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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 1st, 2023, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 23, Issue 49 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 23, Issue 49

Political Watch: February 2, 2023

• The California Department of Water Resources announced that recent storms will allow the State Water Project to boost deliveries to 29 public water agencies serving 27 million Californians, according to a Jan. 26 statement from the department. Based on the amount of water captured and stored, the state now expects to deliver 30 percent of requested water supplies in 2023—up from the initial 5 percent announced on Dec. 1. The increase is a direct result of extreme weather in late December and nine atmospheric rivers in early January that helped fill reservoirs and dramatically increase the Sierra Nevada snowpack. With an above-average snowpack in the mountains, the state is cautiously optimistic that by early summer, there will be enough water stored in the reservoirs and aquifers to help relieve the worst effects of drought, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. “Thanks to the water captured and stored from recent storms, the state is increasing deliveries to local agencies that support two-thirds of Californians—good news for communities and farms in the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California,” Newsom said in the statement. “We’ll keep pushing to modernize our water infrastructure to take advantage of these winter storms and prepare communities for the climate-driven extremes of wet and dry ahead.”

• U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla and several of his Senate and House colleagues led a bicameral group of nearly 80 lawmakers in writing a letter urging President Joe Biden to reverse his administration’s expansion of the border policy known as Title 42 and to abandon the proposed asylum “transit ban” rule, according to a Jan. 26 statement from the senator’s office. The lawmakers also encouraged Biden and his administration to work with Congress to ensure they develop safe, humane, and orderly border policies that enforce immigration laws and uphold the right to asylum under domestic and international law. “The administration’s announced border enforcement actions circumvent [domestic and international] law by not only expanding Title 42 beyond what is required by any court but by further implementing policies to deter and penalize people exercising their legal right to seek asylum at the border,” the lawmakers wrote. “Title 42 circumvents domestic law and international law. Human rights groups have extensively documented more than 10,000 violent attacks—including kidnappings, serious assaults, and deaths—against individuals who were expelled to or blocked in Mexico due to Title 42 since the beginning of your administration.” 

• U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) launched a new resource page on his website to provide information on federal aid available to families and businesses in his district who were impacted by January’s storms and flooding, according to a Jan. 26 statement from the congressman’s office. After securing a major disaster declaration from President Joe Biden for Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, Carbajal’s additional web page highlights what residents and business owners in those areas are eligible for when filing claims for financial assistance, which can be in the form of grants or low-interest loans from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “[January’s] severe storms caused widespread damage, made scores of homes temporarily unlivable, and caused businesses to shutter until floodwaters and other debris could be removed—which is why I pushed President Biden to approve a major disaster declaration for our region,” Carbajal said in a statement. “I’ve seen firsthand the devastation in both SLO and Santa Barbara communities, and have encouraged all that I’ve met to file FEMA claims as soon as possible to get a helping hand. My office is using every tool and connection at our disposal to get this information out to those impacted, and I encourage everyone to share this new resource page with people they know who were impacted in these areas.” Individuals living in Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo counties can find more information in English and Spanish on Rep. Carbajal’s new resource page: File a claim at

Weekly Poll
How have the winter storms impacted your life?

Minor inconveniences, like brief power outages, kids home from school, etc.
Major flooding and property damage.
Stuck at home due to road closures.
I haven't been impacted at all.

| Poll Results

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