Wednesday, July 23, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 19
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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on March 26th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 3 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 3

Political Watch 3/27/14

• State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) toured Santa Barbara County drought sites on March 21, as well as projects designed to enhance water capacity and reduce demand. Lake Cachuma’s and the city of Santa Barbara’s water recycling and desalination plants were on the list, as well as the Cachuma Resource Conservation District’s mobile irrigation lab on a Carpinteria avocado farm, which recently completed a water efficiency project. “This drought is extremely serious and demands our full attention,” Jackson said in a press release. “It’s important that I stay in touch with the needs, challenges, and operations of my district so I can advocate on behalf of the people I represent as we seek additional sources of funding and assistance to help us address this crisis.” The California Legislature passed emergency legislation in late February to set aside $680 million for drought relief. Most of the funds will be awarded in the upcoming months, and Jackson anticipates that several local projects will most likely apply for funds.

• U.S. Assemblywoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) was one of 147 members of the House of Representatives who sent a letter to President Barack Obama on March 18 urging him to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from engaging in employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The letter asks the president to fulfill a promise from his State of the Union address to make 2014 a “year of action” by signing an executive order to ban federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. “With workers across the country facing discrimination every day, the time is now to make sure workplace discrimination isn’t supported by taxpayer funds,” Capps said in a press release. “This issue has lingered for far too long and this year, in the president’s year of action, he should take this opportunity to expand employment protections.” In the press release, Capps also said she is a strong supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and is committed to bringing it up for a vote in the House. The act would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in hiring and employment, and was passed in the Senate last year.