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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 23rd, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 52 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 52

Political Watch: February 25, 2021

• Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Feb. 17 that he along with Senate President Pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) reached an agreement on a package of relief actions for Californians struggling from pandemic-inflicted economic hardship. “The compromise builds on the initiatives in the governor’s state budget proposal to provide cash relief to lower-income Californians, increase aid to small businesses, and provide license renewal fee waivers to businesses impacted by the pandemic,” according to Newsom’s office. “In addition to these measures, the agreement provides tax relief for businesses, commits additional resources for critical child care services, and funds emergency financial aid for community college students.” In a statement, Newsom said that he’s grateful for the Legislature’s partnership to provide relief. “From child care, relief for small business owners, direct cash support to individuals, financial aid for community college students, and more, these actions are critical for millions of Californians who embody the resilience of the California spirit,” he said. Assembly Speaker Rendon added that the agreement “tackles the human and the economic impacts of COVID in a way that echoes President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and will help those who are hurting most. We are building an economic foundation for the recovery of jobs, small businesses and, indeed, our everyday lives.” 

• Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) introduced Assembly Bill 718 on Feb. 16, the second time the legislator has submitted the bill, which would require law enforcement agencies to complete investigations into police use of force misconduct allegations, even if the officer resigns. “The bill would require the investigation to result in a finding that the allegation is either sustained, not sustained, unfounded, or exonerated, as defined,” the legislation states. “The bill would also require an agency other than an officer’s employing agency that conducts an investigation of these allegations to disclose its findings with the employing agency no later than the conclusion of the investigation.” Cunningham wrote in a Feb. 18 Facebook post that “government officials, including police officers, should not be able to resign in order to avert responsibility and keep potential misconduct hidden from the public’s view. Bad actors must be held accountable if we are to restore the public’s trust in our institutions.” He added that if passed, the bill would require the results of the investigation to be shared with the accused officer’s new agency. “Transparency means trust,” Cunningham wrote. 

• State Sen. Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) announced in a Feb. 17 Facebook post that she and state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced Senate Bill 467, also known as the End Fracking and Dangerous Drilling Act. The bill would prohibit the issuance or renewal of a permit to conduct hydraulic fracturing (fracking), acid well stimulation treatment, steam flooding, water flooding, and cyclic steaming for oil and gas extraction beginning on Jan. 1, 2022, according to the legislation. The bill would fully prohibit these methods beginning on Jan. 1, 2027. The legislation also requires the creation of a program to identify oil and gas workers who have lost their jobs and “to provide incentives to oil and gas well remediation companies to hire those identified workers.” Limón wrote of the bill, “It is necessary to have these difficult conversations on environmental justice and public health to do better for the future of California.”

Weekly Poll
What do you think about the county opening up the vaccine to 16-plus at some clinics?

It's about time!
I'm worried it will make it harder to get an appointment.
I would have preferred more sectors to get access before opening to everyone.
The state plans to do the same thing in about a week, so it doesn't make a big difference.

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