Wednesday, October 21, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 33

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on July 29th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 22 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 22

Political Watch: July 30, 2020

• The House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2021 fiscal year on July 21, which provides military, defense, and security funding. The bill contains several proposals from Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) that directly support the Central Coast. “I fought to include protections for our public lands, bring offshore wind energy opportunities to Morro Bay, and enhance our military-university partnerships,” Carbajal said, according to a press release. “Every year that I have sat on the Armed Services Committee, we have been able to cross the aisle and find a bipartisan consensus on these impactful and complicated issues. This bill is proof that when we work together, we can make a difference for our communities and our country.” A few measures included in the bill are support for Vandenberg Air Force Base, offshore wind energy development for the Central Coast, and direction for the Department of Defense to remove Confederate names from military installations and defense property within one year.

• Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on July 24 new safeguards for California workers who face COVID-19 risks. “The state will allocate existing federal funds to local public health departments and community-based organizations to assist with supportive services for isolation and quarantine,” a press release states. One new program in particular, called Housing for the Harvest, “provides safe, temporary isolation spaces for agricultural and farmworkers who test positive or were exposed to the virus, which limits the risk of spreading COVID-19 to their coworkers or households,” the release states. “This program will operate in partnership with counties and local partners in the Central Valley, Central Coast, and Imperial Valley—the regions with the highest number of agricultural workers.” Newsom also announced an education campaign for workers and employers. 

• On July 22, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Great American Outdoors Act. Carbajal was among the bipartisan representatives to vote yes on the bill, which provides permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. “On the Central Coast, our public lands, recreational areas, and natural heritage are vital to our community,” Carbajal said in a statement. “The Great American Outdoors Act is a historic achievement that delivers the long-promised funding needed to preserve our national parks, protect our water supply, and ensure that our community can reap the benefits of public lands for generations to come.” In addition to supporting recreational access and addressing environmental injustice, the act directs $22 billion toward national parks maintenance needs.

• Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) announced on July 17 the launch of “a petition campaign to overhaul the Employment Development Department, a broken state bureaucracy that is failing Central Coast residents in times of desperate need,” his website states. He wrote in a July 18 Facebook post, “The Central Coast deserves a state government that works for them. EDD hasn’t lived up to that standard and is failing our residents. We’ve been contacted by more than 2,500 Central Coast residents needing help to get their unemployment benefits from this broken department. I am proud of our team’s work to get benefits for thousands of our friends, neighbors, and community members.” He encouraged constituents to email him at for assistance with EDD. The Assembly member’s petition can be found at

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