Wednesday, June 20, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / Community

Citizen's Alert

Benefits, Meetings, Protests, Forums and Public Meetings

Political Watch 6/14/18

• Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers reached a $200 billion budget agreement on June 8, which Brown's office stated "makes record investments in schools and universities, creates the state's first online community college, fully fills the Rainy Day Fund, boosts child care, and combats homelessness and poverty." "After detailed discussions, California is on the verge of having another on-time, balanced budget," Gov. Brown stated. "From a $27 billion deficit in 2011, the state now enjoys a healthy surplus and a solid Rainy Day Fund."

• Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Kamala Harris (D-California) sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) on June 4, calling for an increase in funding for specialty crop research in the 2018 Farm Bill. "As you know, this program identifies and funds important research for the specialty crop industry's phytosanitary and production issues, and is critical for ensuring that our producers are protected from diseases, pests, and other food production challenges," the letter stated. "This initiative is currently authorized at $80 million annually, with $25 million in dedicated funding for citrus health research. Unfortunately, the program is already incredibly over-subscribed, with only 10 percent of the submitted projects receiving funding. Limited funding makes it difficult to get ahead of the issues facing the industry, such as strengthening crop characteristics, improving production efficiency, combating pests and disease that can decimate crops, and food safety." The letter was also signed by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Bill Nelson (D-Florida), and Marco Rubio (R-Florida).

• Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on June 8, voicing his support for the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary nomination process. Ross oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which grants the marine sanctuary designation, and the Chumash Heritage site was first added to the NOAA's nomination process in 2015. "Marine sanctuaries play an essential role in protecting California's sensitive marine and coastal areas from further oil and gas development," Carbajal stated. "The protection of these biologically diverse marine areas also directly benefits our state's $1.9 trillion coastal economy, including our robust tourism and commercial fishing industries on the Central Coast. The nomination of the Chumash National Marine Sanctuary was the product of years of public engagement with local communities, and I urge NOAA to move forward with protecting this unique area for future generations."

• Legislation co-authored by State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) that would require gender diversity on corporate boards passed off California's Senate floor on May 31. SB 826 is a priority of the California Legislative Women's Caucus, and would require every publicly held corporation in the state have a minimum of one woman on its board of directors by the end of 2019, and that boards with five members have at least two women and boards with six or more members have at least three women by the end of 2021. "One-fourth of California's publicly traded companies still do not have a single woman on their board, despite numerous independent studies that show companies with women on their board are more profitable and productive," Jackson said in a statement. "With women comprising over half the population and making over 70 percent of purchasing decisions, their insight is critical to discussions and decisions that affect corporate culture, actions, and profitability. The time has come for California to bring gender equity to our corporate boards." SB 826 now moves to California's Assembly.

Weekly Poll
What's your first thought when you hear the word "Lompoc?"

My time at the penitentiary.

| Poll Results