UPDATE #12: DEMOCRATIC ATTORNEYS GENERAL LEADERSHIP IN ADDRESSING COVID-19

May 30, 2020

Democratic AGs Taking Necessary Steps to Protect the People

As states across the country balance the loosening of stay-at-home orders with public safety concerns, Democratic AGs continue to lead the way on protecting and fighting for their communities.

Here is the latest from Democratic AGs:

PROTECTING FIRST RESPONDERS All 25 Democratic AGs joined a bipartisan effort urging Congress to pass the Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act (SAFR). The legislation would extend benefits to families of first responders who are harmed or killed due to the COVID-19 crisis. The bill would ensure that families of first responders who sustain a permanent disability or die as a result of COVID-19 receive the same federal benefits as if they were otherwise killed or injured in the line of duty. District of Columbia AG Karl Racine said, “the overwhelming bipartisan support from 52 Attorneys General speaks to our shared sense of obligation to honor these first responders and their families for their sacrifices.”

CALLING FOR INTERNET ACCESS FOR ALL As part of a bipartisan coalition, 23 Democratic AGs urged Congress to include funding to expand internet access in the next COVID-19 relief package. The coalition called for a national solution that would allow millions of people to participate in necessary activities including telemedicine, teleschooling, and telework during the crisis. Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul said, “The past few months have reinforced how critical it is to expand broadband access. Widespread and reliable internet access can facilitate business, educational opportunities, and medical care. We need to end the digital divide.”

FIGHTING PRICE GOUGING Even as states start to re-open, consumers are still facing price gouging concerns. Democratic AGs continue to take swift action when needed.

  • New York AG Tish James announced a lawsuit against a wholesale grocery distributor for price gouging related to disinfectant spray.
  • Michigan AG Dana Nessel announced this week that her office has received more than 4,200 price gouging complaints since early March. AG Nessel’s office continues to take action against those who are trying to exploit the pandemic.
  • North Carolina AG Josh Stein won a preliminary injunction to stop a towing company from improperly booting and towing trucks that were delivering essential supplies.

PROTECTING STIMULUS CHECKS As millions of workers wait to receive economic relief or “stimulus checks” that were part of the federal CARES Act, Democratic AGs across the country continue to urge consumers to remain vigilant against stimulus check related scams. Just this week, Nevada AG Aaron Ford advised nursing home residents and their families to be cautious of their stimulus checks being “improperly taken from them.” AG Ford said his office “has received concerning reports about nursing homes that may attempt to take stimulus checks from their residents. On many fronts, we’re actively working to protect our seniors, and any confiscation of stimulus payments should be reported to my office.”

The actions above are just a snapshot of the important work Dem AGs are doing to keep our families and communities safe. In addition to the highlights above, Dem AGs are:

  • Providing guidance to government agencies on how to address Open Meeting Acts & Sunshine Laws in this new environment;
  • Pushing large corporations to provide paid family leave;
  • Advocating for a pause in eviction proceedings;
  • Urging utility companies to postpone late payment fees and service shut-offs;
  • Fighting against hate crimes and discrimination against the Asian American and Pacific Islander populations;
  • Working with the courts and the criminal justice system to guarantee both justice and fairness through the courts during this emergency.

For more on Democratic AG leadership during this challenging time, check out the previous updates here:

And be sure to follow along on DAGA’s social media accounts linked here: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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