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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 17th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 29 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 20, Issue 29

Political Watch: September 19, 2019

• The House Judiciary Committee passed the Extreme Risk Protection Act of 2019 on Sept. 10, which U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) authored with representatives from Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania. The bill will now move to the House floor for another vote. If enacted, the legislation would establish a grant program to encourage states to adopt laws that allow family members or law enforcement officials to request a judge to temporarily take away an individual’s guns, if the person is a threat to themselves or others. This bill, and ones similar to it, is commonly referred to as a “red flag” law. “ERPO [extreme risk protection order] laws are common sense—they keep guns out of the hands of those who are deemed a threat, they protect due process, keep our communities safe, and save lives,” Carbajal said in a statement released after the bill passed through the committee.

• On Sept. 13, U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) held a press conference with local environmental advocates, including the Environmental Defense Center, to celebrate the House of Representatives’ passing of the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act. This legislation bans future offshore oil and gas leasing off the U.S. coast. This bill also includes Carbajal’s own California Clean Coast Act, which was designed to prohibit oil and gas leasing off the state’s coast. The legislation now goes to the Senate. The Trump administration has already voiced its opposition to the bill and two similar bills that would ban offshore oil and gas leases near Florida and the Arctic. A statement of administration policy issued by the Office of Management and Budget on Sept. 9 claims the bills would undermine the administration’s attempt to bolster the U.S. economy through its support of the oil and gas industry. According to the statement, Trump’s advisors would recommend that the president veto the legislation if the bills reach his desk. 

State Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) announced on Sept. 12 that the state Legislature passed Assembly Bill 869, which he authored. This legislation would prohibit the state from holding onto surplus property for extended periods of time by requiring the state Department of General Services (DGS) to determine if another state agency is interested in an excess piece of property within 150 days. According to a statement from Cunningham’s office, this bill allows local jurisdictions and private entities to purchase surplus state property in a timely manner. “There is no reasonable excuse for DGS taking years to determine whether or not other state agencies may have a use for a piece of surplus property,” Cunningham said. “These properties should be put to good use.” 

• On Sept. 4, state Assemblymember Monique Limón’s (D-Santa Barbara) legislation, Assembly Bill 1680 passed through the state Senate. Five days later, the state Assembly also approved the legislation, which would open Hollister Ranch in Santa Barbara County to public access. According to the text of the legislation, Hollister Ranch is a 14,500-acre subdivision that covers 8.5 miles of shoreline, with no coastal access for the public. The bill would require the California Coastal Commission, state Coastal Conservancy, state Department of Parks and Recreation, and the State Lands Commission to develop a public access program for the area by April 2021, while implementing the first phase of the program by April 2022. As of Sept. 12, Gov. Gavin Newsom hadn’t signed the legislation into law. 

Weekly Poll
How would you like to see transportation officials try to make highways in the Santa Ynez Valley safer?

Add biking and walking paths along the highways to keep pedestrians away from traffic.
Reduce speed limits near certain intersections.
Build more roundabouts.
It doesn't matter. Caltrans won't do anything about it.

| Poll Results

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