Monday, March 20, 2023     Volume: 24, Issue: 3

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on March 14th, 2023, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 24, Issue 3 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 24, Issue 3

Political Watch: March 16, 2023

• U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) applauded President Joe Biden for proposing a $300 million increase in funding to agricultural research and innovation in his 2024 budget—an investment pushed by Carbajal and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, according to a March 10 statement from the congressman’s office. As Congress is set to craft the next Farm Bill, Carbajal and fellow lawmakers also highlighted the importance of supporting the Agriculture Advanced Research and Development Authority in the bill—which has been underfunded by 98 percent compared to its authorized budget in the last two years. “I am pleased to see President Biden agrees that the United States cannot remain competitive globally without increased emphasis on ensuring that American farms and farm workforces can stay on the cutting edge of their industry,” Carbajal said in the statement. “By proposing a nearly $300 million increase in our agricultural research budget, this administration is taking an important step toward undoing years of underinvestment—as public funding for agriculture research has declined by one-third since 2002. I look forward to working with my colleagues that joined this call, and those I serve with on the House Agriculture Committee, to make this proposed investment a reality in our Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations process.” 

• U.S. Sens. Alex Padilla (D-California), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), along with 46 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2023, according to a March 8 statement from Padilla’s office. This federal legislation would guarantee access to abortion everywhere across the country and restore the right to comprehensive reproductive health care for millions of Americans. The bill’s introduction follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which repealed Roe v. Wade. Since the Dobbs decision, 14 states have implemented near-total abortion bans, leaving nearly 1 in 3 women without access to legal abortion care. Additionally, state legislatures across the country have introduced hundreds of bills to include medical restrictions that limit access to abortion care. “Reproductive health care and access to safe abortion services are fundamental rights,” Padilla said in the statement. “The Women’s Health Protection Act will safeguard reproductive freedoms and ensure that a woman’s health care decisions stay between her and her doctor. We must pass this legislation to restore the rights of millions of Americans to access reproductive health care, regardless of where they live.”

• Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Emergency Declaration to authorize federal assistance supporting state and local disaster response, as another atmospheric river descended on California, according to a March 9 statement from the governor’s office. With storms forecast to continue through mid-March, the governor proclaimed a state of emergency in 21 counties to support disaster response and relief efforts, following the state of emergency he proclaimed in an initial 13 counties, including Santa Barbara County. “California is deploying every tool we have to protect communities from the relentless and deadly storms battering our state,” Newsom said the statement. “In these dangerous and challenging conditions, it is crucial that Californians remain vigilant and follow all guidance from local emergency responders.” If approved, the emergency declaration would enable impacted counties to immediately access direct federal assistance to help protect public safety and property. The request for direct federal assistance includes generators, road clearance equipment, and potential sheltering and mass care assistance.

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.

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