Sunday, June 25, 2017     Volume: 18, Issue: 16
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Political Watch 6/22/17

• Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) addressed the June 14 shooting in Alexandria, Virg., at the beginning of a speech made later that day for the National Partnership for Women and Families’ gala event. “My thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Steve Scalise, members and congressional staff, Capitol Police, and all those who were wounded. Our hearts are breaking for the victims and their families who’ve endured this tragedy,” Harris said. “And I especially want to recognize the heroism of the Capitol Police, the Alexandria police, and the first responders who took quick action to prevent this incident from becoming even worse. Over the course of my career in law enforcement, I have witnessed over and over again the selflessness and sacrifice of law enforcement who lay their lives on the line every day to protect people who they will never meet and people who will never know their names.” 

• California’s 24th District Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) announced on June 15 that the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program will provide $4.4 million in funding to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) for technology research. UCSB’s Intelligent Reduction of Energy through Photonic Integration for Datacenters (INTREPID) will use the funds toward its mission: maximizing speed and energy efficiency of communications technology. Rep. Carbajal was one of many representatives to sign a letter sent to Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry that requested the release of ARPA-E funds. “The Central Coast has lead the way in developing cutting edge technologies and this ARPA-E funding will help solidify its place in the growing technology industries,” Carbajal said in a statement. “This federal support boosts these promising technologies coming out of UCSB’s INTREPID program and is crucial to getting these innovations out of the lab and into the marketplace where they will help lower costs and improve efficiency. I’m proud that this project currently unfolding right here on the Central Coast will hopefully one day transform America’s communication technology.” 

• Carbajal also announced some more funding coming to Santa Barbara County two days prior. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) fully funded Carbajal’s grant request of $975,000 to the county to support the Veterans’ Treatment Court (VTC), which specializes in treatment of military veterans in the criminal justice system. “Our veterans are often unfortunately at greater risk of mental illness and substance abuse upon returning from their service to our country,” Rep. Carbajal said. “VTC’s are critical to addressing any wrongdoing, while ensuring that our veterans gain access to the care they need, and are treated with the respect they deserve. This grant serves as a key federal investment to improve the lives of our Central Coast veterans.” 

• California State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) praised the passing of the 2017-18 state budget on June 15. According to reporting by The Mercury News, the $125 billion budget expands a tax credit for low-wage workers, increases administrational oversight, and provides more funding for schools. Jackson hailed the education funding as an important priority. “I am pleased this year’s budget invests more in K-12 students than at any other time in state history, boosts funding for health care and family planning, and accelerates our historic investments in transportation and to fix our roads,” Jackson said in a statement. “As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I commend the increase in funding for our justice system to help ensure the fair administration of justice for all. I am also pleased the budget continues to make child care funding a priority, adds additional resources for after-school programs, and invests more than $2.5 million to implement Title IX to prevent and respond to community college sexual assault.”