UPDATE #4: DEMOCRATIC ATTORNEYS GENERAL LEADERSHIP IN ADDRESSING COVID-19
April 3, 2020
Democratic AGs Taking Necessary Steps to Protect the People
As millions of Americans face health and fiscal challenges related to COVID-19 and many communities struggle to address testing needs and a lack of protective equipment for medical professionals and others on the front lines, Democratic AGs continue to fight for their communities.
Last week, DAGA circulated an updated memo highlighting Democratic AG leadership during this time of crisis.
Here are some key updates on how Democratic AGs are fighting for the people in their states:
STIMULUS SCAM ALERT
Before the federal stimulus bill was even signed into law, reports of scams related to stimulus checks started popping up around the country. These scams attempt to take advantage of vulnerable individuals dealing with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 crisis. Democratic AGs across the country swiftly issued scam alerts related to the federal stimulus bill, warning individuals of these misleading schemes that are attempting to take advantage of the crisis. Check out this video DAGA put out highlighting the work Dem AGs are doing to protect Main St. consumers.
PRESS PAUSE ON ALL FEDERAL RULEMAKING
A coalition of 18 Democratic AGs called on the Trump administration to pause all federal rulemaking not related to the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the federal government is focused on protecting the lives of millions of people across the country and working together to overcome the COVID-19 global pandemic. In the letter, the Dem AGs stress that the crisis deserves our country’s full attention.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM RELIEF
As states try to grapple with the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, Democratic AGs from coast-to-coast are working on solutions to reduce the dangers of spreading the virus while ensuring that the public remains safe.
- Hawai’i AG Clare Connors is helping to coordinate a statewide effort to identify certain inmates (like some non-violent, low level offenders) for release in order to reduce the danger of COVID-19 spreading throughout the jail system.
- District of Columbia AG Karl Racine wrote in a joint op-ed for Salon that action must be taken to protect the people currently in our criminal justice system. The op-ed reads, “No one wins when we discourage people from seeking the testing and treatment that they need to battle this pandemic.”
PROTECTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS
Democratic AGs across the country continue to advocate for the people of their state, especially for the most vulnerable communities and at-risk populations.
- Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul is making sure victims and survivors of domestic abuse are able to continue to access the resources they need. Domestic abuse shelters will remain open and victim service providers will continue to provide services while still meeting the changing safety needs of their community.
- New York AG Tish James recently highlighted the resources available in New York state to victims of domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Connecticut AG William Tong is providing video updates to connect Connecticut residents to critical resources. This week focused on resources available to victims of domestic violence and abuse.
- Michigan AG Dana Nessel hosted a Q & A to answer questions about Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay-At-Home order.
- North Carolina AG Josh Stein started “Story Time with Stein” – a video series where AG Stein reads a different children’s book.
- Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro announced the “#PACAREPackage” – an initiative focused on securing additional consumer relief for Pennsylvanians impacted by COVID-19.
- Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul urged Wisconsinites to stay home and practice social distancing and offered ways for people to help protect workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.
The actions above are just a snapshot of the incredible 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:
- March 27: UPDATE #3: DEMOCRATIC ATTORNEYS GENERAL LEADERSHIP IN ADDRESSING COVID-19
- March 20: UPDATES: DEMOCRATIC ATTORNEYS GENERAL LEADERSHIP IN ADDRESSING COVID-19
- March 13: DEMOCRATIC ATTORNEYS GENERAL SHOWING LEADERSHIP IN ADDRESSING COVID-19