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Attorneys General Spring Meeting: ‘State-Federal Partnership’ Theme Is the Message

Posted in Attorneys General

By Thurbert Baker

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) convened last week in Washington, DC for its annual Spring Meeting.

As a former Attorney General and president of NAAG, I know my fellow AGs really enjoy these gatherings. The informal setting provides a great opportunity to exchange experiences and to learn from one another. Camaraderie, a strong ethic of bipartisanship, information sharing, and working together make State AGs a unique community.

With State AGs playing increasingly important roles across the country in their states as well as on the national stage affecting federal and state and local public policy, this year’s event was appropriately titled “Opportunities and Challenges in State-Federal Relationships.” So it wasn’t surprising to see a number of top bill speakers at this year’s event, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and former Attorney General of the State of Ohio Richard Cordray, and FTC Commissioner Julie Brill.

Click here to watch video of the speakers’ presentations from the gathering.

By and large, the speakers who presented spoke a great deal about how their offices are actively working to partner with State AGs. This theme was pursued by CFPB Director Cordray regarding his agency’s ongoing efforts to reach out to AGs across the country. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan praised the work of the AGs for reaching a landmark settlement on National Mortgage Foreclosures. U.S. AG Holder, in his remarks, also reached out to AGs to voice his intent to face shared challenges across the country and to address issues of mutual concern.

With each of the presenters pursuing this theme of ‘State-Federal Partnership,’ the work of State Attorneys General is clearly a growth area in public policy, given the likelihood of extensive collaboration between federal agencies and State AGs.