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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 26th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 52 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 52

POLITICAL WATCH: February 27, 2020

• U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) announced a bill he filed on Jan. 21 that would prevent the Bureau of Land Management from leasing out federal land for oil and gas development until the department releases a detailed environmental impact statement that assesses how these activities could affect climate change, air quality, water, and other measurements. Carbajal filed this proposed legislation, called the California’s Land Preservation and Protection Act, in response to President Donald Trump’s administration’s decision to allow the Bureau of Land Management to lease land for oil and gas development on more than 1 million acres across San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. “We cannot stand by as the Trump administration pollutes our environment and auctions off our public lands, health, safety, and economy,” Carbajal said in a statement. “My bill will stop the Bureau of Land Management from proceeding with any oil and gas activities that are detrimental to our environment, it promotes comprehensive research and it enhances environmental justice in our communities.”

• Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered his State of the State address on Feb. 19, during which he touted California’s strong economy and other achievements, before spending the majority of the speech talking about the state’s homelessness crisis. “Let’s call it what it is, a disgrace, that the richest state in the richest nation—succeeding across so many sectors—is failing to properly house, heal, and humanely treat so many of its own people,” Newsom said during the address, according to a transcript his office released. The governor talked about steps the state has taken so far to address this issue, and he outlined other actions that need to be taken in the future, including a new fund in the budget proposal Newsom submitted that’ll dedicate money to solutions, such as converting hotels into housing for homeless individuals. Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) responded to the governor’s address in a Facebook post in which he said the state must solve the homelessness crisis “firmly, but with compassion,” and added that the state also has to find ways to lower housing costs. “Making California and the Central Coast affordable will not be easy, but we can do it by working together to identify bipartisan solutions that put people first,” Cunningham said in the post.

• On Feb. 19, Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) announced that she and Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) authored a bill that would require insurance companies to create policies for homes in communities that meet the state’s new standard for fire hardening. Assembly Bill 2367, titled Renew California, also requires insurance companies to offer homeowners financial incentives to make their homes more fire resilient, according to an announcement the California Department of Insurance released regarding this legislation. In response to the severe fires that have occurred throughout the state in recent years, some insurance companies have been writing fewer homeowner policies and increasing the number of non-renewals of homes in areas of wildfire risk, the department’s announcement states. This bill is designed to correct this issue. “Since the Thomas Fire in 2017, homeowners in my district have been heavily affected by the unprecedented rates of insurance non-renewals even when the community has been working towards reducing the risk,” Limón said in the statement. “I am proud to joint-author this bill that works towards creating a fair structure for insurance companies to follow while protecting homeowners and providing them peace of mind.”

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