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PSA: Public officials & the upcoming election

For all public employees and government officials:

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, State Auditor John Dougall, and Attorney General Sean D. Reyes remind you how to keep your role as a public official separate from your political convictions as a private citizen headed into this year’s General Election. 

Read the letter here: Letter from Lt. Governor, Attorney General, & State Auditor

 

 

 


U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions praises members of Utah law enforcement

Utah had the privilege to host U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he praised members of Utah law enforcement for reducing crime by 8% in 2017 as compared to the previous year. The decrease came from a nationwide effort, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative by the US Department of Justice to reduce gun violence in the US. Launched in 2001 under President George W. Bush, the program has been revitalized and re-launched under the Trump Administration spearheaded by Sessions. The project involves partnerships designed to develop and implement strategies to reduce violence in communities. 

“This is no small feat,” commented U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber, who opened the commemoration event that included Governor Gary Herbert, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, and hundreds of law enforcement members from across the state. 

Utah rates for violent crimes climbed at a higher rate than the national average for the previous two years. That was the main reason U.S. Attorney Huber chose to partner with U.S. AG Sessions on helping to launch a new, revitalized Project Safe Neighborhood program and focus in Utah. “Enough is enough,” stated Huber. 

“From day one I plainly stated our goals were to reduce crime, reduce homicides, reduce opioid prescriptions, and reduce overdose deaths. I am proud to say that there are signs that we are already achieving all of these goals.” – U.S. Attorney General Sessions

Due to the outstanding success of PSN across the nation, the Department of Justice is awarding $30 million in grants to various districts in American. That includes $262,200 for continued efforts in the state of Utah.

“Our goal is not to fill up the courts or fill up the prisons.  Our goal is to reduce crime…to make every community safer—especially the most vulnerable.” – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

You can read U.S. Attorney General Sessions’ full speech here

You can watch the entire event here: 

 


Better Days 2020 unveils new license plate, AG Reyes applauds their efforts

Did you know?

Utah was the first place where women could vote in the modern nation and helped lead the nation in advocating for women’s right. 

Better Days 2020, a Utahn non-profit, is dedicated to making sure that message is known state-wide. Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, a member of their Advisory Board, took time to celebrate all that they’ve done and will continue to do for Utah. 

“What I love about Better Days…is they are about just reminding us of our history and letting young women today and senior women just have their chance to show what they can do.”
– Attorney General Reyes

Better Days 2020 has a comprehensive plan to raise awareness and advocate for women in civic leadership roles within the state of Utah. This last legislative session, they helped pass a bill to move the statue of Martha Hughes Cannon to the U.S. Capitol building as one of two representative statues for the state. This fall they introduced a curriculum for 4th-7th graders to introduce them to Utah’s role in woman’s suffrage. 

Today they unveiled a new Women’s Suffrage Recognition plate now available from the Utah DMV.

“What better way to get the message out than on the back of a car…and take that message across state lines?”  – Neylan McBaine, Better Days 2020 CEO

Watch the whole press conference below: 


Media Release: AG Reyes brings Utah opioid solutions to the White House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2018

 

UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL BRINGS STATE OPIOID SOLUTIONS TO THE WHITE HOUSE
Policymakers from 40 states and territories gather at the nation’s capitol to discuss best practices in fighting the opioids epidemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes was featured alongside federal leaders to sound an alarm and share tools for combating the opioid epidemic. The conference was hosted by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to foster collaboration and discuss best practices in addressing the opioid crisis in neighborhoods, communities, and states. Officials from over forty states, territories and tribes attended the conference.

Attorney General Reyes highlighted what Utah does right – specifically, mobilizing a diverse and talented network of professionals including legislators, state officials, federal partners, educators, religious groups, civic groups, and concerned citizens. “It takes everyone,” said Reyes.  “This is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. This is a humanitarian issue. Too many have died in Utah and in America. This is a clear and present danger. This epidemic kills people of every single background. Because of that we need everyone to work together.”

In addition to Attorney General Reyes, the panel included Jim Carroll, the Deputy Director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at Health and Human Services, Anne Hazlett, Assistant Secretary for Rural Development at the United States Department of Agriculture, John Martin, Assistant Administrator for Diversion at the Drug Enforcement Agency, and Andrew Bremberg, Assistant to the President & Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Scott W. Reed, Assistant Attorney General at the forefront of Utah’s opioid battle said, “One of the most important components of recovering from addiction is keeping connected to a supportive community. Likewise, today’s White House summit helps keep federal partners and federal dollars connected to the state and local folks who are in the trenches, working every day to reduce the tragic effects of the opioid crisis. We are grateful to the president and his staff for the opportunity to maintain and strengthen these connections.”

Utah Attorney General Reyes was the single state leader on the panel of federal experts chosen by the Trump Administration to discuss the comprehensive efforts taken in the fight against the opioid crisis.  Those federal efforts include the following:

1) $930 million in State Opioid Response Grants from the Office of Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support community-driven solutions.

2) First Lady Melania Trump’s “Be Best” initiative, which has focused on the issues children affected by the crisis face, particularly neonatal concerns and the importance of educating parents on healthy pregnancies.

3) The Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) collaborative efforts with state, local, private sector, and non-profits agencies through the prevention program Drug Take Back Day.

4) The ONDCP, Ad Council, and Trump Administration’s partnership for the Youth Opioid Prevention Ad Campaign.

# # #

 

NOTES:

1. The livestream of the public portion of the conference is archived here.

2. You can access more information on today’s conference on the Utah AG’s website here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wh-opioid-conference/

 

 


AG Reyes leads White House discussion, highlights Utah solutions at Opioids Conference

Today, Attorney General Sean D. Reyes helped lead a discussion with leaders from over forty federal, state, local, and tribal organizations, on the value of partnerships and other tools in combating the opioids crisis in America. You can read the official media release here.  Shout out to the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs staff for hosting a very informative, classy, consequential event.

Let’s save some lives.   

LIVE STREAM

Event begins at the 29-minute mark.

Here is the breakdown of comments made in the opening forum (the smaller breakout sessions afterward were not live-streamed).  One of the highlights of the discussion – in our humble opinion – was when AG Reyes highlighted the powerful Utah partnerships that make fighting the opioids crisis a winnable effort. 

Welcome and Introduction from Doug Hoelscher
Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President of the United States
Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Panel Discussion Introduction by Katie Talento
Sean Reyes, Utah Attorney General
Jim Carroll, Deputy Director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
Anne Hazlett, Assistant Secretary for Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture
Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health, Health and Human Services
Sean Reyes, Utah Attorney General, Follow-up comments
Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health, Follow-up comments

If you would like to get involved in the fight to free your family and community from the opioid epidemic, please contact our office


TWITTER SNAPSHOTS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A FEW HELPFUL LINKS


In related news, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the Support for Patients and Communities Act while we were meeting today. You can read up on the bill here. Another step in the right direction.

We can win this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Uber to pay $148 million in multi-state settlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2018

 

UBER AGREES TO PAY $148 MILLION IN MULTI-STATE SETTLEMENT
Uber agrees to strengthen security practices after data breach

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Attorney General Sean Reyes and Utah Department of Commerce Executive Director Francine Giani jointly announced that Utah would receive nearly $900,000 from Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) in a settlement agreement over a one-year delay in reporting a data breach to affected drivers. Uber will pay Utah, the other 49 states, and the District of Columbia a total of $148 million in addition to strengthening its corporate governance and data security practices to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Uber learned in November 2016 that hackers gained access to personal information involving the ride-sharer’s drivers, including drivers’ license information.  The data breach involved approximately 600,000 drivers nationwide, about 2,500 from Utah. Uber tracked down the hackers and obtained assurances that the hackers deleted the information. Utah’s law requires Uber to notify affected Utah residents, but Uber failed to report the breach until November 2017.

Attorney General Reyes stated, “I’m a fan of Uber, but that doesn’t keep us from doing our job. Protecting Utahns, their data, and identities is one of the top priorities of my office. Working with the Utah Department of Commerce and colleagues from other states, we were able to achieve a fair resolution without protracted litigation.” Deputy Attorney General David Sonnenreich added, “prompt reporting of data breaches is important so that victims have the information they need to better protect themselves from identity theft.” 

“Sadly data breaches have become a constant headline in our highly connected lives,” said Francine Giani, Executive Director for the Utah Department of Commerce. “We hope Uber’s case sends a message to the business community to be swift in alerting the public when consumer information is compromised.  The Department of Commerce is grateful for the partnership with the Attorney Generals’ Office in settling Utah’s claim.”

The settlement requires Uber to: 1) comply with Utah data breach and consumer protection law about Utah residents’ personal information and notifications in the event of a data breach; 2) take precautions to protect any user data Uber stores on third-party platforms outside of Uber; 3) use strong password policies for its employees to gain access to the Uber network; 4) develop and implement a strong data security policy for all data that Uber collects about its users, assess potential risks to the security of the data, and implement additional security measures beyond what Uber is doing to protect the data; 5) hire an outside qualified party to assess Uber’s data security efforts on a regular basis and draft a report with recommended security improvements, and 6) develop and implement a corporate integrity program to ensure that ethics concerns brought by Uber employees about other employees will be heard.

Utah joins the other 49 states and the District of Columbia in this multistate agreement with Uber.

# # #

NOTES:

  1. You can find a copy of the Complaint, Proposed Judgment, and additional court documents here:
    https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018-09-26-Uber-Complaint-Utah.pdf
    https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018-09-26-Uber-Summons-Utah.pdf
    https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018-09-26-Uber-Acceptance-of-Service-Stratford-Utah.pdf
    https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018-09-26-Uber-UTAH-Proposed-Judgment.pdf

 

Photo by Antonio DiCaterina


Dept. of Justice hosts discussion on tech companies with state AGs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2018

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL SEAN D. REYES JOINS U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DISCUSS TECH COMPANIES
State attorneys general share consumer protection concerns on tech company platforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, eight other state attorneys general, and representatives from five state attorneys general offices at the Department of Justice to discuss competition, free exchange of ideas, and consumer protection surrounding tech company platforms.

AG Reyes shared the following statement after the meeting concluded:

Today’s meeting was part of a critical, ongoing dialogue on protecting consumers and competition in the technology sector without unnecessarily burdening innovation or investment. State AGs have grappled with these issues for years. Having a federal perspective was welcome. The meeting was bipartisan. It was productive. We compared notes with our federal partners about a range of issues including cybersecurity, privacy, data gathering, and monetization of personal information by members of the tech community.

We shared ideas and concerns about the impact of dominant market players on competition and how they may be unfairly leveraging their position for competitive advantage. We agreed that at the federal and state level, we are both seeking robust protection of consumers and markets through responsible regulation and disciplined enforcement.

Utah is a rapidly expanding innovation hub. As such, consumer protection, privacy, and a level playing field in the tech ecosystem are of utmost concern to me and the Utah AG Office. I want to thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his team at the U.S. Department of Justice for inviting us to collaborate in addressing issues crucial to the future of our nation.

Utah joined attorneys general from Alabama, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia, as well as representatives from the Office of the Attorney General in Arkansas, Arizona, Missouri, Texas, and Washington.

# # #  

Photo by Marvin Meyer


UTIP conference focuses on victim aftermath

Local and national experts shared with over 300 people during the 2018 Utah Trafficking in Persons Conference held Monday, September 10th. Among the attendees this year were service providers, law enforcement officers, collaborative partners, prosecutors, court staff, trafficking survivors, community members, and many others.

This year the conference focused on recognizing and using protective factors for victims in the aftermath of trafficking as well as address common complications with human trafficking cases. The conference hosted several experts from law enforcement, the medical field, behavioral health, and more to address best practices in Utah that benefit every field or specialized interest.

“The people on the panel were great, spoke the truth about issues and shared deeply felt feelings with us. Having survivor’s voices at the table is so needed. Good job!!” – Attendee comment

Poetry, art exhibits, and live presentations by trafficking survivors gave the audience a clear understanding of why outreach, case management, treatment, and long-term self-sufficiency services are critical for those who’ve been exploited in our communities. 

“I really like the honesty from Dr. Halleh [Seddighzadeh] when she said that healing is messy (meaning the road can be rough, but progress is progress) and we have a lot of work to do to help survivors and victims feel safe!” – Attendee comment

AG Reyes welcomed the attendees and their hard work in the fight against human trafficking in Utah with the following sentiments: 

Good4Utah was on site to cover the event. You can watch and read more here: Conference helps support victims of human trafficking in Utah

Photo: Youth human trafficking survivor, Sol, shares her story at the 2018 UTIP Conference.


National Hispanic Heritage Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2018

 

UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL SEAN D. REYES OBSERVES NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

SALT LAKE CITY – In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept 15th-Oct 15th, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes stated the following: 

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month. Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law Hispanic Heritage Week to recognize the American Hispanic community. Twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan expanded the commemorative week into a month stating, “We have all been enriched by the contributions of Hispanics in every walk of American life.”

Across the nation, Hispanics play a significant role in our communities as veterans, educators, medical professionals, first responders, business leaders, athletes, entertainers, elected officials, and so much more. It is important to recognize the values and traditions of the Hispanic community and how they reflect the best of America and, equally, how America is at its best because of Hispanic values and contributions. I am grateful to be both American and Hispanic. And I am proud of our role as a community in making America one of the most prosperous and diverse nations in the world.

This month, as we recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month, I encourage each of us to more fully celebrate and reflect upon the ways Hispanics have helped strengthen our country and enrich the lives of the American people. 

# # #

Photo by Tim Mossholder


AG Reyes Urges Congress to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2018

 

UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL SEAN D. REYES URGES CONGRESS TO SUPPORT FUNDING UNDER VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT
AG Reyes joins bipartisan group to keep protections in place for victims

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes today joined 55 other state and territory attorneys general to urge Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

The attorneys general sent a letter earlier today to congressional leaders and the chairs of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, urging lawmakers to vote to reauthorize VAWA before it expires this year.

“The Violence Against Women Act has been vital in reducing the rates of domestic violence, raising awareness, and changing perceptions of abuse throughout our society. VAWA provides much-needed protections and services for women who have suffered at the hand of their abusers,” said Attorney General Reyes. “However, we still have much to accomplish to properly protect women in society. Sadly, one in three women will still experience rape, physical violence, or stalking in her lifetime. That is unacceptable. Reauthorization of this Act is essential to creating definitive and lasting change.”

Under VAWA, originally passed in 1994, over $6 billion in grant funding has been awarded to government and nonprofit organizations nationwide. The grants have funded training and assistance to address and reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The grants have also funded resources and services to assist survivors, prosecute offenders and facilitate partnerships between prosecutors, judges, advocates, community organizations and health care providers.

In their letter, the attorneys general emphasized the importance of VAWA in reducing the rate of sexual violence toward women and addressing the devastating effects of these crimes. They urged Congress to continue funding for programs that have helped millions of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.

Joining Utah, Florida, and Illinois in submitting the letter were the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, N. Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

# # #

NOTES:

  1. You can find a copy of the joint letter here: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Letter-to-Congress-VAWA-Letter.pdf.

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