Stone Sentinel: January 2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2017 edition of the Stone Sentinel.

In early January the Legislature returned to Sacramento to begin the New Year.

Statue from the State Capitol building

I am looking forward to a productive year working for the people of the 28th Senate District.

There is much to do and my staff and I are putting together a legislative package to benefit business owners, veterans, seniors and hard-working families across the state.

One of my bills will be the result of our annual “There Ought to be a Law” competition among local high school students. We will be announcing the winner of our contest in the coming weeks.

All bills for the coming year must be submitted by February 17th.

Check out my website – www.senate.ca.gov/Stone – like me on Facebook – www.facebook.com/SenatorJeffStone – and follow me on Twitter – @SenJeffStone – to track the progress of legislation and to keep on top of all the action here in Sacramento.

Often I hear from ordinary citizens who say they have little input into how their government works. In the next few months, as hundreds of bills are submitted, they will come before committees in the Senate and Assembly for debate and consideration.

Senator Stone speaking on AB 1630 in the Committee on Budget

Committee work is the backbone of what goes on in Sacramento and your thoughts and opinions matter.

In addition to input from staff, interest groups, legislators, and paid lobbyists, this is the chance for you, the general public, to have input and influence on legislation that is being debated.

Your voice needs and deserves to be heard in Sacramento, now more than ever.

Traveling to Sacramento is often difficult, time consuming and expensive for those of us in Southern California.

While I encourage you to come to Sacramento, you are always welcome to offer input and express your opinions to our staff. In my office, your voice will be heard.

Once again I will be serving on several important Senate Committees, including one new one.

I was recently appointed Vice-Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.

This committee hears legislation relating to environmental quality, air quality, water quality, climate change, California Environmental Quality Act, waste management, pesticides, and hazardous materials.

I also continue to serve on these important committees:

Vice-Chair of the Labor & Industrial Relations Committee which has jurisdiction on bills relating to labor, industrial safety, unemployment, workers’ compensation and insurance, and noncertificated public school employees.

Vice-Chair of Natural Resources & Water Committee which hears legislation relating to conservation and management of public resources, fish and wildlife, regulation of oil, mining, geothermal development, acid deposition, wetlands and lakes, global atmospheric effects, ocean and bay pollution, forestry practices, recreation, parks and historical resources.

In addition I am a Member of the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and Member of the Public Safety Committee.

I look forward to hearing from you about legislation and any other issues where my office can be of service.

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Senator Stone Statement on Governor’s Budget

On January 10th Governor Brown released details of his budget for the upcoming fiscal year. California faces many challenges and uncertainties as the New Year begins.

Following the Governor’s budget presentation, Senator Stone had these comments:

Watch the weekly Capitol Update on the budget here: http://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-looks-governor-browns-proposed-budget

Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

Read the full Press Release here:

“A return to deficit spending is not an acceptable solution to the state’s budget problems, and I applaud the Governor for recognizing that we cannot afford to keep spending at current levels if we are to protect public safety and keep providing vital lifesaving services for people truly in need.

The change in Washington, DC will have a real and material impact on our revenues, and the state needs to be realistic in its budgeting. We face a multi-billion dollar gap in federal funding, and the state needs to be responsible enough to plan for a substantial loss of federal dollars.

I am confident the Governor and my fellow legislators can act in a bipartisan and professional manner to preserve federal funding for vital and essential programs, but the Governor was wise in his admonition that the state cannot continue to spend as freely as it has over the past eight years. We can no longer assume we have access to the federal credit card to pay for things we can’t afford.

The answer to our structural budget deficit is to grow the economy by creating more good paying jobs, and my hope is that Democrats and Republicans can come together to work with the White House and the Congress to make sure California can be a place where businesses feel comfortable locating and expanding.

Over the coming months, as the Legislature has an opportunity to go through the Governor’s proposed budget, Senator Stone will work with his colleagues to adopt a final spending plan that reigns in spending, protects public safety, makes veterans a priority, assists our senior citizens, helps pay for needed infrastructure improvements, increases funding within existing revenues for the developmentally disabled community, and avoids any attempt to raise taxes.”

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Home for the Holidays

Senator Stone and his staff

Senator Stone and his staff wished everyone a safe and joyous Holiday Season. It is an honor to serve the people of the 28th Senate District.

Senator Stone's toy drive

Thanks to all who attended Senator Stone’s Holiday Open House at the District Office in Indio.

Senator Stone and constituents with holiday distributions

Donations of toys, clothing, food and socks were distributed to those in need in the Coachella Valley.

Senator Stone's Meet and Greet event

Thanks also to all who came out to Senator Stone’s “Meet and Greet” at The Mill restaurant in Murrieta.

Senator Stone's Meet and Greet event

The final count is in and 1,049 pairs of socks were collected over the holiday season in the first annual “Sock Drive” to help those in need. Senator Stone partnered with Tracy and Adam Bouvet of The Mill restaurant in Murrieta to help collect and distribute the socks to needy residents across the region. Thanks to The Mill and to all who donated. We are looking forward to making the “Sock Drive” even bigger next year.

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Senator Stones’s statement on the passing of Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit

Senator Stone on the Senate Floor

On January 4, 2017, Senator Stone adjourned the State Senate in memory of Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit.

Watch the video here: http://stone.cssrc.us/content/senate-adjourned-memory-supervisor-john-benoit

He also issued the following press release:

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my colleague and friend John Benoit. I am grateful for the time we served together on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

John was a tireless public servant, as a California Highway Officer rising through the ranks to Commander and ascending in politics from school board member, to Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

It’s rare that one would ever see such a hard working and dedicated elected official. He worked as if he was always in an election, exemplifying his love of serving people.

I will never forget after winning my County Supervisor seat, he was the only State official that drove all the way from the desert to present me with a State proclamation.

I will always treasure his thoughtfulness and continue to hang the proclamation proudly.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

As we can see, life is short…but a good name lasts forever.

John Benoit will forever live in the hearts of the many lives he touched.”

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Senator Stone presents Community Spirit Award

Senator Stone with Shealene Ekern awarded Community Spirit Award

Each month Senator Stone seeks residents and businesses of the 28th Senate District who do extraordinary things to enhance the quality of life here in Riverside County.

What better way to start the New Year than by saluting Shealene Ekern, a store clerk at Winco Foods in Temecula, who recently performed a simple deed that meant so much to a Temecula teenager?

Watch the Senator’s presentation to Shealene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhNum_xHtVY

During an ordinary shopping trip, just prior to the New Year, Shealene Ekern invited Andy Robinson to help her check out the family grocery order. Andy has cerebral palsy and the joy on his face in helping with the grocery store operation brought smiles all around.

Read the Riverside Press-Enterprise story, and watch the video, here: http://www.pe.com/articles/location-822451-cashier-son.html

Andy’s mother Jeanie videoed the event and posted it to Facebook, originally intended just for family members to view. However the video of this joyous event went viral and since has since been seen by millions and shown on newscasts across America.

Watch the Senator’s presentation to Andy here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N2jy6Ia3ck

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Senator Stone announces availability of Senate fellowships

2017-18 Senate Fellows Program

Senator Jeff Stone has announced the availability of applications for the 2017-18 California Senate Fellows program.

The program provides college graduates an opportunity to become full-time Senate staff members at the state Capitol in Sacramento for 11 months beginning in October 2017. Fellows are assigned to the personal or committee staff of a Senator and also participate in academic seminars with Senators, senior staff, journalists, lobbyists, and state government officials. The fellowship program is jointly operated by the California Senate and the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State University.

Fellows are paid a stipend of $2,627 per month plus health, vision, and dental benefits. They earn 6 units of graduate credit from Sacramento State for the academic portion of the program.

“Being a Fellow provides an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the legislative process,” said Senator Stone. “Whether your career goals are in the public or private sector, the Senate Fellows program provides valuable training.” Former Senate Fellows include current members of Congress and the California Legislature, judges, and numerous other elected officials and community leaders.

Senator Stone said Fellows experience the broad range of activities conducted in busy Senate offices. Responsibilities include researching public policy issues, helping develop legislative proposals, analyzing and staffing legislation, assisting with constituent inquiries and casework, participating in meetings as the Senator’s representative, writing press releases and speeches, and performing other delegated tasks. A five-week orientation at the beginning of the program provides background on state government, the legislative process, and major policy issues.

Senate Fellows

Anyone who will be at least 20 years of age and a graduate of a four-year college or university by September 1, 2017, is eligible to apply. There is no preferred major. Individuals with advanced degrees and those in mid-career are encouraged to apply.

Brochures can be requested online and are also available in the Senator’s Indio and Murrieta offices.

For more information, or to apply, visit the Senate Fellows web site (www.csus.edu/calst/senate).

The deadline for submitting applications is February 13, 2017. Eighteen Fellows will be selected in May after an initial screening of applications and a subsequent panel interview of finalists.

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Internships available in Coachella Valley, Southwest County

Senator Stone's staff with former intern
It’s always good to see Team Stone alumni. Our summer intern Martin Bazua recently came to visit the District Office in the Coachella Valley.

Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County) is accepting applications for a limited number of interns in both his Indio and Murrieta offices.

This is a great opportunity for local students to get hands-on experience working with the Senator and his staff and learning how State government operates.

Interns work hand-in-hand with the staff on constituent services, correspondence, answering telephone and other office duties.

Senator Stone's Office is looking for interns to join our team

They will also make public appearances representing Senator Stone and interact with business and community leaders.

Senate internships are unpaid but provide valuable experience that looks especially good on a college application or resume.

Depending on the individual school district, internships may also fulfill community service requirements or be eligible for academic credit.

Interns are generally asked to work between five and 10 hours each week. Interns will be asked to attend some events on nights and weekends as part of the regular duties. Hours are flexible and can accommodate academic schedules.

There is no age requirement; however high school seniors and college students are given preference.

We encourage you to pass this information on to students and parents.

Please feel free to contact our offices with any questions.

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Jeff in the District

From Lake Elsinore and Temecula to Desert Hot Springs and Blythe, Senator Stone has been busy traveling the 28th District and meeting with many wonderful people and groups. Here are just a few of the places the Senator has been recently:

Senator Stone was happy to ride in the Desert Hot Springs Holiday Parade

Senator Stone was happy to ride in the Desert Hot Springs Holiday Parade. It is an honor to represent the people of Desert Hot Springs and the Coachella Valley in Sacramento.

Senator Stone speaking at the Rotary Club

Senator Stone spoke to the Temecula Sunrise Rotary Club. This is such a great group doing wonderful work in the community.

Senator Stone recently honored Cynthia Chavez of Kansas Wesleyan University

Senator Stone recently honored Cynthia Chavez of Kansas Wesleyan University who was named to the NAIA Women’s Soccer Honorable Mention All-American team.

Chavez, of Thousand Palms, also earned First Team All-Region honors for a second straight season. She finished this season with 26 goals and seven assists, setting a new school record for total points. Chavez ranked second in the NAIA in game winning goals with eight and sixth in the NAIA in total goals and total points.

Senator Stone and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) hosted a workshop on the California Competes Tax Credit

Senator Stone and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) hosted a workshop on the California Competes Tax Credit on December 20 at the City of Indio Council Chambers.

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Events Keep Team Stone busy

It’s been a busy time in the 28th Senate District with Team Stone traveling 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 in recent weeks:

Team Stone was honored to attend the recent ribbon cutting ceremony for Team Desi Headquarters in Palm Desert

Team Stone was honored to attend the recent ribbon cutting ceremony for Team Desi Headquarters in Palm Desert held by the Great Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce. District Director Glenn Miller presented a Senate Resolution to the Desi Strong Foundation on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone joined with Murrieta Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Sonny Boy’s Soul Food in Murrieta.

Team Stone joined with Murrieta Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Sonny Boy’s Soul Food in Murrieta. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone was on hand recently to congratulate the Palm Desert High School Student and Staff of the month recipients.

Team Stone was on hand recently to congratulate the Palm Desert High School Student and Staff of the month recipients. District Representative Monica Idnani presented certificates from Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the monthly Murrieta Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee meeting

Team Stone attended the monthly Murrieta Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee meeting at the chamber office. Each month representatives from federal, state and local officials meet with each other and the public to discuss issues and listen to residents.

Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce in the ribbon cutting ceremony for USA National Title in La Quinta.

Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce in the ribbon cutting ceremony for USA National Title in La Quinta. District Director Glenn Miller congratulated the business on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. in La Quinta.

Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. in La Quinta. District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

Senator Stone recently helped honor Desert Sands Unified School District Superintendent Gary Rutherford who retired after more than 40 years of service to our youth.

Senator Stone recently helped honor Desert Sands Unified School District Superintendent Gary Rutherford who retired after more than 40 years of service to our youth. District Director Glenn Miller presented a certificate to Dr. Rutherford on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone recently joined in the celebration of the 110th Anniversary of the Elsinore Woman’s Club.

Team Stone recently joined in the celebration of the 110th Anniversary of the Elsinore Woman’s Club. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a Senate Resolution on behalf of Senator Stone congratulating the organization for more than a century of good work for the people of the Elsinore Valley.

District Representative Monica Idnani recently joined with the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Venus De Fido on Allessandro Dive.

District Representative Monica Idnani recently joined with the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Venus De Fido on Allessandro Dive.

It was great for Team Stone to join with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce recently for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Smoke Tree Jewelers on E. Palm Canyon Drive.

It was great for Team Stone to join with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce recently for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Smoke Tree Jewelers on E. Palm Canyon Drive. District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

Senior District Representative Maryann Edwards represented Senator Stone at the recent Student of the Month breakfast honoring these high school seniors from Temecula.

Senior District Representative Maryann Edwards represented Senator Stone at the recent Student of the Month breakfast honoring these high school seniors from Temecula.

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the ribbon cutting for Gypsy Sunset Boutique on Washington Avenue in Murrieta.

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the ribbon cutting for Gypsy Sunset Boutique on Washington Avenue in Murrieta. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

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