With the July recess behind us, the State Legislature is back in session in what will truly be the busiest month of the year.
About 1,500 bills will be considered in the Senate and the Assembly before the end of the legislative session on August 31.
If you have questions or comments on any of these bills I urge you to contact my office, or the offices of other Legislators and the Governor.
Visit my website at www.Senate.Ca.Gov/Stone and let me know how you feel. There you will also find a link to the offices of other State Legislators and the Governor.
August is also the month when children head back to school. On my website, you will find a link to safety tips to make sure your kids get off to a good start in the new school year.
Finally, this month we welcome a new member to our staff.
Monica Idnani will be working as a Field Representative based in the Coachella Valley District Office in Indio.
Monica was an intern for Texas Congressman Michael Conaway in 2008 before attending The University of Texas. In 2012, she graduated with honors with a dual degree in Government and Anthropology.
Following graduation, Monica worked as a Paralegal for numerous fast-paced, upscale business and real estate litigation law firms.
Monica moved to Palm Desert last year to be closer to her family.
As always, our offices in the Coachella Valley, Southwest Riverside County and Sacramento are ready to help you with any issues related to state agencies and state government.
“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session” – Mark Twain
With the Legislature back in session, Senator Stone used his first Weekly Capitol Update of August to take a look back at the previous month traveling across Riverside County and to look at the busy month ahead.
Watch the video here: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-looks-ahead-busy-month-august
Free Entrance Days set for August 25th-28th
One of America’s greatest treasures, its national park system, will celebrate its 100th birthday on August 25th.
As part of the ongoing celebration to honor this historic occasion, the National Parks Service will be offering Free Entrance Day to all national parks from August 25th to 28th. Click here for information: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm
We are fortunate to have 10 national parks in California and many national monuments, historical sites, and trails that give all who visit an opportunity to witness the beauty and natural diversity this state offers.
You can find a list: https://www.nps.gov/state/ca/index.htm
One of these great National Parks, Joshua Tree, is located mostly within the 28th Senate District.
For information about this National treasure right in our backyard click here: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm
The National Parks Service has also scheduled “Free Entrance Days” for September 24th, to recognize National Public Lands Day, and November 11th, in honor of Veterans Day.
High School Students encouraged to propose legislation to be introduced by Senator Stone
In April 2016 Alyson White of Rancho Mirage High School testified about her law along with Senator Stone.
Have you ever said to yourself, “There ought to be a law…”?
Once again this year high school students from Senator Stone’s 28th California Senate District are being encouraged to propose legislation that may become law in California.
“There ought to be a law” is open to all high school students – grades 9-12 – in the 28th Senate District. The contest encourages students to submit ideas for improving the quality of life in Riverside County and the State of California.
“By asking our high school students to propose new laws, I am hoping to tap into their bright, inquisitive minds and also to inspire them to get involved in politics and public service,” Senator Stone said. “I am looking for proposed legislation that addresses issues on both the local and statewide level.”
Of course, people of all ages are always welcome to submit proposals for new legislation to Senator Stone’s office. In fact, the best laws often come from the ideas and experiences of working families, small business owners, senior citizens, veterans and others.
Entries will be accepted beginning in September and the deadline for students to submit their proposed legislation is Dec 2, 2016.
The entry form will be available on the Senator’s website: www.Senate.Ca.Gov/Stone.
“I will choose at least one of the entries and begin the process of creating legislation to be considered by the California Senate and Assembly and, hopefully, signed by the Governor,” Senator Stone said.
Alyson White, a senior at Rancho Mirage High School, was the winner of last year’s competition. Her proposed law was selected from about 70 entries submitted from across the district.
Senate Bill 1395 – “Alyson’s Law” – would have doubled the fines and prison sentences for those convicted of animal abuse.
In April 2016 White and her mother, traveled to Sacramento as guests of Senator Stone and testified before the Senate Public Safety Committee in Sacramento.
In early 2017 Senator Stone will visit the school of the author of the winning entry to further discuss details of the legislation.
The winner and a parent will be invited to Sacramento to testify on behalf of their proposed legislation.
High school principals, teachers and staff can contact John Hunneman, Senator Stone’s Communications Director, for additional information. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 951-894-3530.
The 28th Senate District is home to many people who do extraordinary things to enrich the lives of our communities.
Each month Senator Stone and his staff present Senate Resolutions to those who go above and beyond the call of duty.
Here are a few of those worthy individuals who were recently presented with Senate Resolutions by the Senator and his staff.
Senator Stone presented Tate and Dave Donner, owners of Nothing Bundt Cakes of Temecula, with the 2016 Small Business of the Year Award for the 28th State Senate District. The award recognized the business, which opened in August 2010 in the Temecula Town Center, for their longstanding support of the community, steadfast commitment to customer service and high business ethics.
“Nothing Bundt Cakes is a great example of how a small business can grow and be successful when the owners understand the value not only of a high quality product, but of giving back to their community,” said Senator Stone. “The pride that Tate and Dave have in their business, and in their community, is in keeping with the spirit of Temecula that is such an important part of the community.”
Senator Stone was happy to honor Temecula City Clerk Randi Johl-Olson who was recently named 2016 City Clerk of the Year by the City Clerks Association of California. Randi was chosen by her peers from among the 482 City Clerks across the state. Senior District Representative Maryann Edwards presented a Senate Resolution from Senator Stone to Randi Johl-Olson at a Temecula City Council meeting.
Senator Stone congratulated Pat North Ommert on her induction into the National Cowgirl Museum Hall of Fame. Senior District Representative Maryann Edwards presented a Senate Resolution on behalf of Senator Stone.
Senator Stone presented a Senate Resolution to Mayor Joey DeConinck and the people of Blythe to mark the 100th Birthday of that great Riverside County city.
This year, once again, the top winery in the State of California can be found in Temecula Valley Wine Country. South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is the recipient of the Golden Bear Award as the state’s top winery for a record setting fourth time. Senior District Representative Maryann Edwards and District Representatives Darrell Connerton and Debbie Herrera presented a Senate Resolution from Senator Stone to South Coast owner Jim Carter and his staff to mark this historic occasion.
Senator Stone was honored to recognize Veronica Mondragon who was recently named the Riverside County Teacher of the Year by the Riverside County Office of Education. Veronica teaches 6th grade language arts/social studies and AVID elective courses for 6th/8th grade students at Canyon Lake Middle School in the Lake Elsinore Unified School District. Senator Stone presented a Senate Resolution recognizing this achievement to this gifted educator when she visited his Murrieta office.
During July, with the legislature on Summer Recess, Senator Stone spent time traveling across the 28th District meeting with residents and listening to their concerns.
Here are just a few of the stops the Senator made recently in Riverside County.
Senator Stone was at Toro Canyon Middle School in Thermal judging the 2016 Robotics Championship. Congratulations to Bea Gonzalez and Joey Acuna for their great work with our youth in the Coachella Valley Unified School District.
What a pleasure it was for Senator Stone to attend a recent Rancho Mirage City Council meeting and speak to the leaders of that great city.
Senator Stone recently welcomed four new interns to his Coachella Valley District Office in Indio. Each of these young men and women are local high school graduates now attending college in California.
Standing from left to right – Manuel Rodriguez – USC, Joanne Rodriguez, UCLA, Senator Stone, Jah Strange – Sacramento State, Chris Michel – Cal State Fullerton, and District Director Glenn Miller.
Senator Stone held his quarterly meeting with his Southwest Kitchen Cabinet at the Corner Bakery in Temecula. This group of city, county, community and business leaders and the Senator get together for an update on legislation and to provide local input to the Senator and staff.
Senator Stone congratulated Triston Muzic of Murrieta on earning the rank of Eagle Scout. For Triston’s Eagle Scout project he raised almost $50,000 and built a memorial to two graduates from Murrieta Valley High School who were killed defending freedom in Afghanistan while serving in the U.S. Army. Triston hopes one day to be an U.S. Marine Corps pilot.
Team Stone helped the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce welcome Yellow Basket restaurant to the community. District Representatives Debbie Herrera and Darrell Connerton took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony and presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.
Team Stone helped the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce celebrate the ribbon cutting for the Edward Jones office of Allen Montemagno in Wildomar. District Representatives Debbie Herrera and Darrell Connerton presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.
Team Stone helped celebrate the restoration of the Vail Ranch headquarters in Temecula. The buildings – some almost 150-years-old – are an important part of Temecula’s history and were nearly torn down 25 years ago to make way for a shopping center. Thanks to the efforts of the Vail Ranch Restoration Association, most of the historic buildings have now been restored.
As a Temecula City Councilman and a Riverside County Supervisor, Senator Stone played an important role in protecting and restoring these historical treasures.
Team Stone helped the Indio Chamber of Commerce welcome “Your Pie” to the Indio Towne Center. District Director Glenn Miller presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.
Team Stone was honored to wish a Happy 110th Birthday to Clarence “Larry” Matthews at Indian Wells City Hall. District Director Glenn Miller presented Matthews, the oldest man in America, with a certificate from Senator Stone.
Team Stone took part in the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony at the Open House for the new showroom for Carrington Construction. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone. It’s great to see this business growing.
Team Stone honored Edward Seffens, a 90-year-old veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Mr. Seffens joined the U.S. Navy in 1943 and served in both the Navy and the U.S. Army before retiring in 1966.
Communications Director John Hunneman (U.S. Navy Veteran), District Representative Darrell Connerton (U.S. Army Veteran) and Senior District Director Maryann Edwards (married to a U.S. Army Veteran) presented a certificate to Mr. Seffens – and his wife of 71 years, Maxine – on behalf of Senator Stone.
Team Stone took part in the ribbon cutting for Airport Blvd. /Grapefruit Blvd. Railroad Grade Separation Project in Thermal. The project will improve vehicle and pedestrian safety and reduce congestion and traffic delays. District Director Glenn Miller represented Senator Stone at the event.
Congratulations to Desert Arc which was named Non-profit of the Year at Inaugural Awards Banquet of the new Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce. Desert Arc is also the Non-profit of the Year designated by Senator Jeff Stone for the 28th State Senate District.