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The following article was posted on March 19th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 3 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 20, Issue 3

Political Watch 3/21/19

• As vice chair of the House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) participated in an infrastructure panel hosted by Politico and the National League of Cities on March 12. There, he discussed the infrastructure investment package, which has support from both Congress and the president to fund roads, bridges, energy, water, and other projects. “The president has said early on that he is willing to invest and move forward on an infrastructure bill, and I’m hoping he will do that,” Carbajal said, according to a partial transcript of the discussion provided by his office. Getting a bill to the House floor by May is ambitious, Carbajal said, but “it’s good to shoot for something that keeps the energy and momentum behind it.” He also spoke about where to find revenue for the Highway Trust Fund (“We need to look at raising the gas tax, which hasn’t been done since 1993,” he said); investing in infrastructure that is resilient to climate change phenomena such as sea level rise; and maintaining momentum for infrastructure bills. “The national civil engineers say that by 2046 we need to invest $4.5 trillion just to get our infrastructure to satisfactory. That’s a big haul. What I think we need to do is really work together, make sure everyone comes together and advocates for this, puts the pressure on Congress, because the solutions are right in front of us,” Carbajal said during the discussion. “We just can’t seem to get it together.”

 

• In February, Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) introduced a bill in response to “the appalling circumstances of the McGuire case from Paso Robles,” according to a post on Cunningham’s public official Facebook page. Former Paso Robles Police Sgt. Christopher McGuire was accused of sexually assaulting a victim using the authority of his badge. “Due to inconsistencies in victim accounts and no law expressly prohibiting his use of authority, the District Attorney’s Office was unable to charge him with battery. This must change,” a fact sheet from Cunningham’s office stated. “A loophole exists where battery cannot be charged if a public official uses his or her authority to threaten a victim to comply with a command or face fear of incarceration or deportation.” AB 1599 would make it a crime for a public official to use his or her authority to threaten to incarcerate, arrest, or deport a victim as a way of forcing them to engage in a sexual act or touching of intimate body parts against their will. “Law enforcement is an honorable and dangerous profession, and we must thank those that protect our communities. That said, there must be laws that protect people from the very few that abuse their power and victimize people,” Cunningham said in his Facebook post.

 

• Allan Hancock College is cohosting the 32nd annual Latina Leadership Network of the California Community Colleges Conference from March 21 to 23 at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriot in Buellton. “Our vision is to continue informing, empowering, and advocating for Latina women to attain leadership roles in their campus communities,” Ana Gomez de Torres said in a press release from Hancock. Gomez de Torres is the president of the Latina Leadership Network and a Spanish professor at Hancock. The leadership network is a support and advocacy organization that addresses equity, diversity, and social justice for the Latino community. “My hope for the conference is that we can unite further and continue supporting one another at emotional, moral, professional, and personal levels,” Gomez de Torres said in the release. “As we continue to collaborate, we can truly make a difference in our campuses and communities.”




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What do you think of PG&E's "public safety power shut off" plan?

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