DAGA Download – July 19

July 19, 2019

Here is what happened last week for DAGA and our Democratic Attorneys General:

As part of a new law signed by Governor Tim Walz (MN), Attorney General Keith Ellison formed a new Wage Theft Unit in order to enforce the new law. “The promise of America is that if you work hard and play by the rules, you’ll get ahead. But you can’t get ahead if your boss is stealing your hard-earned wages,” said AG Ellison. In addition to this new unit, AG Ellison will be co-hosting roundtables and listening sessions over the next three days across the state of Minnesota. You can read more about this new unit in the Grand Forks Herald here!

As part of the Crosscut Festival, Washington State AG Bob Ferguson participated in a sit down interview with New York Times Magazine writer Emily Bazelon that was turned into a podcast episode for Crosscut Talks podcast. “In January 2017, Bob Ferguson became the first state attorney general to sue the Trump administration. That was in response to the president’s attempt to ban travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Since then, the Washington state attorney general has filed 40 additional lawsuits against the administration…So far, Ferguson’s office has won about half of those cases, and the Trump administration hasn’t won any.” Listen to the entire discussion here, which goes into what state Attorneys General do, AG Ferguson’s work in fighting back against the Trump administration and the work he’s doing on a local level.

In a Las Vegas Sun article Nevada AG Aaron Ford shared why he is taking action to protect the Affordable Care Act, including being a part of the Democratic AG coalition in court pushing back against the attacks from Republican AGs to dismantle the ACA. AG Ford said, “the federal government has abdicated its responsibility in this regard,” and that Nevada should assist in defending the ACA for “several reasons, and all of them are because of the effect that it would have on Nevadans.” You can read more about AG Ford’s decision to defend the ACA and health care for millions here!

As part of the ongoing investigation into Jeffrey Epstein, who has property in New Mexico, New Mexico AG Hector Balderas joined Rachel Maddow on MSNBC to discuss the matter further. “I can confirm that it involves individuals who were underage so that’s a major concern…and most importantly it’s a case of conduct that really needs a thorough accounting” AG Balderas told Rachel Maddow. “One thing that is very regrettable about this case is that there were multiple system failures…this was never really handled as a child abuse investigation as it should have,” AG Balderas continued. You can watch the full interview here!

According to a new report compiled by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner and Maine AG Aaron Frey, drug overdose deaths in Maine have dropped about 14% in the first quarter of 2019. However, according to AG Frey, there’s reason to still be worried. “The first quarter data shows that most deaths were caused by two or more drugs, and that cocaine-involved deaths have increased” AG Frey said. AG Frey further noted that combating drug deaths continues to be a priority of the Office of the Attorney General. You can read the full report here, read AG Frey’s full statement here and view the local news coverage here!


    This week the Department of Justice reached an agreement on language permanently blocking the citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census. New York AG Tish James, who was leading the case against the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, tweeted in response to the news, “Reason has finally prevailed & President Trump will no longer pursue a citizenship question on the #2020census. Our democracy depends on the census, and we hope that this action will at long last allow us to put this national nightmare behind us & ensure all people are counted.” You can read more about this victory by Democratic AGs here!
    The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro & New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal’s nationwide injunction regarding contraceptive care! The ruling means the Trump administration’s HHS rule that attempted to exempt employers from an ACA mandate requiring employers to offer contraceptive health care with no co-pay will not go into effect. After the decision, AG Shapiro said, “contraception is medicine- pure and simple. Today’s decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold my office’s nationwide injunction is a win for the women of this nation.” You can read more about this victory here!

During each Netroots Nation panel a cartoonist documents the hour long discussion. Here’s what DAGA’s panel with Minnesota AG Ellison, Delaware AG Jennings and Pennsylvania AG Shapiro looked like at the conclusion of our discussion: “Taking Trump To Court–AND WINNING: What It Means To Be (AG)GRESSIVE In The Fight To Protect Democracy.”

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