Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Jan 01 2015

BobDear Friends,

At the Attorney General’s Office, we begin the New Year continuing our commitment to improve public safety, protect consumers, and promote ethics in government.  

In this issue, read about:

Thank you for following the work of the Attorney General’s Office as we serve the people of Washington.   

Go Hawks!


Bob Ferguson
Washington State Attorney General

Increasing the Legal Smoking Age from 18 to 21

Tobacco press conferenceProudly continuing Washington’s national leadership in the fight to prevent youth smoking, I have asked lawmakers to increase the legal smoking age from 18 to 21.  Tobacco use takes a devastating toll in our state, killing thousands of people and costing us billions of dollars each year.  The U.S. Surgeon General projects 100,000 of today’s youth in our state will die prematurely from smoking.  To break this cycle, more must be done to protect young people from the deadly grip of nicotine addiction.   If the Legislature approves my proposal, Washington will become the first state in the nation to increase the legal age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21. 


Attorney General wants to raise Washington smoking age to 21

Working for Victims of Human Trafficking

ReportWashington is a leader in the fight against human trafficking.  My office recently led the Statewide Coordinating Committee on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, which recently published its first report to the Legislature.

The committee recommends expanding support for existing task forces, doing more to educate people on the warning signs of human trafficking, improving data collection so we can better understand the problem, and, most importantly, redoubling our efforts to support victims.

You can read the recommendations here.  

Seattle Times

Editorial: Solutions for the sex trafficking crisis in Seattle, King County

The Olympian

South Sound sex trafficking can’t be ignored

Supporting the President's Executive Action on Immigration

sealI recently filed a “friend of the court” brief in support of the Obama administration’s recent executive action on immigration policy.  The president’s action benefits Washington and other states by improving public safety, keeping families together, and aiding our economy.

Our brief, joined by 11 other states and the District of Columbia, was filed in Texas v. United States, a case that challenges the president’s legal authority.  It argues that the Obama administration’s actions — enabling working families to participate more fully in American society, earn a fair, legal wage and pay their fair share of taxes — benefit the states by raising revenue and reducing demand for social services.  


Hearing on states' suit against Obama immigration plan to begin in U.S. court


12 states back Obama on immigration


Attorney General Request Legislation

BotsOur proposals to the Legislature this year include a bill to protect consumers from "ticket bots" that unfairly drive up the price of event tickets, and a new government ethics law to address the “revolving door” issue when state officials leave public service to become lobbyists.

SB 5456, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Olympia, and HB 1091, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Olympia, ban the use of ticket bots that harm consumers and theaters. It gives my office authority under the Consumer Protection Act to investigate and sue anyone using ticket bots. 

HB 1136, sponsored by Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Olympia, requires certain state officials to wait one year between holding a state job and working as a lobbyist on state issues.


'Ticket bots' target of proposed state law


VIDEO: New bill to crack down on scalpers who use bots

The Olympian

From state job to lobbying gig? Officials want ‘cooling-off’ year first

Bellingham Herald

Lobbying proposals would provide more accountability

Find your Legislator here

Medicaid Fraudsters Facing Lawsuit

I filed a lawsuit against a Wenatchee-based company that we believe made millions of dollars providing fake Medicaid trainings to schools around the state. An investigation found that the company, JT Educational Consultants, netted $12.6 million in consulting fees from school districts by gaming a system meant to help Medicaid-eligible students and their families learn about available resources.

Details can be found in our news release.  Our lawsuit, on behalf of the state, seeks return of the ill-gotten funds and substantial civil penalties for the false Medicaid claims.

Seattle Times

Medicaid lawsuit targets school consultants

The Wenatchee World

Lawsuit: Consultants gamed a complex system

Millions for Consumers from T-Mobile and Sirius Agreements

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I was proud to announce two multi-state agreements that put money back in the pockets of consumers nationwide. Washington had a lead role in negotiating agreements with T-Mobile over unauthorized charges and Sirius XM satellite radio for misleading advertising and billing.

Find out if you’re eligible for restitution from these cases at www.t-mobilerefund.com and www.siriusxm.com/settlementprogram.


T-Mobile to Pay $90 Million to Settle Cramming Case

Seattle PI

Sirius XM Radio to pay $3.8 million and provide refunds to settle charges of misleading advertising, billing


Ferguson File