Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies search nine female inmates who assume the position—legs spread, hands up against the wall of the transportation corridor in the Santa Barbara County Main Jail. The women are chained in pairs by the wrist and are wearing navy blue jumpsuits, orange socks and blue Croc sandals. This is standard procedure for the 130 or so male and female inmates who are bussed to and from North County every day.
Covered California is in the final stages of a major push to enroll the uninsured as the March 31 deadline to sign up looms. In Santa Barbara County and throughout the state, officials are working feverishly to enroll Latinos, a population that so far has been reticent to embrace the healthcare plan. “On the whole we’ve done a very good job,” said state Sen. Hannah Beth-Jackson (D-Santa Barbara). “What we haven’t done a good job at is reaching the Latino community. It’s been a disappointment, quite frankly.”
Tourists spent $943 million, infused $26.4 million in tax revenues and created nearly 8,000 local jobs in the city of Santa Barbara last year, according to Visit Santa Barbara, a nonprofit tourism agency. More people are coming to Santa Barbara, both in cars and on cruise ships, and they are staying longer in hotels and spending more money everywhere they go.