In the News

BIG SUR — When state Sen. John Laird toured Point Sur five years ago, he did his best to focus on the needs of the historic park and vowed to find funding if he returned to the state Legislature, despite a distraction flaring up in the background.

With brief but exuberant praise from Democrats and often acerbic criticism from Republicans, the Legislature dispatched the 2021-22 budget bill with spending levels for education that appeared implausible a year ago, in the throes of a pandemic. The vote – 61 to 12 in the Assembly and 31 to 5 in the Senate, with several Republicans not voting – sends a $263 billion budget to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who agreed to the deal on Friday following nearly two weeks of negotiations.

By | | Santa Cruz Sentinel

PUBLISHED: June 27, 2021 at 3:00 a.m. | UPDATED: June 27, 2021 at 6:08 a.m

SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz County, with its miles of coastal access, temperate climate and acres of wooded areas, has long proven attractive – and barely affordable – to those both with access to housing and without.

An Atascadero nonprofit received special recognition and a visit from a California senator in honor of the services they have provided to the community.

El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) was selected as a "2021 California nonprofit of the Year" by District 17 Sen. John Laird.

Invariably, Sen. John Laird of Santa Cruz, who served as Natural Resources secretary during the Brown administration and now chairs the Natural Resources and Water Committee, where the bill was heard, said that California has held to a historic beneficiary pays policy.

“The water project itself was 97% paid for by the water users and 3% by the state taxpayers,” he said. “This is a logical thing for the users to pay.”

SACRAMENTO — A new spotlight on Britney Spears’ conservatorship that has her legions of fans calling for reforms has prompted California lawmakers to consider changes that could affect the pop singer’s protracted legal case in Los Angeles.

Read full article on the Californian

SANTA CRUZ – California lawmakers are hopeful that the Sea Level Rise Mitigation and Adaptation Act, could force quicker and more effective action on sea level rise — a problem that threatens more than 70% of the state’s residents, who live on more than 3,400 miles of coastline.

Read full article on the Californian

SACRAMENTO – Last week, State Senator John Laird (D – Santa Cruz), who serves as the Vice Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, revealed SB 390. This bill will require the Employment Development Department (EDD) to establish, and routinely revise, a recession plan to ensure the department can rapidly, and efficiently respond to an increase of claims due to an economic downturn. The recession plan will contain procedures, practices, and protocols to ensure the department is better equipped to handle an increased workload due to an economic downturn.