Stone Sentinel: September 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Welcome to the September 2016 edition of the Stone Sentinel.

With the State Legislature out of session in Sacramento, I am happy to be able to spend more time in Riverside County meeting with the people of the 28th Senate District.

September is a busy and beautiful time in Riverside County. School is well underway as is harvest season in the Coachella Valley and in Southern California Wine Country.

It is also a time to reflect on a morning, 15 years ago, that changed our world.

Graphic of 911 ribbon

My staff and I were honored to attend events held across Riverside County to mark the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. At each event we remembered those who perished, and their families, and honored the emergency workers and first responders who bravely rushed in to help.

Picture of the emergency workers and first responders attending 911 event

This was a very busy year in Sacramento and, as you read my newsletter, I hope you will see that, as always, my top priority is watching out for the hard working people of Riverside County.

I look forward to meeting many of you in the weeks and months to come. We have a number of events planned and I encourage you to attend.

Visit my website - www.Senate.Ca.Gov/Stone -- like me on Facebook - www.Facebook.com/SenatorJeffStone -- and follow me on Twitter -- @SenJeffStone - to learn more about these events.

As always, feel free to contact my offices in Sacramento, Indio and Murrieta if we can be of any assistance.

Thank you for the honor of allowing me to represent you in the California State Senate.

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Legislation signed to help restore the Salton Sea

Image of a Sunset

On August 26th Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1416 by Senator Jeff Stone that will allow Californians to help restore the Salton Sea.

The new law will allow Californians to make a voluntarily contribution to the “Revive the Salton Sea Fund” by checking a box on their State Income Tax form.

“I’m pleased the Governor and the Legislature have 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.”

Watch as the bill was introduced: http://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stones-sb-1416-help-restore-salton-sea-passed-senate-37-0

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.

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. “My bill is an important step toward making that happen.”

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Senator Stone’s bills, signed by Gov. Brown, will improve health of Californians

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

Senate Bill 1261 by State Senator Jeff Stone was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. This bill will expand medical care to California residents by allowing out-of-state doctors to volunteer their time and skills while visiting the state.

“This is an important law for many parts of our state, especially the Coachella Valley where many retired and semi-retired doctors come to spend the winter months,” said Senator Stone. “Health clinics often call on these doctors to volunteer at community events and health screenings, but those doctors have been limited by state law.”

The bill passed both the Senate and the Assembly by unanimous votes.

Current law limits these out-of-state doctors to only practice at specified events in California and also limits the amount of time they can volunteer to just 10 days.

Senator Stone’s new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2017, will allow these doctors to volunteer their services during their entire visit to California.

“Allowing these skilled physicians to give their time to assist residents of the Coachella Valley, and other regions of California where medical care can be scarce, will help improve the lives of children and families across our state,” said Senator Stone. “I thank Governor Brown for signing this important piece of legislation.”

Watch Senator Stone’s floor presentation of SB 1261 here: http://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stones-sb-1261-passes-senate-unanimous-support

Image of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

Senate Bill 1229, joint-authored by State Senators Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Jeff Stone, has been signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

The bill allows, but does not mandate, a pharmacy to host a “secure drug take-back bin” in their store as a safe way to dispose of expired or unneeded pharmaceutical drugs. The law shields the pharmacy from civil and criminal prosecution for hosting a drug take-back bin, as long as they follow specified procedures.

Studies show that unused drugs are either flushed down the toilet, or find their way into the hands of children or drug abusers.

“This bill, which was a bi-partisan effort, will ensure the safe and appropriate disposal of unused pharmaceuticals,” said Senator Stone. “It will also help ensure that unused drugs don’t fall into the hands of those that want to experiment or abuse them, and will yield a cleaner and safer water supply.”

Watch Senator Stone’s floor presentation of SB 1229 here: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-works-across-aisle-legislation-make-it-easier-safely-and-legally-dispose

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That’s a Wrap

Picture of the Senate Floor
In April 2016 Alyson White of Rancho Mirage High School testified about her law along with Senator Stone.

The State Senate adjourned shortly after midnight early in the morning of Sept. 1 after wrapping up business for the year.

That doesn’t mean Senator Stone’s work is done for 2016. Not by a long shot.

In the next few months the Senator will be traveling across the 28th District, listening to families and farmers, business owners and hard-working taxpayers and taking their ideas back with him to Sacramento in January.

In his weekly Capitol Update, Senator Stone described some of the good bills he supported and the bad ones he opposed during the last two weeks in August, many of which were passed anyway and are now on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature or veto.

Watch the video here:
http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-continues-fight-people-california

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Supporting laws that benefits working families and taxpayers

Each year the State Legislature debates hundreds of bills that can impact the lives of millions of Californians. When a bill makes sense, and will benefit families, businesses and hard-working taxpayers, Senator Stone will rise and speak in support of that legislation, no matter who proposed the potential law.

Here are just a few examples of Senator Stone speaking in support of legislation that will benefit California residents.

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

Senator Stone spoke in favor of AB 1630 and about paying Cal-Fire firefighters a wage comparable to those of other firefighters across California.
Watch: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-vote-favor-ab-1630-and-also-spoke-favor-paying-cal-fire-firefighters-salary

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Seante floor

Senator Stone supported bi-partisan legislation that keeps a promise made to four new Riverside County cities.
Watch: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-supported-sb-817-which-keeps-promise-four-riverside-county-cities

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

Senator Stone supported legislation that will provide more people with access to healthcare in the Coachella Valley.
Watch: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-supported-ab-2414-which-will-provide-more-access-healthcare-coachella-valley

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

The Senator supported bi-partisan legislation that will protect Californians from second-hand smoke.
Watch: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-supported-sb-977-which-protects-people-second-hand-smoke

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

The Senator supported legislation that will allow pharmacists to provide important services to California residents.
Watch: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-supports-ab-1114-which-permits-pharmacists-continue-provide-vital-services

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Standing up for hard-working Californians

In his two years in the California State Senate, and before that for two decades as a County Supervisor and City Councilman, Senator Jeff Stone has never shied away from standing up for the people he represents.

That’s been particularly true in his years in the State Senate where he has frequently challenged legislation that is supported by the special interests that control much of Sacramento.

In August, Senator Stone rose to his feet dozens of times on the Senate floor to oppose legislation that will hurt working families and drive businesses from California.

Here are just a few examples:

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

Senator Stone spoke in opposition to SB 32, a job-killing bill that will drive businesses from the state and increase home costs by $40,000.
Watch: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-opposed-sb-32-job-killer-bill-will-hurt-working-families-and-drive-businesses

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

The Senator stood up for California farmers and against AB 1066 which will cost farmer workers money and drive more and more agriculture industry from the state.
Watch: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-opposed-ab-1066-which-will-hurt-both-california-farmers-and-farm-workers

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

Senator Stone opposed AB 2153 which imposes yet another fee on the people of California who can least afford it.
Watch: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-opposed-ab-2153-which-imposes-another-fee-low-income-people

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

The Senator spoke in opposition to SB 1000 which imposes another unfunded state mandate on local communities.
Watch: "http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-opposed-sb-1000-another-unfunded-mandate-will-hurt-local-communities

Picture of Senator Stone speaking on the Senate floor

Senator Stone opposed this bill which would make local government bigger and more partisan.
Watch: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-opposed-sb-958-which-would-make-local-government-bigger-and-more-partisan

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SB 32 will cost California jobs, make housing even more unaffordable

Senator Stone

Senate Bill 32, passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown on September 8th, will make it costly for businesses to survive and operate in California.

Called a job-killing bill by the California Chamber of Commerce, SB 32 mandates unachievable greenhouse gas emissions levels, will drive up the cost of housing for hard working Californians who want to achieve the American Dream and will cost about 285,000 jobs.

As the Senate’s most vocal opponent of this legislation, Los Angeles area media turned to Senator Stone to explain to their audience why this is a bad bill for all of California.

Watch his interview on KCAL 9 TV here:
http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/show/live-video/video-3513322-brown-signs-climate-legislation-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions/

Listen to the interview on KNX 1090 AM here:
http://district28.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-was-interviewed-knx-1070-am-la-about-his-opposition-job-killing-sb-32-which

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Popular Senior Scam Seminars return in October

 

Grapic of Senior Scams seminar

One in five senior citizens has been the victim of some kind of fraud.

Seniors are the most often targeted group for scammers.

Some of these scams have been around for many years. However, new scams pop up all the time and unfortunately, too many people become victims of these unscrupulous criminals.

Last year Senator Stone sponsored a series of Senior Scam Seminars across the 28th District that featured experts in many fields and provided important information to seniors, their families and their caregivers.

Senator Stone speaking at seminar

These seminars-- which are free and open to everyone -- were so popular that the Senator will be holding them again this year.

Three seminars will be held in October in Lake Elsinore, Blythe and Cathedral City. Because of the limited space, attendees are being asked to please RSVP.

Senator Stone speaking to seniors

Here is the schedule and locations:

October 7, 2016 from 1p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lake Elsinore Senior Center

Please RSVP no later than October 3 to Debbie Herrera at 951-894-3530 or Debbie.herrera@sen.ca.gov

October 14, 2016 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Blythe Community Center

Please RSVP to Josie Arechiga at (760) 398-6442 or email Jose.Arechiga@sen.ca.gov

October 21, 2016 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Cathedral City Center

Please RSVP to Josie Arechiga at (760) 398-6442 or email Jose.Arechiga@sen.ca.gov

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“There Ought to be a Law” competition underway

There Ought to be a law graphic.

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.

Entries are now being accepted. The deadline for students to submit their proposed legislation is Dec 2, 2016.

You can download an entry form or fill out the form on-line at the Senator’s website: www.Senate.CA.Gov/Stone

“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 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 and Alyson White testifing before a Senate sub-committee

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.

In April 2016, Alyson and her mother were guests of Senator Stone in Sacramento where Alyson testified before a Senate sub-committee.

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Jeff in the District

“No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”
- Mark Twain

Now that the California State legislature has adjourned for the year, Senator Stone is looking forward to spending time away from Sacramento and home in Riverside County.

The Senator will be spending the coming months traveling across the 28th Senate District, meeting with families and farmers, community leaders, school groups and business owners.

Here’s a look at a couple of places the Senator has visited recently:

Murrieta Mesa Baseball team photo

Senator Stone visited Murrieta Mesa High School to congratulate the CIF-SS Division I Champion baseball team. The Rams won the title in June, the first CIF championship of any kind in the young school’s history.

Read the Valley News story about the team and the Senator’s visit here: http://myvalleynews.com/sports/state-senate-recognizes-murrieta-mesa-baseball-program/

Senator Stone speaking at Indo High School

The Senator spoke to several hundred students and community leaders at the Riverside County 4-H and FFA Leadership Day at Indio High School. Our young people are doing amazing things and will be the great leaders of tomorrow.

Senator Stone pictured with Passionate Pastors at Destiny Church in Indio

Senator Stone spoke to a group of more the 80 “Passionate Pastors” at Destiny Church in Indio.

Senator Stone pictured staff interns in the Coachella Valley office in Indio

The Senator met with his staff interns in the Coachella Valley office in Indio. All of these young people have done an outstanding job serving the people of the 28th Senate District.

Senator Stone pictured at Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Senator Stone had a great day signing the middle beam at Our Lady of Perpetual Help K-8 School in Indio. Wishing the best of luck to all who will learn within her walls.

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Team Stone on the Move

Each month, Senator Stone’s team travels across the 28th District, welcoming new businesses, meeting with civic and community groups, listening to the concerns of residents and offering assistance to those who are dealing with State agencies.

Here are just a few of the places Team Stone has visited recently.

Senator Stone pictured at the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce

Team Stone joined with dozens of dignitaries and members of the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce for the celebration of the recently remodeled Wal-Mart store in Murrieta. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

Senior District representative Maryann Edwards presens a certificate to the Ahadi Mens Suit Company

Team Stone joined the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce for the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Ahadi Mens Suit Company. Senior District representative Maryann Edwards presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

District Representative Debbie Herrera presents a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone to Essential Ink Body Arts

Team Stone was happy to help the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce celebrate the 10th anniversary of Essential Ink Body Arts. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting for Body Works Collision Center. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

District Representative Darrell Connerton recently attended the grand opening of the new campus of the University of Redlands in Temecula and presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

It is always wonderful to welcome new higher educational opportunities to the region. District Representative Darrell Connerton recently attended the grand opening of the new campus of the University of Redlands in Temecula and presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

District Director Glenn Miller and District Representatives Monica Idnani and Josie Arechiga from Team Stone met with Indio Mayor Pro Tem Elaine Holmes and Councilmember Mike Wilson at the Coachella Valley Small Business Development Center grand opening.

District Director Glenn Miller and District Representatives Monica Idnani and Josie Arechiga from Team Stone met with Indio Mayor Pro Tem Elaine Holmes and Councilmember Mike Wilson at the Coachella Valley Small Business Development Center grand opening.