OC Register
May 31, 2019

Nearly three years after California voters approved a cannabis legalization bill that promised, among other things, to clarify the issue of driving while high, researchers and law enforcement have few concrete answers about a potentially deadly problem. Experts at UC Irvine discuss challenges, possible solutions.

The Center for Medical Cannabis Research at UC San Diego is “weeks” away from releasing findings of a three-year, state-funded study into effective roadside tests for marijuana impairment. Also, some law enforcement agencies are starting to track data on cannabis and driving. And legislation is pending from State Sen. Pat Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, that would require testing for cannabis in all fatal crashes.
We look forward to further discussing this issue on the Perspectives on Regulatory Trends in Medical Cannabis, Delivery and Roadside Impairment panel at the CWAG Annual Meeting.
ANNUAL MEETING PANEL
Wednesday, June 19th, 2019
2:45pm – 3:45pm
Perspectives on Regulatory Trends in Medical Cannabis, Delivery and Roadside Impairment
Moderator: Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon Attorney General

  • Andrew Smith, Senior Vice President of External Affairs, Surterra Wellness
  • Peter Gigante, Head of Policy Research, Eaze
  • Erin Holmes, Director of Traffic Safety, Responsibility.org
  • Kenneth Stecker, Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor, Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan

Panel Overview:
New public research and opinion polls are being conducted on attitudes towards many aspects of marijuana use. Recent polls (Gallup, Pew Research, Quinnipiac, CBS News, PSB Research, Hill-HarrisX) indicate voters in the majority of U.S. States support medical and adult use marijuana. This panel will discuss current research, opinions expressed in focus groups and with the public, and similarities and differences with past research, as well as regulatory challenges for the legal medical and adult use marijuana industries.
Additionally, with reports of drugged driving in many states on the rise, law enforcement officers need an effective tool to assist in making these determinations during a traffic stop. After experiencing a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs, Michigan State Police developed a one-year fluid roadside drug testing pilot program. The pilot program results will be discussed, as will resulting policies established for the administration of roadside drug testing.
FEDERAL & STATE ENFORCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS
FDA Confirms PFAS Chemicals Are in the US Food Supply
CNN
June 3, 2019

The US Food and Drug Administration confirmed that PFAS chemicals have made their way into the US food supply. On Monday, the FDA publicly acknowledged the initial findings of the agency's investigation into how the "forever chemicals" have been detected in the foods we eat.

PFAS is a family of nearly 5,000 synthetic chemicals that are extremely persistent in the environment and in our bodies. PFAS is short for perfluoroalky and polyfluoroalkyl substances and includes chemicals known as PFOS, PFOA and GenX, sometimes called forever chemicals. These chemicals all share signature elemental bonds of fluorine and carbon, which are extremely strong and difficult to break down in the environment or in our bodies.
We look forward to further discussing this issue on the Foundation of Federal Environmental Law panel at the CWAG Annual Meeting (agenda link below for reference.)
ANNUAL MEETING PANEL
Wednesday, June 19th, 2019
11:00am - 11:45am
The Foundation of Federal Environmental Law
Moderator: Kevin Clarkson, Alaska Attorney General

  • Clive Strong, CWAG Environment and Natural Resources Legal Director
  • Bill Jackson, Partner, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
  • Linda Kelly, Senior Vice President, Legal, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, National Association of Manufacturers
  • Allison Wisk Starmann, Deputy General Counsel & Assistant Corporate Secretary, American Chemistry Council

Panel Overview:
When Congress enacted the Clean Air Act in 1970 it established a framework in which the
federal government and the states are to cooperate in the protection of health, environment and natural resources. This Cooperative Federalism framework was carried forward into the Clean Water Act and numerous other environmental laws adopted throughout the 1970s. Despite the Congressional directive to federal agencies to cooperate with states in the implementation of the environmental laws, changes in federal administrations has resulted in innumerable shifts in agency policy regarding the role of states in enforcement of federal environmental laws. This panel will explore the existing state/federal relationship, obstacles and opportunities for cooperative relationships between federal, state and private partners in environmental enforcement, and suggest ways to improve communication in those relationships.
CONSUMER PROTECTION
Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Reminds Job Seekers to be on the Lookout for Possible Employment Scams 
June 5, 2019

As the school year ends and graduations take place, many Arizonans will be looking for quick employment, some for the first time. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office wants to remind those looking for employment to be on the lookout for possible employment scams. Scam artists are finding new ways or creating twists on old scams to take advantage of those looking to earn money. From fake employment posts to mystery shopper scams, everyone needs to be cautious.
NEVADA PUBLIC SAFETY BILL
Nevada Attorney General Ford’s Landmark Public Safety Bill Package Signed Into Law
June 4, 2019

Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford commended the signing of multiple bills that combat fraud and domestic violence. Assembly Bill (AB) 15 updates Nevada’s anti-money laundering statute. It also criminalizes creating false court documents for the purpose of defrauding or harassing someone. AB41 and AB60 address many facets of preventing and prosecuting domestic violence. Each bill passed through the Legislature with strong, bipartisan support.
DATA SECURITY
Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Announces Settlement in First-Ever Multistate HIPAA-Related Data Breach Lawsuit
June 4, 2019

Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a settlement with healthcare software providers Medical Informatics Engineering Inc. and NoMoreClipboard, LLC (collectively, “MIE”). The settlement resolves a bipartisan lawsuit filed by Arizona and 15 other states against MIE relating to a 2015 data breach, which was the first such multistate lawsuit involving claims under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). As a result of the settlement, MIE will pay $900,000 to the states, and it has agreed to a comprehensive injunction requiring the implementation of significant data-security improvements.

Arizona was joined in its case and settlement by the states of Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Michigan Attorney Genera Nessel Demands Data Breach Information
June 5, 2019

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced she will issue letters to three companies demanding information about a data breach affecting 12 million people around the country. The number of Michigan residents who may be affected is not known at this time.
COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING
California Attorney General Becerra Announces Arrest of Naasón Joaquín García, Leader of Religious Organization La Luz Del Mundo, in Major Sex Trafficking Case
June 4, 2019

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the arrest and filing of charges against Naasón Joaquín García (Joaquín García) and his co-defendants for alleged human trafficking, production of child pornography, forcible rape of a minor, and other felonies. Joaquín García and his co-defendants allegedly committed these crimes between 2015 and 2018 while leading La Luz Del Mundo, an international religious organization headquartered in Mexico with reportedly over one million followers worldwide.
OPIOID CRISIS
Hawaii Attorney General Connors Sues Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors
June 3, 2019

Attorney General Clare E. Connors filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma, its related entities, and certain key executives, as well as against other opioid manufacturers and distributors Malinkrodt PLC, Endo Health Solutions, Inc., Actavis PLC, McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, and their related entities seeking damages and penalties for alleged violations of Hawaii’s Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices Law. 
California Attorney General Becerra Sues Opioid Manufacturer Purdue Pharma for Its Illegal Practices and Role in the Opioid Crisis
June 3, 2019

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that California is suing Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue Pharma Inc. (Purdue), certain of its affiliates, and Dr. Richard S. Sackler, former President and board member of Purdue, for unlawful practices in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids. The lawsuit alleges that Purdue’s illegal and misleading marketing and sales practices played a major role in contributing to the nationwide opioid crisis. It further alleges that Purdue created a public nuisance through its marketing and sale of opioids and misled healthcare professionals and patients about the addictive nature of opioids and their potential for abuse and diversion.
E CIG/VAPING
Massachusetts Attorney General Healey Sues National E-cigarette Retailer Eonsmoke for Marketing and Selling Nicotine Vaping Products to Minors
May 30, 2019

Attorney General Maura Healey has filed a lawsuit against Eonsmoke LLC, a national retailer of e-cigarette and vaping products that markets its products as “JUUL-compatible,” for violating Massachusetts laws regulating the sale and advertisement of tobacco products. This is the first lawsuit AG Healey has filed since announcing her office’s investigation into the e-cigarette industry in July 2018.
STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS
Michigan Attorney General Nessel Joins Coalition of 52 Attorneys General Seeking Automatic Forgiveness of Student Loans for Totally and Permanently Disabled Veterans
June 3, 2019

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 51 other attorneys general in a letter to the Secretary of Education urging the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to automatically forgive federal student loans of veterans who have become totally and permanently disabled as a result of their service.         

Nessel joins attorneys general of Alaska, Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 
CONGRATULATIONS
Nevada Attorney General Ford Announces Appointment of First Assistant Attorney General Kyle George
June 4, 2019

Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced the appointment of Kyle George as the new First Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Nevada Attorney General, effective immediately. In this role, George will serve as a top legal advisor to AG Ford, leading divisions responsible for agency representation. Former First Assistant Caroline Bateman has been appointed as general counsel to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

George joined the office in January 2019 as the Special Assistant Attorney General and Counsel for Prosecuting Attorneys. In this role, he served as the liaison between the Attorney General’s Office and law enforcement agencies statewide, contributed to shaping office policies, communicated and coordinated with prosecutors statewide, and served on the office’s legislative team. Prior to joining the office, George worked as the Chief Deputy District Attorney in Mineral County while also maintaining a private practice. He previously served as counsel and policy advisory to Congressional Members.
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