Wednesday, January 27, 2021     Volume: 21, Issue: 47

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on November 23rd, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 39 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 39

Political Watch: November 26, 2020

• U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) announced on Nov. 18 that he was named a conferee for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2021 fiscal year. Carbajal will “play a role in resolving differences between the Senate and House NDAA bills to form one final piece of legislation,” according to a statement from Carbajal’s office. “I’m honored to have been selected for this role, and proud to help deliver a bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act that will be signed into law,” Carbajal said in the statement. “As we consider the best ways to protect our national security, support our servicemembers, provide for our veterans, and enhance military-university partnerships, I will make sure our Central Coast values are well represented.” Carbajal is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, so he also played a role in developing the House-passed NDAA. The House legislation includes the congressman’s Central Coast Heritage Protection Act and the Small Passenger Vessel Safety Act. “Climate change is a threat multiplier and national security issue, so I’m pleased to have this opportunity to defend our environment and will fight to have protections for the Carrizo Plain and Los Padres [National] Forest included in the final bill,” Carbajal said. “I’m also looking forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass my bill, which directs the Coast Guard to enact long overdue safety reforms to small passenger boats, so we can avoid tragedies like the Conception boat fire in the future.”

• On Nov. 16, Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) submitted his formal support to CalTrans for the U.S. 101 San Luis Obispo South County Congestion Relief Project. His office also collected and submitted nearly 1,700 supporting signatures. The project would help alleviate traffic along the 101 freeway known as the “Pismo Beach backup,” a statement from Cunningham’s office said. “Traffic congestion along U.S. 101, specifically around Pismo Beach, has long been a problem for Central Coast residents and tourists,” Cunningham said. “I am happy to be able to continue to support the innovation of infrastructure that will help with both traffic flow and safety here on the Central Coast.” The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments’ U.S. 101 Corridor Mobility Master Plan identifies this section of the 101 as “the most congested stretch of highway in the region,” according to the statement. 

• Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the opening of the California Rebuilding Fund on Nov. 20 to help small businesses recover from the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the governor’s office, the fund seeks to ensure that economic recovery is equitable. “Ensuring small businesses have access to capital will help stimulate economic growth across the state and support entrepreneurs working harder than ever to keep their doors open,” Newsom said in a statement. “This public-private partnership will give underserved communities across California access to capital, making for a more inclusive economy.” The fund moves capital from “private, philanthropic and public sector resources” to California’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). “With this new Fund, California’s CDFIs will be better able to help under-banked small businesses recover and reposition themselves to survive the realities of the COVID-19 marketplace,” the statement explained. “The lenders will offer a standardized loan product with affordable and flexible terms for small businesses with loan sizes of up to $100,000. These loans are meant to be timed and structured to support businesses that are adapting their business and face upfront or ongoing expenses to operate safely in a post-COVID economy.” The fund seeks to distribute the capital equitably across the state. 

Weekly Poll
Is the state being forthcoming enough with vaccine information?

No. They need to be transparent about why each county gets the amount it does.
It's not really in their hands; the federal government is the one making state allocations.
Yes. The weekly Facebook press conferences make information accessible and clear.
I have no idea—I don't keep up with the state's announcements!

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