DAGA Download – May 14
May 14, 2021
ON THE TRAIL
VA ENDORSEMENT CENTER
Virginia AG Mark Herring was endorsed by 14 Virginia House Delegates. These delegates include Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and House Majority Leader Charniele Herring. AG Herring said, “Together we’ve done incredible work, and with four more years we’ll push for monumental reforms and continue to build on the progress we’ve made.” See the full list of delegates here.
Illinois AG Kwame Raoul is leading a coalition of 22 Democratic AGs in urging Congress to pass the Black Maternal Health “Momnibus” Act of 2021. This legislation aims to combat the high Black maternal mortality rate and would help increase access to maternal and perinatal care. The act is intended to decrease maternal mortality among Black mothers, who die at a rate three to four times higher than white mothers. Hawaii AG Clare Connors said, “The Black Maternal Health ‘Momnibus’ Act of 2021 seeks to address this health crisis by providing federal assistance to community-based health programs and front-line workers.” Read the full letter here.
A coalition of 44 Attorneys General signed a letter addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to scrap plans for an Instagram intended for younger users. The letter says, “Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms. The attorneys general have an interest in protecting our youngest citizens, and Facebook’s plans to create a platform where kids under the age of 13 are encouraged to share content online is contrary to that interest.” Watch DAGA Co-Chair Massachusetts AG Maura Healey talk about this effort below.
PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO VOTE
DAGA Co-Chair Nevada AG Aaron Ford, Minnesota AG Keith Ellison, Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro, and Michigan AG Dana Nessel held a press call with End Citizens United // Let America Vote, urging the passage of the For the People Act (H.1/S.1). On the call, AG Ellison called it “a critical piece of legislation.” Democratic AGs have consistently demonstrated their support for the For the People Act and are not stopping now. Read more about their joint effort here.
A coalition of 19 Democratic AGs filed comments with the EPA supporting the agency’s proposal to include “forever” chemicals in the fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5). In the letter, Democratic AGs say, “[the] States have a strong interest in ensuring that their residents have access to safe drinking water. Although numerous studies have shown that exposures to PFAS negatively affect human health, there is currently no national requirement that all public water systems test for and remove unsafe levels of PFAS in drinking water.”
FIGHTING FOR GUN SAFETY
Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro testified in-person before the Senate Judiciary Committee on ghost guns. In his testimony, AG Shapiro said that unassembled gun frames, known as 80% receivers, should qualify as firearms: “Put simply, 80 percent receivers are DIY, build-your-own gun kits.” AG Shapiro has been an ardent advocate for stronger gun restrictions. During his testimony, AG Shapiro also called for a rule that would determine that “stabilizing braces” attached to pistols effectively modify those weapons into short-barreled rifles, which are more strictly regulated. Watch part of his testimony here.
FIGHTING FOR ACCOUNTABILITY
New York AG Tish James won a major victory in one of her cases against the National Rifle Association (NRA). When the NRA filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to evade accountability in New York, AG James immediately sued. Now, a judge ruled in AG James’ favor and rejected the NRA’s attempt to claim bankruptcy and reorganize in Texas. AG James put it clearly: No one is above the law. Watch AG James on CNN below.
FIGHTING FOR TRANSPARENCY
- Delaware AG Kathy Jennings supports Delaware House Bill 195, which would make Delaware a national leader in equipping every police officer in state with a body-worn camera. While discussing the legislation, AG Jennings said statewide enactment of such a program has been a “top priority…[i]t’s taken nearly a year to do all the background work that was necessary, and to carry it forward to the point where the legislators who are the prime sponsors have introduced the bill today.” As AG Jennings put it: “Let’s get it done.”
- Maine AG Aaron Frey endorsed “providing more prompt access” to videos of incidents where police use deadly force. AG Frey stated his support during a public hearing about proposed changes to state law regarding police shootings.
FIGHTING FOR FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE
Rhode Island AG Peter Neronha is leading a bipartisan coalition of 39 Attorneys General in support of regulations for the use and disclosure of beneficial ownership information. In the letter, the 39 AGs said, “[w]e welcome ongoing conversation with the Secretary [of the Treasury] and FinCEN about the CTA and the regulations that will be codified to ensure that the database is ‘highly useful’ to our offices and those of other state, local, and tribal enforcers.
POST OF THE WEEK
On this week’s #WordWednesday, DAGA Co-Chair Nevada AG Aaron Ford joined Nevada Assemblywoman Selena Torres on TikTok to teach others about his role as Nevada’s Attorney General. Watch the full TikTok:
BONUS: AG Ford joined Assemblywoman Torres for a second time to bring awareness to his office’s consumer protection work. Watch the second TikTok here.