Brownley joins climate change committee, addresses Trump’s “broken promises

Julia Bownley

Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, will serve as part of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, her office announced on Thursday, Feb. 7.

The newly formed Committee was created when the Democrats became the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives and is chaired by Democrat Katherine Castor. A top priority of the committee is to raise public awareness of global climate change, with just 35 percent of Americans considering climate change an imminent threat, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released in December 2018.

“This Committee’s work could mean the difference between a safe and healthy future for our children and grandchildren and one where our planet, our economy and our security are under unrelenting and catastrophic threat,” said Brownley, adding that California has seen longer wildfire seasons and deadlier disasters. Brownley also noted that Ventura County’s coastline is at threat of rising sea levels on coastal communities. 

“Working together, I believe the Select Committee has an historic opportunity to learn from California’s example and expand these and other solutions to the climate crisis nationwide,” said Brownley.

The State of the Union, broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 5, drew criticism from Brownley who said that for President Trump it “was another year filled with broken promises.”

“As the Chairwoman of the VA Health Subcommittee, I was particularly concerned by his failure to lay out a plan tonight to address very serious issues facing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Brownley in a statement.

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Limón addresses climate change via agriculture with new bill

Monique Limon

In a bill authored by Assemblywoman Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara, farmers and agricultural businesses around the state would have easier access to climate adaptation tools, giving them an edge in combating the effects of climate change.

“Climate change has taken a toll on farmers throughout the state and in my district,” said Limón. “To protect our agricultural businesses, the livelihoods of hardworking Californians and address a changing climate, we need to invest in our farmers and support their effort to face these growing challenges. I’m proud to author this bill.”

Over 77,000 farms and ranches exist in California and are being heavily impacted by the effects of climate change, said Limón. Assembly Bill 409 would establish an Office of Planning and Research grant that would develop adaptation tools and training for producers. Should it pass, the bill would require the OPR director make $2 million available in grant money.

“Farmers and ranchers are hungry for data, new equipment, resources and training on how to remain competitive and adapt our operations to the fluxes caused by climate chaos,” said Helen McGrath of Flying M Ranch in Fillmore.

Jackson proposes “Aging Czar” to help develop senior master plan

Hannah Beth Jackson

On Thursday, Feb. 7, State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, introduced legislation that would develop a master plan for aging Californians, who she says struggle to access essential care.

Senate Bill 228 would require the governor to appoint an “Aging Czar” who would lead a 15-member task force made up of members from the health care, consumer, labor, transportation and housing sectors, to name a few, who would prepare California for its growing senior population.

“California’s aging population is growing quickly and living longer. Without adequate services and planning, many of our state’s older adults face a risk of becoming homeless or losing access to essential care,” said Jackson. “We cannot afford to leave our aging adults behind. California must step up and prepare for this rapidly growing population.”

The bill establishes goals including strengthening access to long-term services and support, preparing families to pay for long-term care, increase support for family caregivers and enhance access to transportation, to name just a few of the goals.

The Public Policy Institute estimates that by 2030 California’s elderly population will have doubled and that currently 20 percent of California’s older adults are living in poverty, a percentage that is expected to continue to rise.