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

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 5th, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 45 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 45

Political Watch: January 7, 2021

• Both legislative bodies of Congress voted to override President Donald Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report, the annual defense bill for which U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) served as a conferee and helped draft the final product. According to a Jan. 1 statement from Carbajal’s office, this marks the first time that the House and Senate have come together to override a Trump veto during his presidency. “The president’s reckless veto put our national security at risk all to serve his own self-interest,” Carbajal said in the statement. “With this overwhelming and bipartisan override vote in both chambers of Congress, we have once again proven that our military and our national security are more important than politics.” Carbajal advocated for the Small Passenger Safety Act to be part of the bill, which will implement “long overdue safety reforms to small passenger vessels” in the wake of the Conception boat fire tragedy in 2019. Carbajal also advocated for the Offshore Wind Working Group, with the defense bill directing the secretary of the Navy to work with the group to identify a region for offshore wind development. The defense bill also authorizes funding for military-university partnerships for local schools like UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. Also included in the bill is a funding increase for space launch capabilities, including at Vandenberg Air Force Base. 

• Gov. Gavin Newsom released the Safe Schools for All plan on Dec. 30, which his office described as “California’s framework to support schools to continue operating safely in-person and to expand the number of schools safely resuming in-person instruction.” The plan includes an “early action package” so that schools have the resources they need to safely reopen. “In-person is the best setting to meet not only the learning needs but the mental health and social-emotional needs of our kids,” Newsom said in a statement. The plan is a phased strategy that will start with bringing back the youngest and most vulnerable children first, followed by other grade levels through the spring. “This phased-in return recognizes that younger children are at a lower risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19,” the statement said. “At the same time, distance learning will remain an option for parents and students who choose it and for those whose health status does not allow them to return to school in the near term.”

• Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) joined 21 fellow California House members in sending a letter to the Trump administration to express “their strong opposition to any expansion of oil and gas drilling off the coast of California,” according to a Dec. 29 statement. In the letter written to Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, the members wrote, “The inevitable onshore and offshore risks associated with offshore drilling impact public health, the environment, and our climate. For these reasons, every single coastal governor along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Republican and Democrat alike, has stood in opposition to offshore drilling. In coastal communities, where livelihoods are built around fishing, tourism, and recreation, it is critically important to guard against oil leaks or spills that could harm these ocean-dependent economies and fragile marine ecosystems.” According to the statement, “while it is unlikely that the Trump administration would be able to formalize any new leases before the Biden administration takes office on Jan. 20,” the members demanded that Secretary Bernhardt “put an immediate halt during the Trump administration’s remaining time in office to any consideration of new oil and gas leasing off California.”

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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