Thursday, January 29, 2015     Volume: 15, Issue: 47
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Citizen's Alert

Benefits, Meetings, Protests, Forums and Public Meetings


Community Notebook 1/29/15-2/5/15

MONDAY, FEB. 2

• The Solvang Planning Commission has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang.

TUESDAY, FEB. 3

• The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has its regular meeting at 9 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara. Agendas are available at http://santabarbara.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx#current.

• The Vandenberg Village Community Services District has its regular board meeting at 7 p.m. in the District Office Conference Room, 3757 Constellation Road, Vandenberg Village.

• The Lompoc City Council has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 100 Civic Center Plaza, Lompoc. Agendas are available at www.cityoflompoc.com.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 4

• The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission has its regular meeting at 9 a.m. in the Planning Commission Hearing Room, 123 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara. The agenda is available at www.sbcountyplanning.org.

• The Santa Maria Planning Commission has its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 110 E. Cook St., Santa Maria.

THURSDAY, FEB. 5

• 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_minutes.sbc.

• 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 1/29/15

• The California Transportation Commission recently announced the allocation of $174.8 million to 85 transportation projects that will repair aging roads and bridges and hopefully alleviate traffic delays. Nearly $19 million from the Active Trasportation Program is included in the allocations and will go toward 50 biking and pedestrian projects throughout the state. “Preserving, rebuilding, and expanding the state’s transportation infrastructure is key to improving the state’s mobility for decades to come,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said in a press release. “Not only is it critical to California’s economy, but investments like these mean a better future for all Californians.” The allocations include $27.1 million from Proposition 1B, a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. The press release stated that more than $18 billion in Prop 1B funds have been used so far for transportation purposes. About $10 million of those funds will be used to repair Highway 101 from the Maria Ygnacio Creek Bridge to north of the Cathedral Oaks overcrossing near Goleta in Santa Barbara County.

• U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) announced on Jan. 23 that she is joining several of her colleagues in reintroducing two campaign finance reform bills. The announcement coincides with the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizen’s United case—the court ruled that corporations and unions could spend any amount to advocate for or against a political candidate. The two bills, the Government By the People Act and the DISCLOSE Act would respectively “help break the influence of big money in elections” and “require more diclosure of political spending from corporations, lobbyists, and outside groups,” according to a press release from Capps’ office. “Fair open elections are critical to our democracy, which is why I have been a longtime supporter of commonsense campaign finance reform,” Capps said in the release. “Big money has too much influence in our elections, so I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the DISCLOSE Act and the Government By the People Act, two pieces of legislation that will level the playing field and allow the voices of everyday Americans to be heard.”

• In the ongoing saga of UC President Janet Napolitano and Gov. Jerry Brown fighting over how much funding California’s university systems should receive, the two leaders have agreed to form a two-person committee to comb throught the university’s finances (together!), according to the San Jose Mercury News and The Sacramento Bee. The two are currently in a sort of standoff with regard to the state’s proposed budget for 2014-2015. In November 2014, the UC Regents voted to bump up student tuition and fees by as much as 5 percent a year through 2019- 2020. In Brown’s recently released budget proposal, the $120 million increase in UC funding goes away if it raises student costs, the Mercury News reported. How the new committee and its findings will play into the budget discussions is uncertain, but the committee is scheduled to update UC Regents at their March meeting.