Sunday, April 5, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 5

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on March 25th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 4 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 4

Political Watch: March 26, 2020

• On March 22, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that President Donald Trump approved California’s request for a presidential Major Disaster Declaration to bolster California’s COVID-19 emergency response efforts, according to a press release. “The declaration will supplement our state’s comprehensive COVID-19 surge planning and make vital resources available,” Newsom said in the release. “We appreciate the quick response and partnership from the White House.” The declaration makes federal funding “available to state, tribal, and local governments for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, and makes funding available for crisis counseling for impacted individuals,” the release states. On March 21, the governor also issued an executive order that seeks to expand capacity in California health care facilities. 

• Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) stated in a March 15 Facebook post that people who can’t work due to school closures, reduced hours, or the need to care for a family member as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for disability or unemployment insurance through the state. 

• Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on March 16 that “authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shut-offs for Californians affected by COVID-19,” according to a press release. State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) voiced her support of the governor’s executive order in a March 17 Facebook post, stating, “No one should be forced from their home because of #COVID19.”

• In a March 16 Facebook post, Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) announced her support of two California Senate bills in response to COVID-19: Senate Bills 89 and 117. SB 89 “appropriates up to $1 billion to disaster response due to the COVID-19 pandemic and works towards strategies to assist small businesses, individuals, and nonprofits experiencing economic hardship due to the virus,” Limón wrote in the Facebook post. SB 117 “ensures that local educational agencies receive funding during the COVID-19 emergency and allows local educational agencies to continue providing educational options to their students,” she wrote. Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) echoed his support for the unanimously passed bills in a March 16 Facebook post as well. “Our priority over the last 72 hours has shifted from ensuring our kids continue to receive food during school closures to ensuring that Central Coast residents take seriously the warnings of our public health professionals. We must work together to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on our neighbors, our vulnerable populations, and our health care system,” he wrote.

• On March 18, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to protect California’s most vulnerable populations. The order extends the eligibility period for important safety net services, waiving eligibility redeterminations for 90 days for Californians who participate in Medi-Cal health coverage, CalFresh food assistance, CalWORKS, Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI), and In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). “These social safety net programs are so important for families—especially during this crisis,” Newsom said in a press release. “We don’t want Californians who rely on these services to lose them.”

• U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) announced his support for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote on March 13. “This bill supports our communities and helps ensure people don’t suffer for being sick, missing work, or caring for their loved ones,” Carbajal wrote in a Facebook post. The bill ensures free testing for coronavirus, puts $1 billion toward food assistance efforts, safeguards Medicaid benefits, gives states the ability to provide unemployment benefits, and establishes paid leave. 

Weekly Poll
What has you most worried as coronavirus cautions continue?

I'm afraid that I or someone close to me will get sick.
The government isn't telling us everything we need to know.
People in my neighborhood aren't sheltering at home.
The possibility that Netflix and Amazon could crash.

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