Tuesday, April 13, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 6

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on March 31st, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 22, Issue 5 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 22, Issue 5

Political Watch: April 1, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on March 25 that the state will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in the coming weeks. Starting April 1, individuals who are over 50 will be eligible to make an appointment, and then on April 15, anyone over the age of 16 will be eligible. “We remain focused on equity as we extend vaccine eligibility,” Newsom said in a statement. “This is possible thanks to the leadership of the Biden-Harris administration and the countless public health officials across the state who have stepped up to get shots into arms.” California is estimated to receive 2.5 million first and second doses per week in the first half of April, according to the statement, and more than 3 million doses in the second half of the month. This is an increase from the 1.8 million doses the state currently receives each week. Right now, California has the capacity to administer 3 million doses a week and is seeking to expand that capacity to 4 million by the end of the month. “We are even closer to putting this pandemic behind us with today’s announcement and with vaccine supplies expected to increase dramatically in the months ahead,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said in the statement. “However, we are not there yet. It will take time to vaccinate all eligible Californians. During this time, we must not let our guard down. It is important that we remain vigilant, continue to wear masks, and follow public health guidance.”

Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) announced on March 23 that he will serve as a co-chair of the Congressional Offshore Wind Caucus, “a bipartisan group of lawmakers focused on improving offshore wind technology, investing in the offshore wind workforce, and making the United States a clean energy leader,” according to Carbajal’s office. The mission of the caucus is to find bipartisan solutions to offshore wind industry challenges. “My district on the Central Coast is no stranger to the devastating impacts of climate change. Inaction is already costing us lives, homes, and money and it will only get worse with each passing day. Through pragmatic policies and strategic investment, we can harness the power of offshore wind to combat climate change and grow our economy at the same time,” Carbajal said in a statement. 

California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG) announced March 24 that eight new companies signed the California Equal Pay Pledge. “All women have a right to be valued, seen as equals, and paid equally,” Siebel Newsom said in a statement. “As the pandemic threatens to undo nearly three decades of progress for women, now is the perfect time for companies to support women workers and build equity in the workplace.” Former state Sen. Hannah Beth-Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) was one of the key forces behind the state’s equal pay laws during her time in the Legislature: She authored Senate Bill 358, the California Fair Pay Act, which was “the strongest equal pay law for women in the country when it passed the Legislature in 2015,” according to CCSWG’s website. Despite California having better equal pay legislation than most other states, according to Newsom’s office, women still earn 88 cents for every dollar men earn. “That number plummets to 62 cents for Black women, 55 cents for Latina women, 90 cents for Asian women, and 50 cents for Native American women,” the statement continued. “These gaps create staggering financial losses: California women lose a combined total of $78.6 billion each year because of the wage gap—dollars that could help pay for basic necessities at a time when women have lost 5.4 million jobs nationwide.” Companies that sign on to the Equal Pay Pledge agree to conduct an annual company gender pay analysis, review hiring processes, and promote pay gap closure practices.

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.

| Poll Results

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