Monday, July 4, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 18

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 21st, 2022, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 23, Issue 17 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 23, Issue 17

Political Watch: June 23, 2022

• The Santa Barbara County COVID-19 Community Data Dashboard will be transitioning to a new format using data from the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) COVID-19 dashboard beginning July 1, the county Public Health Department announced on June 17. This change marks an important step in the COVID-19 response as county Public Health enacts routine reporting of the data for long-term virus monitoring in the county. Leaning on data from CDPH is a practice that various counties have adopted as part of their ongoing strategy. Local data will continue to be monitored and reviewed by local epidemiologists on a routine basis. “Through the course of the pandemic, our epidemiology team has worked diligently to ensure high quality data is available for our policy leaders, health care partners, and our community at large,” Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso said in a statement. “This shift to the use of CDPH data will allow our county Public Health team to continue monitoring COVID-19 data while refocusing on other critical health data, including chronic diseases and social determinants of health.” The new dashboard will focus on key metrics like case count, hospitalizations, vaccination, and testing. It will be located at,, the same site on the COVID-19 Information Portal as the current dashboard for continued ease of access. 

• U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan measure—backed by U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara)—aimed at reducing supply chain disruptions, according to Carbajal’s office. The measure’s goal is to crack down on inflated shipping fees and to lower costs for families and businesses. “It seems that no one in America today doesn’t know the phrase ‘supply chain disruption,’” Carbajal said in a statement on June 16. The Ocean Shipping Reform Act will help “level the playing field by empowering the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to strengthen oversight of the shipping market and lower costs for consumers. The legislation will boost FMC funding and new key measures to act against exploitative business practices and improve shipping transparency. “I was proud to stand with President Biden today to get this bipartisan overhaul of our shipping rules signed into law, and I was proud to work with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to promote this important legislation that will protect American manufacturers and farmers and counter trade imbalances with foreign exporting countries.”

• U.S. Sens. Alex Padilla (D-California) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California) along with U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Oroville) introduced bipartisan legislation to allow tribal governments to participate in an existing program that allows the Bureau of Land Management to sell and lease certain public lands below market value if they will be used for recreational or public purposes, according to a June 17 statement from Padilla’s office. This program currently allows state and local governments to participate, but tribal governments have been excluded from the program. The bill would correct this and ensure that tribal governments enjoy the same opportunities for land acquisition as state and local government. Tribal governments were omitted from the act when it first became law in 1926, which leaves such governments without the same opportunities as state and local governments for public land use. “As our nation works to strengthen tribal sovereignty and self-determination, we must ensure parity in how our laws treat tribal governments,” Padilla said in a statement. “It’s long past time we fix this omission and allow tribal governments to have the same opportunities to access and purchase public lands as state and local governments. I look forward to working with my colleagues to enact this common-sense bill as quickly as possible.”

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