The State Legislature is out of session for the remainder of the year and I am enjoying spending time traveling across the 28th District and meeting with so many people in Riverside County.
I truly value your input, suggestions, comments and advice.
As this newsletter is being assembled, deadly wildfires are ripping across our state, especially in Northern California. Tens of thousands of Californians have had to flee, thousands of homes and businesses have burned and many people have been killed and injured in this disaster.
Closer to home, destructive fires along the border of Riverside and Orange counties have claimed lives, destroyed homes and impacted many of those who live in our region.
Federal, State and local agencies are doing their best to save lives, contain the blaze, and comfort those who have lost so much.
The American Red Cross, as always, is on the scene. To donate visit: https://www.redcross.org/donate/1017t
There are many other organizations doing their best to help. However, it’s always best to make sure the charity you are supporting is legitimate. All too often unscrupulous individuals try to take advantage of the good hearts of people in times of a disaster.
If you have questions about a charitable organization the State of California offers a charity research tool for you to use. Find it here: http://bit.ly/2yj0CYh
If you still have questions call our office and we will research that group and let you know if they are legitimate.
Now is also a good time to make sure we are all prepared in case a wildfire or other natural disaster strikes in our area.
Check out this website for valuable information that could save your home or your life – http://www.readyforwildfire.org/
Thanks to all the brave men and women who put themselves into harms ways every day to keep us safe.
Each year Senators can propose up to 20 bills to be considered by the legislature.
While it is often difficult for any Republican bills to make it through the super-majority in both the Senate and the Assembly and on to the Governor’s desk, it is not impossible.
In recent weeks Governor Brown has signed three of Senator Stone’s bills into law.
Senate Bill 554
SB 554 will allow Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants in California to prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction.
A 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that 3.8 million Americans use opioids for nonmedical use each month.
“Opioid addiction is a growing problem across California and our country,” said Senator Stone. “The more professionals we have with the ability to treat this addiction the better we can provide access to those in need.”
The bill passed both the Senate and the Assembly by unanimous votes. Senate Bill 554 brings California law into line with federal law.
Senate Bill 572
SB 572 provides licensees of various healing arts boards a 15-day grace period to correct minor violations that will not cause irreparable harm if they are not immediately addressed.
“The idea for this legislation came after hearing from pharmacists from across the state who were receiving fines for easily fixable and minor violations,” said Senator Stone, himself a licensed pharmacist and pharmacy owner. “I’m happy Governor Brown saw the wisdom in allowing a grace period to allow healing arts professionals the opportunity to correct these minor infractions without fines or other punishment.”
Senate Bill 510
Senate Bill 510 repeals an outdated statute in order to allow compound pharmacists to do their job more efficiently while protecting patient safety and permitting more effective dispensing of compounded pharmaceutical products.
“This issue was brought to my attention by the California State Board of Pharmacy,” said Senator Stone, himself a licensed pharmacist and pharmacy owner. “I’m glad Governor Brown understood the need to update this outdated law.”
All three new laws go into effect on January 1, 2018.
As one of the State Senate’s most eloquent and knowledgeable members, Senator Stone speaks out on a wide range on subjects, not only on the Senate floor, but in newspapers and through social media.
Recently he responded to a request from the Desert Sun newspaper for his opinion on several key immigration issues.
Here is a portion of that opinion column:
“My ancestors immigrated to this county to escape the tyranny of Adolph Hitler. However not all of them left Europe. Many of those who didn’t were among those killed in the extermination camps of Nazi Germany.
I understand the desire, the yearning and the longing of those from around the world to come to America where all things are possible for themselves and their families.
America has always been a welcoming nation. However, a nation with a porous and undefended border puts those who live here now, and those who want to come here legally, in danger.”
Read the entire Desert Sun Op-Ed here: http://desert.sn/2gdtgW5
Senator Stone issued the following statement in response to the tax plan crafted by Congressional Republicans and the President of the United States.
“The tax plan released today by President Trump and Congressional Republicans appears to be a significant first step in reforming an overly-complicated tax system, and I am enthusiastic about the opportunities that exist to make sure hard-working Americans are able to keep more of what they earn.”
Read his entire statement here: http://bit.ly/2ygRg0J
One of the more dangerous bills the governor signed of the nearly 1,000 pieces of legislation sent to him this year was Senate Bill 620 which authorizes the court to impose reduced sentences when a felon uses a gun when committing a crime.
As a member of the California State Senate, one of my top priorities is public safety. I voted against this very bad and dangerous bill because weaker gun crime sentences will make our communities less safe.
Why would we want to allow lighter sentences for criminals who use a gun to commit murder, rape, mayhem, or torture? But that’s exactly what Senate Bill 620 does.
Senator Stone opposed SB 620. Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/2g6MVmQ
As the original author of the 10-20-life bill has noted, “The problem is not guns, the problem is gun violence – criminals misusing guns to terrorize, injure and kill their victims.” In fact, the President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys rightly criticized SB 620’s author for using an example of a drive-by shooting to justify this bill. A drive-by shooting is an example of why we need tough sentences.
As your representative I will continue to oppose any and all legislation that shortens sentences for felons who commit crimes in our communities – especially those who use a firearm while committing these crimes.
Deadline to enter is December 5, 2017
Have you ever said to yourself, “There Ought to be a law…”?
Once again in 2017, high school students from Senator Stone’s 28th California Senate District are 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,” said Senator Stone. “In 2016, we had more than 120 entries. I hope to see more this year.”
Roberto Ortega, a senior at Shadow Hills High School in Indio, was the winner of the 2016 competition. His proposed law, Senate Bill 583—the California Financial Literacy Act—would provide young people with the tools they need to handle their finances responsibly.
Roberto was flown to Sacramento as a guest of Senator Stone where he testified before the Senate Education Committee.
The deadline for students to submit their proposed legislation is December 5, 2017. For more information and an entry form visit: www.Senate.Ca.Gov/Stone.
“No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” – Mark Twain
With the California State legislature adjourned for the year, Senator Stone has been spending his time traveling across the 28th Senate District, meeting with families and farmers, community leaders, school groups and business owners.
Here’s a look at some of the places the Senator has visited recently:
Once a quarter Senator Stone holds a kitchen cabinet meeting in Temecula. There he meets with elected officials and business and community leaders to update them on what’s going on in Sacramento and to learn what’s happening in Southwest County. Thank you to David Beshay and The Corner Bakery for hosting this informative event.
Senator Stone likes to meet and congratulate the young men who achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Chandler Mahkorn of Troop 734 visited the Southwest office and spoke with the Senator. Congratulations Chandler for all your hard work and for volunteering in the community.
Senator Stone served as the moderator of a panel discussion on homelessness and affordable housing at the BIA luncheon in Palm Desert.
Senator Stone took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Riverside County Department of Public Social Service offices. This is another great addition to the City of Coachella.
Senator Stone attended the 2017 Legislative Summit sponsored by the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce and held at South Coast Winery. Among the guest speakers was State Senator Richard Roth.
Senator Stone honored two amazing first-graders at George Washington Charter School in Palm Desert. Nyah Williams and Hero Saad received California State Senate certificates for their work in raising over $7000 for those in need following the hurricane in Texas.
Senator Stone greeted members of Cub Scout Pack 337 of Temecula in his Southwest office. The scouts asked some great questions. It’s always a pleasure to speak with the young people of the 28th District.
Senator Stone spoke with Staff Sergeant Geraldo Loza Robledo, who served in the United States Marine Corps and was just honorably discharged. He put his life on the line for you and our Country for almost 2 decades.
Sergeant Robledo was “purposely retired” after 17 years, 11 months, and 21 days, just nine days short of getting his retirement benefits.
The Senator will not let this injustice pass and is working to ensure that Sergeant Robledo gets the retirement benefits he has earned.
This month we said thanks and farewell to Michael Sun, who was an intern in the Capitol office for six weeks and then traveled in the 28th Senate District, including a visit to the Southwest office. Michael, who is from Clovis, is a pharmacy student at the University of the Pacific. He was a tremendous help during a very busy time in Sacramento. Good luck Michael.
Every month Team Stone travels across Riverside County attending events, meeting with constituents and listening to business owners, local officials and the hard working people of the 28th Senate District.
Here are just a few of the places Senator Stone’s staff visited recently:
Team Stone attended the Lake Elsinore State of the City event and heard about all the great things that are happening. Mayor Bob Magee – pictured here with District Representative Debbie Herrera and Communications Director John Hunneman – the City Council, the staff and the residents should be proud of all they are accomplishing.
Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Coachella Valley Rescue Mission – Health to Hope Clinic on Manila Street in Indio. District Director Glenn Miller and District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
Team Stone always enjoys beginning the day at a Student of the Month event. District Representative Debbie Herrera attended this ceremony and presented certificates to these great students from Temecula.
District Representative Consuelo Arias joined the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Desert Dream Dentistry & Spa.
District Director Glenn Miller represented Team Stone at the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Murrieta. Thanks to all who raced and volunteered to raise funds for the search for a cure for breast cancer.
Team Stone joined the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Farm To Office. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy of TVCC).
Team Stone recently attended the Homes for Our Troops “Key Ceremony” for U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Chris Van Etten in Temecula.
Homes For Our Troops is a remarkable organization that builds adaptive homes for our wounded heroes. District Representative Consuelo Arias attended on behalf of Senator Stone.
It’s always great to attend the Student of the Month ceremonies held in the 28th District. Communications Director John Hunneman represented Senator Stone at the recent awards ceremony for Murrieta students.
Team Stone joined with the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for “Shirt Happens Now” at The Promenade in Temecula. District Representative Consuelo Arias presented a certificate from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy of TVCC)
Team Stone joined with the Murrieta and Temecula Valley chambers of commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for “We Care Plumbing, Heating, Air and Solar” on Golden Gate Circle in Murrieta. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy of TVCC)
Team Stone joined with the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of the new extension of Whitewood Road in Murrieta. The new roadway will ease traffic congestion between Murrieta and Menifee. Communications Director John Hunneman represented Senator Stone.
Team Stone joined with the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Ur Wire Guy. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
Team Stone joined the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting marking the dedication of Phase 2 of the reconstruction of the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony near Temecula. The original colony, formed in the 1970s, was destroyed during the Eagle Fire in 2004. Communications Director John Hunneman presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.
District Representatives Debbie Herrera and Consuelo Arias presented a certificate to ILoveKickboxing.com, located on Margarita Road, at the ribbon cutting ceremony held by the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce.