Stone Sentinel: February 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Welcome to the February 2017 edition of the Stone Sentinel.

We’ve got a lot going on this month both in Sacramento and across the 28th District.

To begin with, I have just announced the winner of our annual “There Ought to Be a Law” competition.

You can read the story in the Sentinel.

I am looking forward to visiting with this high school senior soon and bringing him up to Sacramento later this spring to testify about his bill.

I have also launched our annual Veterans Service Award. Information on how to nominate a worthy veteran can be found in the newsletter. Last year we honored a dozen great veterans from across Riverside County.

I probably don’t need to remind you that it’s tax time. And, while nobody likes filling out tax forms, this year, thanks to my bill signed by the Governor, you can make a voluntary donation to help “Revive the Salton Sea.” Details are in the Sentinel.

I hope you get a chance to attend the Riverside County Fair this month in Indio. The fair is full of great family entertainment with something for everyone of all ages.

Riverside County Fair, February 17-26, 2017

Finally, I look forward to meeting many of you when we hold our “Coffee with the Senator” on March 10th in Murrieta. More details can be found in the newsletter.

Senator Jeff Stone  announces coffee with Senator Jeff Stone, March 10th - 9 AM

As always if, I or my staff can be of any assistance, please contact our Capitol office in Sacramento or my district offices in Indio or Murrieta.

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Why President Trump Scares California’s Democratic Leaders

By Senator Jeff Stone

California State Capitol

It’s been a month since Donald Trump took the oath of office and was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Over that time, we’ve quickly learned why Democrats in California are panicked beyond belief – it seems they don’t fear Trump as much as they fear that his policies and successes will show Californians how out of step they really are with average men, women and families.

I was wondering why Democrats would be freaking out about union bosses coming out of the White House happy that jobs were being created. I was wondering why Democrats were upset about the President releasing a workable exit strategy to the Obamacare disaster.

Then it hit me.

And it suddenly made sense.

For the past 8 years, California voters haven’t questioned the radical liberal policies being proposed, passed and enacted in Sacramento because those policies were exactly the policies that were being adopted and implemented by the Obama Administration.

In another sense, Californians haven’t realized how out of step their state leaders were with common sense because everybody in Washington, DC seemed to be saying and proposing the same things.

image of the Senate Floor

President Trump, I believe, scares Democrats because it’s the political equivalent of taking a child who has lived his or her whole life never knowing anything but oppression and dictatorship and then putting that child onto Main Street in Disneyland suddenly faced with choices, opportunity, freedom and the chance for happiness.

With the emergence of a fresh viewpoint and a leader willing to take action on policies he campaigned on, Donald Trump is showing California voters what could be possible if the liberals just stopped putting roadblocks and barriers in the way of the private sector.

Simply put, Democrats in Sacramento are terrified that Donald Trump’s successes on the national stage will put a spotlight on the failed liberal policies California has embraced for the past eight years.

I suspect that Democrats in power are very concerned about the public waking up and suddenly realizing that life doesn’t have to be like it has been for years.

The election of Donald Trump has shown that change is possible, and change may actually be good.

Good for the economy.

Good for the environment.

Good for working families across the state.

If President Trump succeeds, America will get back to work and the lives of real people will improve. If that happens, people in California may start to realize that the liberal policies that have prevented significant economic expansion aren’t truly reflective of their values and Democrats will start to lose elections.

California flag

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Senator Stone offers legislation to benefit first responders, students and veterans

Senator Jeff Stone

For the past month, you’ve heard mostly empty rhetoric and political grandstanding coming from the majority party here in Sacramento.

At least that’s what’s been grabbing the headlines.

Believe it or not, some other work has actually taken place. I’ve spent the better part of the past month working on legislation to be introduced this session.

Watch the video here: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-offers-legislation-benefit-veterans-student-and-first-responders.

These bills are meant to improve the lives of those in the 28th Senate District and all of California.

Many of the bills I am introducing this session are simple common sense.

For instance, did you know that when police, fire and other emergency vehicles are rushing to save lives and property; our first responders are allowed to use the Diamond Lanes or Toll Roads on the freeway?

However, when it’s time to go back to the station or headquarters, these vehicles are not allowed to use those same lanes to return to duty as soon as possible.

In fact, some of our emergency responders have been fined and issued tickets for using these lanes.

My bill will allow first responders to return to their duty stations as soon as possible in order to be back in place to protect all Californians.

Another of my bills will provide severely disabled veterans with property tax relief so that they can continue to live in their homes.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because I proposed the same legislation last year, only to have it killed in committee by Senate Democrats who, for some reason, don’t seem to share the same respect and admiration for California’s Veterans that I do.

Sometimes I just have to shake my head.

My entire legislative package will be available soon for you to view on-line. Look for more information on my website, or by liking me on Facebook and following me on Twitter.

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Nominations for Senator Stone’s Veterans Service Awards now being accepted

Veterans from the Coachella Valley were honored in 2016 Veterans Service Award
These Veterans from the Coachella Valley were honored in 2016

Nominations are now being accepted from individuals and groups for the 2017 Veterans Service Awards presented by State Senator Jeff Stone.

The awards are given annually to 10 military veterans from the 28th Senate District who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help their fellow veterans and members of the community.

Senator Stone will present the awards at separate ceremonies held in Southwest Riverside County and the Coachella Valley in late May.

“We owe our veterans a debt that can never be repaid,” said Senator Stone. “This award is just a small token of our thanks and appreciation for what they have done, not only during their time in uniform, but after they returned home.”

Senator Stone honored these Southwest Riverside County Veterans in 2016
Senator Stone honored these Southwest Riverside County Veterans in 2016

Veterans groups, such as American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts, are encouraged to nominate a member of their organization for the award and individuals can also nominate worthy veterans.

The deadline to submit applications is April 17, 2017.

Award recipients must be residents of the 28th District, which is entirely in Riverside County and includes the cities of Blythe, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta, Temecula, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and Wildomar.

Applications and more information are available on the Senator’s website – www.Senate.Ca.Gov/Stone – and by calling the Senator’s District Office in the Coachella Valley in Indio (760-398-6442) and Southwest Office in Murrieta. (951-894-3530).

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Senator Stone opposes California becoming a Sanctuary State

In recent weeks, while empty rhetoric and political grandstanding has grabbed most of the headlines coming out of Sacramento, Senator Stone has stood strong in his commitment to work with the new administration in Washington D.C.

The Senator has been a frequent guest on radio news and talks shows. In addition he has offered his views directly in his Weekly Capitol Updates:

Senator Stone Stands firm against California becoming a Sanctuary State

Senator Stone's Weekly Capitol Update

Watch: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-stands-firm-against-california-becoming-sanctuary-state

Senator Stone was interviewed on the John & Ken Show on KFI AM 640

KFI AM 640

Listen: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-interviewed-about-sanctuary-cities-john-and-ken-show-kfi-am-640

Senator Stone was a guest on the Jen & Don Show discussing Sanctuary Cities

The Jen and Don Show

Listen: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-was-interviewed-jen-don-show-ktie-am590-about-california-becoming-sanctuary

The Senator was interviewed on KNX 1070AM about federal funding

KNX 1070 AM

Listen: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-was-interviewed-today-knx-am-1070-about-federal-funding-and-sanctuary-cities

Senator Stone was a guest on AirTalk on 89.3FM KPCC

KPCC 89.3

Listen: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-was-guest-airtalk-893-kpcc-discussing-sanctuary-cities

Senator Stone at a radio station


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“There Ought to be a Law” competition winner announced

There Ought to be a Law!!! Senator Stone encourages high school students to propose NEW legislation!

Senator Stone recently announced the winner of his annual “There Ought to be a Law” competition.

That bill, called the California Financial Literacy Act, was inspired by Robert Ortega, a senior at Shadow Hills High School in Indio.

Since last fall, high school students from across the District have submitted ideas about legislation they think will make a difference in their lives and the lives of their community.

More than 120 students submitted entries.

“While there were many good suggestions, the one bill that stood out to me came from Robert Ortega and will require high school students to be taught necessary life skills before they graduate,” Senator Stone said.

In the near future, Senator Stone will visit Shadow Hills High School to meet with Robert, his teacher Shauna Perrance, and school Principal Dr. Marcus Wood.

“High school graduates leave school into the world not knowing how to do simple, everyday tasks, such as filing financial papers…,” wrote Ortega in his entry.

Senator Stone agreed.

“So many of our young people enter the job market or head off to college without the necessary financial tools they need,” the Senator said. “As a result, many run almost immediately into massive debt and credit card problems that force them to begin their adult lives with bad credit scores and huge bills.”

This bill, if passed and signed by the Governor, will provide our young people with the tools they need to handle their finances responsibly.

image of Shadow Hills High School


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Senator Stone’s bill allows contributions to revive the Salton Sea

image of the Salton Sea

Now that tax season is upon us you can do something important to help save the Salton Sea.

2017 California Resident Income Tax Return, line 432

In August 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senator Stone’s bill—SB-1416—that will allow Californians to help revive the Salton Sea.

The new law will let Californians make a voluntarily contribution to the “Revive the Salton Sea Fund” on their State Income Tax form. “I’m pleased the Governor and the Legislature recognized the need to take action on the Salton Sea,” said Senator Stone.

“The Salton Sea is on the brink of an ecological disaster that will impact the lives, health and economy of not just the Coachella Valley and Inland Empire, but all of Southern California.”

These days, about 90 percent of the fresh water that flows into the Salton Sea comes from Imperial Valley agricultural runoff. Unless action is taken soon, much of this water could stop flowing into the sea in just a few years. The Salton Sea Task Force was created to reach a solution, and work is progressing.

As the lake shrinks, as much as 150-square-miles of lakebed is likely to be exposed, creating large amounts of dust, killing millions of fish and birds and threatening air quality across the region.

image of the Salton Sea

It has been projected that without action to stop deterioration, the long-term social and economic costs—higher health care costs, increased illnesses like asthma and other more serious diseases, lower property values and others—could range between $29 billion and $70 billion over the next 30 years.

“There is much work to be done to save and restore the Salton Sea,” Senator Stone said. “This new law is an important step toward making that happen. I urge all Californian’s to make this voluntary contribution.”

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Coffee with the Senator

clip art of a coffee cup

The Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery in Murrieta will be the site for March’s “Coffee with the Senator” set for 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 10.

The event is free and open to the public. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.

Senator Stone is looking forward to holding these events monthly.

“This gives me a great opportunity to meet with people in an informal setting and find out what’s on their minds,” said Senator Stone. “It’s usually best to get away from Sacramento learn what’s really going on.”

The Senator will offer details of the legislative package he recently submitted, which includes bills to help students, veterans and emergency responders.

He also wants to hear your questions and concerns.

The Senator’s staff will be available to answer questions and help residents with issues involving state agencies.

So, get your St. Patrick’s Day week started early at The Shamrock in Murrieta with coffee and conversation with Senator Stone.

logo: The Shamrock, Irish Pub and Eatery's

Plans are being made to hold April’s “Coffee with the Senator” in the Coachella Valley. More details will follow.

For more information call the Senator’s office in Murrieta at 951-894-3530.

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Jeff in the District

This time of year Senator Stone spends each Sunday thru Thursday in Sacramento representing the people of the 28th Senate District.

On the weekend he is always happy to return home and travel across the District meeting with many wonderful people and groups. Here are just a few of the places the Senator has been recently:

Senator Stone held his quarterly 'kitchen cabinet' meeting in Temecula

Senator Stone held his quarterly “kitchen cabinet” meeting in Temecula with leaders of the business community of Southwest Riverside County. It’s always great to hear what’s on the mind of local business people and to let them know what’s going on in Sacramento.

Senator Stone honors coaches and athletes of the Boys and Girls Cross-Country teams at Great Oak High School

Senator Stone was proud to honor the coaches and athletes of the Boys and Girls Cross-Country teams at Great Oak High School in Temecula. Both teams recently captured the Division 1 State Cross-Country Championships in Fresno.

Interview with Senator Jeff Stone

Senator Stone was interviewed at the 2017 Caliente Springs Health and Resources Fair. The Senator wants everyone to know he is here to serve them. Watch the interview here: http://bit.ly/2jLSKWB

Senator Stone and District Director Glenn Miller were honored to attend the 68th Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner at The Diamond Club

Senator Stone and District Director Glenn Miller were honored to attend the 68th Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner at The Diamond Club. Thanks to Congressman Ken Calvert and Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez who also attended to honor the businesses and individuals of this great community.

Senator Stone held his quarterly 'kitchen cabinet' meeting in Temecula

Desert Mist Farms General Manager, Adrian Zendejas, and Wilbur Ellis Pest Control Advisors, Paul Darroch and Mike Terry and others recently discussed biological pest control with Senator Stone in a field of organic artichokes in Indio. Thanks to Grow Coachella Valley for all you do.

Senator Stone on his visit of the new art piece, Half a House

Senator Stone recently visited the new art piece “Half a House” for the City of Cathedral City with Art Commissioner Pam Price, Council Member Shelly Kaplan, Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pettis and Mayor Stan Henry.

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Team Stone on the Move

In recent weeks Team Stone has traveled across Riverside County attending events, meeting with constituents and listening to business owners, local officials and the hard working people of the region.

Here are just a few of the places Senator Stone’s staff visited.

Team Stone was honored to attend the Murrieta Rotary Club Vocational Service Award luncheon

Team Stone was honored to attend the Murrieta Rotary Club Vocational Service Award luncheon honoring members of the Murrieta Police and Fire Departments and the Murrieta Valley Unified School District. Communications Director John Hunneman and District Representative Debbie Herrera represented Senator Stone.

District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone

Desert Regional Hospital is now a designated Comprehensive Stroke Center — the highest certification a hospital can attain. Team Stone attended the mixer and reception to celebrate the designation. District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Coachella Valley Horse Rescue in Indio

Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Coachella Valley Horse Rescue in Indio. District Representative Josie Arechiga presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone joined dozens of groups and local businesses at the recent Mega-Mixer held in Murrieta

Team Stone joined dozens of groups and local businesses at the recent Mega-Mixer held in Murrieta. It was great to speak with all those who came by our table to discuss what’s going on in Sacramento.

District Director Glenn Miller was honored to represent Senator Stone at the 8th Annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day Observance in Palm Desert

District Director Glenn Miller was honored to represent Senator Stone at the 8th Annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day Observance in Palm Desert sponsored by the Gerald Ford Chapter of Mensch International Foundation.

Team Stone attended the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony for Jen Warnock and her new business Isagenix

Team Stone attended the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony for Jen Warnock and her new business Isagenix. District Director Glenn Miller and District Representatives Debbie Herrera and Darrell Connerton joined in the ceremony.

Team Stone joined with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Neuro Vitality Center

Team Stone joined with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Neuro Vitality Center on E. Alejo Road. District Director Glenn Miller and District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone took part in the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony of Y Not Mexican Seafood and Breakfast

Team Stone took part in the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony of Y Not Mexican Seafood and Breakfast on Margarita Road. Senior District Representative Maryann Edwards presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone always enjoys starting the day at a Student of the Month breakfast

Team Stone always enjoys starting the day at a Student of the Month breakfast. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented certificates to each of these great Murrieta students.

Team Stone joined with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the 99Cent Only Store

Team Stone joined with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the 99Cent Only Store on S. Sunrise Way. District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone at the Lake Elsinore Unified School District Student of the Month luncheon

It’s always great to attend the Lake Elsinore Unified School District Student of the Month luncheon. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone to each of these students.

Team Stone saluted the winners of the Temescal Valley 'America Recycles Day' Calendar Art Contest

Team Stone saluted the winners of the Temescal Valley “America Recycles Day” Calendar Art Contest sponsored by Waste Management Think Green Grant & El Sobrante Landfill. Senior District Representative Maryann Edwards congratulated the winners on behalf of Senator Stone.

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