September 25, 2022
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Biggest stories this week in Kern County politics

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — We are closing out our first week since the primary election last Tuesday — when you might expect the political news to tamper down. Instead, it was quite the opposite.

It was a busy week for our lawmakers in Sacramento as California’s new fiscal year draws near and a lively seven days for our Congressmen on Capitol Hill — all while we still await final outcomes in most of Tuesday’s primary races, where, according to the Secretary of State, as of Friday, Kern still has over 50,000 ballots left to process.

“The presentation I made today showed the Sacramento County election process and they have it all detailed. When, on what day, what time are results going to be updated. Here in Kern County It’s a crapshoot,” Taft Republican Assembly President and Election Integrity Project volunteer Vince Maiocco said.

The pace of counting ballots here in Kern became a heated topic at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting — when a group of residents who have expressed concerns over our elections process for months returned to the floor.

Registrar of Voters Mary Bedard responded Tuesday — saying Kern has given more updates on results than a number of other counties.

And at that same Board meeting, Bedard announced an effort to give County Supervisors term limits received enough signatures — over 20,000 — to qualify for the ballot.

The measure would limit Board members to two-four year terms — whether it’s enacted will be up to voters to decide in the November General Election.

Lawmakers at the state capitol were busy this week — putting together a new $300 billion budget that includes a record-shattering nearly $100 billion surplus ahead of the start of California’s fresh fiscal year on July 1.

Kern’s lawmakers in Sacramento responded to the plan the legislature sent to Governor Gavin Newsom Monday — which includes funds for housing, schools, transportation and infrastructure.

Democratic Assemblyman Rudy Salas praised the proposal — saying he’s proud of the budget’s Rainy Day reserve fund.

Assemblyman Vince Fong expressed his disappointment on the Assembly floor.

“But with nearly $100 billion in surplus, the proposal before us still fails to adequately address critical and core crises facing our state. From a devastating drought to catastrophic wildfires to a potentially crippling power storage,” Fong said.

Rounding things out in Washington — it was an active week for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The Bakersfield Congressman spoke three times on the House floor — urging Democrats to pass a Senate-approved bill expanding protections for Supreme Court justices and their families, which eventually passed on Tuesday.

“By passing this bill as is, we are sending a clear message to left wing radicals: you cannot intimidate Supreme Court justices. I hope we all take that message to heart,” McCarthy said.

Also on Tuesday, McCarthy was mentioned during the Jan. 6 panel’s second public hearing.

In video testimony, Former President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien said he and McCarthy met with Trump about mail-in-voting ahead of the 2020 election.

“I invited Kevin McCarthy to join the meeting, he being of like mind on the issue with me, in which we made our case for why we believed mail-in-voting not to be a bad thing for his campaign,” Stepien said.

This week both McCarthy and Congressman David Valadao sent a letter to the Biden Administration, urging the President to reduce barriers to U.S. agriculture production.

On Thursday, President Biden signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022. The law, which Valadao co-sponsored in the House, aims to ease supply chain issues by implementing new shipping regulations.



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