The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center, a CSG Associate, has issued holiday shopping tips for consumers. Through its Dangerous Fakes campaign, the center is issuing consumer alert tips to empower holiday shoppers to make smart decisions and avoid counterfeits. The center suggests 10 tips to avoid dangerous fakes.

The state of Pennsylvania is currently debating over whether the state should get out of the alcohol selling industry and privatize the sale of alcohol. While there are 17 states in the union that have some kind of state alcohol regulatory agency, only Utah and Pennsylvania exert total control over the sales. 

Two years ago, Congress passed, and the president signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law. A response to the financial meltdown in 2008, Dodd-Frank initiated one of the most significant restructurings of financial regulations since the Great Depression, and a great deal of the reforms hinged on states’ relationships and regulatory authority over financial institutions. Now, with the law in effect and the federal rule-making process well under way, some states are using their new authorities in unpredicted—and unprecedented—ways.

More and more frequently, state and territorial attorneys general are at the forefront of dealing with great issues of the day, from combating human trafficking to enforcing consumer protection and cyberspace laws. With each year, attorneys general face additional challenges and legal landscapes. In 2012, attorneys general are shining a light on modern day slavery, as well as continuing to fight financial fraud. Additionally, Election Day 2012 will bring at least five new state attorneys general and another five who are seeking re-election.

A settlement between U.S. states and the nation’s largest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses is a go as every state but one—Oklahoma—has signed on to the deal. The settlement is described by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as the “largest joint federal-state civil settlement in the history of this nation."  The settlement is between 49 state attorneys general, the Justice Department, the U.S. Department of Housing and five major banks. The exact value of the settlement is unclear, but could range from $26 billion to upwards of $39 billion. 

According to the National Retail Federation, eight in ten shoppers plan to give gift cards during the 2011 holiday season. Gift cards are regulated by federal and state laws.

Rates of foreclosure are at levels not seen the 1930s, and some communities in the Midwest have been particularly hard hit by a rise in the number of blighted properties. States are responding with new measures and investigations designed to help troubled communities and homeowners.

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has been soliciting support for Senate Bill 40. If passed, this bill will punish charities by stripping them of their tax-deductible status from donations to charities that spend less than 30 percent of their money, averaged over three years, on programs and services.

For example, Kroger wants to target charities operating in Oregon such as Shiloh International Ministries which raises $900,000 a year in donations but spends less than 4 percent on programs and services. The state would...

This Act limits how life insurers can deny a policy to someone or cancel or charge different rates to policy holders based upon the applicants‘ or policy holders‘ past or future travel to lawful destinations. It makes for exceptions when the insurers‘ decisions are based upon sound actuarial principles or reasonably anticipated experience.

In 2005, the Uniform Law Commissioners promulgated the Uniform Debt-Management Services Act (UDMSA). It provides the states with a comprehensive Act governing these services that will mean national administration of debt counseling and management in a fair and effective way. UDMSA may be divided into three basic parts: registration of services, service-debtor agreements, and enforcement.

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