There has been some activity backstage at the Michael Jackson trial, during the last couple of days.
Actor Gary Coleman made a brief appearance outside the Santa Maria Court on Monday morning. He was recording scenes for a comedy radio show, and doing interviews dealing with Michael Jackson's child-molestation trial.
He spent about 15 minutes interviewing supporters of both Jackson and the alleged 13-year-old victim, while attracting a lot of media attention.
Meanwhile in a press conference, near the entrance to the Santa Maria Court Complex, state Sen. Abel Maldonado and Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Anderson introduced a new bill aimed at reimbursing the county for security costs due to the lengthy trial.
The bill, SB 827, asks for a full reimbursement for expenses incurred by the sheriff's office.
"All you have to do is look around you to see what we're going through. This puts constant strains on the budget..".
The precise cost to the state has not been quantified, as the length of the trial remains unknown.
Maldonado noted that although he was happy to see people staying in Santa Maria hotels, and eating at local restaurants, the increased revenue from the sales tax would not be enough to make up the total cost to the county.
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