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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on December 4th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 40 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 40

Political Watch: December 5, 2019

In a 24-10 vote on Nov. 21, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that calls for decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level. In addition to removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, authored by U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-New York), would require federal courts to expunge prior marijuana convictions. So far the Senate has taken no action on a companion bill, which was introduced by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California). The bill still has various House committees to work through, but Good Farmers Great Neighbors, a group of Santa Barbara County cannabis industry leaders, applauded the judiciary committee’s decision. In a statement the group released on Nov. 25, co-chair Sara Rotman said the group is eager for the bill to be taken up in the Senate and other House committees. “It is our hope that House and Senate leaders will confirm our belief that hemp and cannabis are well within the scope of traditional agriculture and as such are ‘Right to Farm’ commodities,” she said.

• On Nov. 22, Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed 20 people to serve on the state’s new Early Childhood Policy Council and advisory committees designed to recommend changes to various aspects of the state’s early childhood system. On the same day, Newsom also announced that a new Early Childhood Action Research team will develop a statewide master plan for early learning and care. “Every child in our state should have the resources and support they need to live happy and healthy lives,” Newsom said in a press release. “We are bringing together experts from diverse backgrounds to create a master plan for early learning and care that will be rooted in lifting up California’s children and families today, tomorrow, and into the future.” According to the press release announcing these appointments, the council will hold at least four public meetings annually and release a formal report every year. Carola Oliva-Olson, a professor at California State University Channel Islands, and Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, director of the Community Action Program for San Luis Obispo, will both serve on the council. 

• The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors held an emergency meeting on Nov. 26 to ratify the county’s local emergency proclamation regarding the Cave Fire, which burned more than 4,000 acres in the Santa Ynez Mountains near Highway 154. According to a county press release, this proclamation is a step local governments take when dealing with significant incidents. This ensures all county resources are open to dealing with the fire and other supporting activities. This local proclamation is also necessary to request the governor to declare a state of emergency, which makes state funds available to response and recovery efforts. As of Dec. 2, Gov. Gavin Newsom had not yet announced a state of emergency proclamation. 

• In a Facebook post on Nov. 25, Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) named New Life K9s as the 35th District’s nonprofit of the month for November. In the post, Cunningham said the organization, which is based in San Luis Obispo, trains service dogs and provides them to military veterans and first responders for free. “Service dogs have proven to reduce suicides, enrich the owner’s personal relationships with others, reduce homelessness, and decrease the need for medications,” Cunningham said in the post. 

Weekly Poll
What do you think should happen at the Oceano Dunes SVRA?

Ban vehicles for good. It's actually enjoyable without all the traffic.
Open it to off-roading now! Oceano needs the revenue now more than ever.
Open off-roading to locals only. We need to get COVID-19 under control before we let visitors in.
Keep it closed until the pandemic is over.

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