Thursday, April 24, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 7
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Citizen's Alert

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Community Notebook 4/24-5/1

MONDAY, APRIL 28
• The South County Advisory Council has its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Nipomo Community Services District Headquarters, 148 S. Wilson St., Nipomo.
• The Solvang City Council has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang. Agendas are available at cityofsolvang.com.

THURSDAY, MAY 1
• The Santa Maria Planning Commission has a study session at 10 a.m. in the Community Development Department, 110 S. Pine St., Santa Maria.
• The Santa Barbara County Local Agency Formation Commission has its regular meeting at 2 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara. Agendas are available at www.sblafco.org/agendas.html.
• The Buellton Planning Commission has its regular meeting at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 140 W. Highway 246, Buellton. Agendas are available at cityofbuellton.com.

Political Watch 4/24/14

• Californians account for nearly one fifth of the number of people who signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act nationwide. Covered California—the state’s insurance market—announced on April 17 that nearly 1.4 million Californians signed up for health insurance before the extended deadline of April 15. In a press release on the Covered California website, its executive director, Peter Lee, said bringing health care to so many people is a big achievement. “We are proud of what California has achieved, but recognize this is only the beginning of a long road to expanding affordable coverage to all Californians,” Lee said in the press release. The White House also released Affordable Care Act enrollments on April 17; according to a fact sheet on the White House website, 8 million people signed up for coverage before the deadline. The fact sheet states that 35 percent of those who signed up were under the age of 35.

• State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) opted to hold off on her bill to create the nation’s first statewide drug take-back program for prescription and over-the-counter drugs. A press release sent out by Jackson’s office said there was a lack of support from some of her colleagues in the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee, but that she has plans to take on the topic with another bill next year. “I am very disappointed that we were unable to move forward with a statewide plan this year, but I am committed to this issue and to helping solve the immense public health and environmental challenges created by unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs,” Jackson said in the release. “I always expected change of this magnitude to be a multi-year effort.”

• Gov. Jerry Brown announced 63 pardons on Good Friday, April 18. The individuals granted pardons had all completed their sentences and have been released from custody for more than a decade without criminal activity. A press release on the governor’s website said that individuals who were convicted of a crime can apply for a pardon from the governor, and most of the applicants have obtained a Certificate of Rehabilitation, which is an order from a superior court declaring that a person convicted of a crime is now rehabilitated. “Pardons are not granted unless they are earned,” the press release said. “A gubernatorial pardon may be granted to people who have demonstrated exemplary behavior and have lived productive and law-abiding lives following their convictions.” Copies of all 63 pardons can be found on the governor’s website.  Two of the pardons were people convicted in Santa Barbara County (Anthony Amador and Renee Louise Howard) and two were convicted in San Luis Obispo County (Clark William Guest and Jerry Hartman).