Sunday, April 22, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 7

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on March 14th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 2 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 2

Political Watch 3/16/17

• Congressional Republicans may loathe the Affordable Care Act and plan on repealing and/or replacing it, but their Democratic colleagues are trying to expand medical coverage in ways that (maybe) everyone can agree on. On March 8, Central Coast Democratic Congressman Salud Carbajal introduced the Strengthening Preventative Health Care for Service Members Act, which would expand TRICARE—the health care program for the U.S. military, veterans, and their families—by offering more preventative services missed by the gap in coverage between civilian and military insurance. Such services include child care for children up to age 17, provide free contraceptive services, waiving statorily imposed pharmacy costs for preventative services, and providing gestational diabetes screening without a copayment. “Congress needs to focus on fixing and improving our health care systems for our service members and civilians, not rolling back insurance access for millions of Americans,” Carbajal stated in a press release. Carbajal is the representative for California’s 24th Congressional District, which covers all of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and a portion of Ventura County. 

Mick Mulvaney—director of the Offfice of Management and Budget nominated by President Donald Trump—wants to save some federal cash by slashing the U.S. Coast Guard’s budget by $1.3 billion, or nearly 12 percent of its budget. But not if California Sen. Kamala Harris (D) has anything to do with it. In a letter sent on March 8, Harris and more than a dozen other senators urged Mulvaney not to make the cut. In the letter, Harris and the senators point out that Trump’s commitment to stopping the flow of illegal drugs into the country also includes the Coast Guard stopping them too. Some of the Coast Guard’s missions include intercepting illegal drug runners, which it does on a daily basis in America’s coastal waters. Harris pointed out that the Coast Guard seized 469,270 pounds of illegal drugs in 2016, which she said was a record. Harris said the Coast Guard is in dire need of replacing its aging cutter fleet, particularly in the Arctic, where she said the U.S. is without a heavy icebreaker ship. “The proposed reduction … would directly contradict the priorities articulated by the Trump administration,” the senators wrote in the letter. Several more members of the U.S. Senate signed the letter, which included two Republicans: Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). 

• California Assembly Republicans, including 35th District Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, want to help middle class families in the state and revealed their plan for doing so on March 8 by releasing a report. Titled “Helping the Middle Class and Serving Those in Need,” the 26-page report outlines plans for pieces of legislation Republicans intend on submitting in the coming year to address several issues like child care affordability, critical dental care, work training and education, and the high cost of housing. The full report can be found online at

• Taking advantage of Trump’s plan to spend $1 trillion on improving America’s infrastructure, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) sent a letter to the president asking for expedited environmental review for 10 high priority California infrastructure projects—one of which includes widening the high-occupancy vehicle lane on Highway 101 through Santa Barbara County. The governor is seeking the request under Trump Executive Order 13766, which expedites environmental review for high priority infrastructure projects. A local delegation from the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) might have a say at the national level as they’ll be traveling to Washington, D.C., next month to meet with federal government officials.

Weekly Poll
Should dance studios be considered youth centers when drawing buffer zones for recreational cannabis businesses in Lompoc?

Not sure.

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