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Spring Meeting Focuses on State-Federal Relations
Forty-three Attorneys General convened in a snow-covered Washington, DC, March 2-4 to meet with federal officials and other stakeholders about stronger state-federal cooperation and to discuss pressing legal issues, including the credit card crisis among consumers and the safety of minors using social networking sites. It was all part of the annual NAAG Spring Meeting.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair and the new U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder served as keynote speakers. Holder addressed such topics of concern to state Attorneys General as preemption, the Adam Walsh Act, and crime and drug enforcement funds in the economic stimulus package.
“You have my personal commitment to building a genuine and open partnership with my colleagues in the states,” Holder said.
Bair described the current economic crisis, including the mortgage meltdown, and ways the Attorneys General could work with the federal government.
“…There’s a lot of anxiety and uncertainty out there, and some down-right fear. And people are looking to their government – regulators and law enforcement – for help and protection,” Bair said. “As a bank regulator, I see each and every state Attorneys General as an essential partner in answering the call.”
Bair continued, “These days, consumer protection is on everybody’s mind. A failure to promulgate and enforce stronger consumer protection rules applying to all mortgage lenders contributed significantly to this crisis. And unfortunately, in policing mortgage lending practices, instead of working together, federal and state officials were too often at odds. We must work together now.”
Other guest speakers discussed credit card debt in light of the economic downturn and offered policy considerations for the marketing and servicing of credit cards. Another panel delved into the use of social networking sites by children and the latest age/identity verification technology to improve safety.
Meeting attendees also received an update on recent Supreme Court cases and the Attorneys General met with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
The 2010 NAAG Spring Meeting is scheduled for March 1-3 in Washington, DC.
Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper, Jr. and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley converse with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
NAAG members and guests mingle during the Supreme Court Reception.
FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair with NAAG President and Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch
Former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore (left) greets U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder while NAAG Executive Director Jim McPherson (right) looks on.
Puerto Rico Attorney General Antonio Sagardia reviews the Spring Meeting agenda with his wife.