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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on April 1st, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 5 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 5

Political Watch: April 2, 2020

• On March 27, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order prohibiting evictions for residential renters who are unable to pay rent due to a loss of wages or additional expenses because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order stipulates that tenants are required to inform their landlord in writing at least no more than seven days after rent is due, that they’re unable to pay all or part of the rent. The order is not a rent freeze. Tenants are required to repay rent they owe after the moratorium is lifted on May 31. This order follows a previous executive order the governor issued on March 16 that made it easier for local governments to pass their own eviction moratoriums. “People shouldn’t lose or be forced out of their homes because of the spread of COVID-19,” Newsom said in a news release on March 16. “Over the next few weeks, everyone will have to make sacrifices, but a place to live shouldn’t be one of them.” Following this initial executive order, Santa Barbara County passed its eviction moratorium on March 24. 

• In a statement his office released on March 27, U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) applauded Congress for passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which includes direct payments to assist many Americans and extended unemployment benefits. “On California’s Central Coast, I’ve been speaking with workers, families, small business owners, health professionals and more, and I’ve been relaying our community’s concerns back to Washington as we work to provide aid,” Carbajal said in the statement. “I’m proud to see some of our community’s requests in this package—including increased unemployment benefits, more relief for small businesses, hospital and health system investments, support for our agriculture industry, and student loan assistance.” The legislation includes direct payments of $1,200 for most adults who make under $75,000 annually—at which point the payment reduces—and $500 for children 16 years old and younger. According to a press release from U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein’s (D-California) office, anyone who filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 doesn’t need to do anything to receive the funds. Those who didn’t file a return for those years should file a return for 2019 now, and when filing, sign up for direct deposit to receive recovery payments as quickly as possible, Feinstein said in the release. Filing a tax return is the only way to receive the funds. In a statement about the legislation, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the act also provides an additional $600 a week for many Californians who have filed for unemployment. “State and local governments will need additional and flexible funding to ensure they can continue responding to this crisis and continue critical services,” Newsom said. “California businesses and residents will also need additional federal support to weather this economic storm.” 

• The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) announced on March 27 that it has received nearly $108 million from the California Transportation Commission for road projects. “We are very grateful to receive this funding from the California Transportation Commission,” SCBAG Board of Directors Chair and 2nd District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart said in a news release. “Now, more than ever, as we are faced with impacts on health and the economy as a result of COVID-19, we recognize the critical role transportation projects will provide in creating jobs and in helping to foster economic growth.” Nearly all of the funding will go toward Highway 101 improvements in Carpinteria. The remaining money will be spent on smaller projects, including bike paths and coastal access improvements in South County. 








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

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