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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 9th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 28

Political Watch: September 10, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Sept. 3 to extend consumer protections against price gouging until March 4, 2021. The protections prohibit sellers from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and other items by more than 10 percent, according to Newsom’s office. The 2021 end date for the order is exactly one year after the governor proclaimed a state of emergency due to COVID-19 on March 4, 2020. The new order extends the price-gouging prohibitions laid out in the initial March proclamation.

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s (D-Santa Barbara) legislation to expand job protection for family leave, SB 1383, passed the state Assembly on Aug. 31 and will next go to the governor, who is expected to sign it into law. The bill ensures that “more Californians can take time off to care for themselves and their loved ones when sick or bond with a newborn without getting fired,” according to Jackson’s office. The bill will provide job protection for those who work for employers with five or more employees, providing 12 weeks of job-protected leave to care for a personal illness, to care for a seriously ill family member, or to spend time with a newborn. The bill falls under the California Family Rights Act, which is the “foundation for California’s entirely employee-funded eight-week paid family leave wage replacement program,” the release stated. However, the 15-year-old program’s protection has been “inadequate,” as it has prevented millions of workers from accessing the benefits due to employer size, according the assemblywoman’s office. Current law only requires employers with 20 or more employees to give paid leave for newborn bonding, and businesses of 50 or more to care for a family member with a serious illness or one’s own illness. “Access to family leave is especially critical amid COVID-19 when workers need to take time off to care for themselves or their loved ones,” Jackson said in a statement. “Yet without job protection, many workers fear losing their job for taking the paid family leave benefits they pay for. We should be encouraging people to stay home if they are sick, not forcing them to choose between their health and their job.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of the Housing is Key campaign on Sept. 2, which aims to connect renters and landlords who are experiencing financial difficulties from COVID-19 with information and resources. This announcement follows the governor’s signing of AB 3088, a statewide tenant-protection measure, on Aug. 31. The bill protects tenants who declare “an inability to pay all or part of the rent due to a COVID-related reason” from eviction, and property owners from foreclosure due to the economic impacts of the pandemic. Under the new law, tenants can’t be evicted before Feb. 1, 2021, as a result of rent owed, according to Newsom’s office. The Business, Consumer Services, and Housing (BCSH) Agency will run Housing is Key, and the campaign kicks off with a new website, A BCSH app for mobile access to resources is also forthcoming. “Struggling tenants and landlords now have new protections and relief under the law—and it’s critical that all Californians learn their rights,” Newsom said in the release. “It’s important that we reach renters across the state who might be one paycheck away from losing their homes and landlords who are short on their mortgages because of owed rent.” 

Weekly Poll
How did you survive the heat wave?

By staying indoors: This is why I have air conditioning.
I got out in nature (but stayed in the shade, of course).
I enjoyed the Santa Maria pool's first rec swim in more than a year.
I took advantage of the warm evenings and ate outdoors at a local restaurant.

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