Recent news from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich shows his staff is busy working to proactively protect state residents and businesses.
His decision to join with a dozen other states to oppose a federal class-action settlement with Dial Corp. is an example. A judge is being asked to approve a deal that hands $4.4 million — 60 percent of the award — to private attorneys, while only $2.3 million will go to consumers subjected to false and deceptive claims about one of the company’s liquid hand-soap products.
Calling the proposed settlement “fatally imbalanced” and Dial’s proposed corrective action “essentially worthless,” Brnovich said he hopes the case results in “meaningful relief” for consumers.
Another proactive effort is the support the AG’s office has from the Arizona Bankers Association and 37 other states pushing passage of the SAFE Banking Act. This would give state-licensed marijuana businesses access to the federal banking system.
Currently 33 states have legalized some form of marijuana use, but the federal Controlled Substances Act still classifies marijuana as an illegal substance. Banks that provide financial services to Arizona’s licensed medical marijuana operators can be held civilly liable — even criminally prosecuted — under federal banking laws.
This forces marijuana businesses to operate on a cash basis, which Brnovich rightly points out poses public safety concerns and thwarts regulatory compliance efforts.
Brnovich and 41 other state attorneys general have also teamed to try and strengthen the Federal Communications Commission’s authority to combat illegal robocalls and spoofing.
Hundreds of Cochise County residents are impacted each year by scammers who don’t fear our poorly written and weakly enforced federal telecommunications laws. The proposal supported by Brnovich and 42 states would make it easier for federal and state authorities to hold these businesses and scammers accountable for their illegal actions.
Brnovich has also signed onto an antitrust lawsuit accusing 20 of the country’s drug manufacturers of conspiring to manipulate the prices of more than 100 generic drugs. The lawsuit names more than a dozen company executives for their efforts to limit competition and raise prices.
It is great to see the state’s top lawyer recognizing the issues that confront everyday consumers, and then doing something about it. We chastise our politicians when they serve special interests, but in these cases it’s clear the AG is working to protect the public.
Published first in the Herald/Review.