Tuesday, July 22, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 19
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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 17th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 15 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 15

Political Watch 6/19/14

• Weeks after the shooting and stabbing deaths of six victims and the suspect in Isla Vista, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) introduced two bills designed to help prevent gun violence and save lives, according to a press release from her office. Senate Bill 505 would require law enforcement to search the Department of Justice’s Automated Firearms System—a database of gun purchases—before performing a welfare check people who could be dangerous to themselves or others. Law enforcement could then find out if the person in question had purchased firearms and how many. “We will never know for sure if the outcome in Isla Vista might have been different with a gun database search,” Jackson said in the press release. “But the next time California experiences a similar tragedy, we shouldn’t be left wondering. Searches of gun databases can be done in as little as 90 seconds, and those 90 seconds can help save lives.” Jackson is also introducing Senate Bill 580 to provide additional funding for law enforcement to enforce existing gun laws. The bill would provide $5 million in grants to local law enforcement agencies to take guns away form those who illegally possess them; $10 million over three years to improve the Department of Justice’s aging computer systems used to track gun ownership and conduct background checks; and $50,000 to train local agencies on how to use the statewide gun database. SB 505 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on June 24.

• Through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s WaterSmart Program, Santa Barbara County received $179,000 from the Bureau of Reclamation to offer rebates to non-agricultural customers who make certain landscape-related water efficiency upgrades. The WaterWise Landscape Rebate Program is expected to save the county 121 acre-feet of water annually. Landscape related upgrades include removing turf and installing high-efficiency irrigation systems. The Santa Barbara County Water Agency will coordinate the two-year grant program and pass on federal money as matching funds for local water purveyors that are giving rebates to their customers. Participating agencies include: Goleta Water District, Carpinteria Valley Water District, Vandenberg Village Community Services District, and the cities of Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Buellton, and Solvang.