Welcome to the July 2019 edition of the Stone Sentinel.
The past few weeks have been very busy in Sacramento as both the Assembly and the Senate have debated many issues.
In the face of the majority party that continues to vote to increase taxes, I have stood up for hard-working families, small businesses, senior citizens, veterans and over-taxed Californians.
As Mark Twain once said, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”
The California Legislature begins it’s month long summer recess on July 12th.
I look forward to spending time back in the 28th District meeting with business owners, community leaders, civic groups and residents and listening to their thoughts and concerns.
Meanwhile, as summer heats up across Riverside County, I wanted to share some information to help keep you safe and cool.
Wildfires are always a danger in California, especially this time of year. Click on this link from CalFire where you can download their app and learn what to do in case your home is in danger.
Click here: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/
As temperatures soar from Lake Elsinore to the Coachella Valley and Blythe, it is important to drink plenty of water and keep cool.
Here is a listing of “Cool Centers” across Riverside County provided by the Riverside County Fire Department.
Click here: https://bit.ly/32hdwEK
As always, feel free to contact me at my website www.Senate.Ca.Gov/Stone or call my offices in Sacramento, Murrieta and Indio if we can be of any help with State related issues.
Also you can “like” me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SenatorJeffStone of follow me on Twitter @SenJeffStone.
The Assembly Committee on Appropriations recently passed legislation authored by Senator Jeff Stone to allow boats driven by intoxicated individuals to be impounded for up to 30 days. The bill also recently was passed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee.
If a person is killed by a boater under the influence of drugs or alcohol and convicted of such crime, Senate Bill 393 calls for the boat used in the commission of the crime to be subject to asset forfeiture rules currently imposed on automobiles.
“SB 393 is a simple measure, but it shouldn’t matter if a person is killed by a car or a boat driven by someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol– the victim is still dead and the vehicle used in the crime should be subject to asset forfeiture,” said Senator Jeff Stone.
The legislation was introduced after Senator Stone learned about the death of 10-year-old Sara Margiotta, who was killed on the Colorado River in 2007 when the family-s boat was hit by a drunk boater.
After their daughter was killed on the river, the Margiotta Family formed Sara’s Way, a non-profit organization, to raise awareness about the importance of boating safety and the dangers of drinking and boating.
Senator Stone’s bill received unanimous support earlier this year in the State Senate.
SB 393 will next be heard on the Assembly floor following the July recess.
In late June the Hispanic Business Summit hosted by the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce, and presented by Senator Jeff Stone, brought together entrepreneurs and business experts from across the Coachella Valley. The objective of the summit was to empower, educate, and motivate the Hispanic community to successfully start their own business and assist potential and current business owners through their business start-up journey.
Thank you to District Representatives Consuelo Arias and Josie Bernal and GCVCC Director of Membership Rebecca Rizzo for all their work in making this summit a success.
by State Senator Jeff Stone
California policy makers often boast about the “fact” that California is the 5th largest economy in the world with a state Gross Domestic Product of $2.7 trillion. However, according to the International Monetary Fund, California is actually ranked 8th, behind the United States, China, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and India. However, despite our high ranking, California’s economy is like a three-legged chair – unstable, but standing.
The first leg of our wobbly seat is California’s thriving technology sector. Second, the films, television, and music of Hollywood. The last leg, but certainly not the least leg, is agriculture that feeds the world.
California’s economy is indeed booming. So why are we still facing challenges? A growing inequality of wealth accompanied by a diminishing middle class. Rent costs are rising, along with utility prices, gas prices, and healthcare prices.
Our pre-kindergarten to 12th grade education ranks 42nd in the nation. In virtually every part of the state, many Californians are homeless and living on the streets. Even more of a disgrace is the fact that veterans, women, and children are a significant part of this homeless population.
One would think that with an economy of $2.7 trillion our communities would provide children safe and healthy areas to learn, live, grow, worship, and work – not just for a selected group of the extreme rich, but for all.
California’s agriculture feeds the world. Yet every day, children’s bellies ache with their only meal being their public-school lunch.
Californians are homeless, jobless, struggling to pay their bills, feed their families, and many don’t even have access to clean and safe drinking water.
It seems as if our three-legged chair is lifting up the privileged while crushing the middle and lower classes.
My colleagues in this legislature often talk about equality, equity, and opportunity. They talk about sustainability. They talk about the golden state dream. Indeed many Californians dream of building and sustaining their own farm, restaurant, niche store and my colleagues claim to support the dreams of small business owners.
So why have 13,000 businesses fled our state in the past 10 years when policy makers claim to support them? Simply, you can claim all you want, you can talk all you want, but at the end of the day, or in our case, on that last day of session, laws, mandates, and taxes are punitive towards those with the biggest dreams.
California’s three-legged chair is not working. How do we make our economy stable? By re-building the fourth leg – creating policies that support Californians with big dreams and small businesses.
It’s time that our politicians enact policies that make California not only sustainable, but also prosperous for Californians in every corner of the state. We can and should turn the California “Dream” into a reality for the working families of California.
Every ten years, after the federal census, California must re-establish the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts to reflect new population data and shifting populations. The Voters FIRST Act gave this power to California citizens ensuring that new and fair political boundaries are drawn without special interests, politics and political influence.
California citizens who are eligible may submit an online application to the California State Auditor’s Office during the initial 60-day application period from June 10, 2019, to August 9, 2019.
Learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/shapeCAfuture/
Buying into their own rosy-sounding promises of better roads and improved commutes, 80 California Democrats voted in 2017 to pass Senate Bill 1, California’s highly controversial gas tax legislation. Thirty-five Republicans voted against the bill. Two years later and it’s clear Republicans’ concerns were prescient, because Democrats’ promises are turning out to be far hollower than they promised.
All the gas taxes are not being spent to build a single mile of new roads or highways, despite all the Democrats’ promises that the tax would improve our commutes.
The reality is that the gas taxes imposed by SB 1 will increase automatically by hundreds of millions of dollars per year – in perpetuity.
Based on Department of Finance projections, the automatic increases generate $7.1 billion over the next five years:
- $851 million in 2019
- $1.28 billion in 2020
- $1.45 billion in 2021
- $1.66 billion in 2022
- $1.87 billion in 2023
Californians already pay the highest prices in the nation for gas; SB 1 now makes California gas the highest taxed in the nation at over $1.00 per gallon.
For those who opposed the new gas tax, who voted against writing blank checks to California’s politicians without first demanding they keep their previous promises, I share your frustration.
We must ensure California Democrats are held accountable for the results of their leadership – the costly utter mismanagement of our government.
The automatic gas tax increase taking place July 1 must not be ignored. It is well past time for Californians to take a hard look at the direction our state is heading and understand exactly who is responsible for it.
- Remember who gave you the gas tax. #ThankaDEMOCRAT
- Democrats raise gas tax. Commute still sucks! You deserve better.
- Did you know Democrats raised your gas tax again? #DemocratTax
- Gas taxes went up billions and just went up, AGAIN. Has your commute improved?
- California not only has the highest gas prices, starting July 1 we will have the highest gas taxes ON TOP OF the highest gas prices.
69 offices will serve customers at 7 a.m. four days a week beginning July 1
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will open 53 more field offices across the state an hour earlier beginning Monday, July 1, offering the public 69 early-hour offices.
Starting next week, the following field offices will open at 7 a.m. every weekday except Wednesday to help ease customer wait times. The offices will continue to open at 9 a.m. on Wednesday and close at 5 p.m. daily.
The 16 offices with an asterisk have offered the extended hours since last summer, serving thousands of customers during the extra morning hour.
Reminder – Saturday Service: The DMV offers Californians convenient service from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday at 62 field offices throughout the state. Customers without an appointment are finding their visit time significantly reduced if they arrive after 2 p.m.
Whether he’s in Sacramento, or home in the 28th Senate District, Senator Stone enjoys attending events and meeting with a wide variety of groups and individuals.
Here are just a few events and people Senator Stone greeted recently.
Senator Stone congratulated Eagle Scout Evan Olsen of Riverside for his achievement. Evan will begin his studies at the University of Glasgow in the fall studying Mechanical Engineering.
Senator Stone welcomed members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness to his Sacramento office.
Senator Stone and District Director Glenn Miller recently attended the Homes For Our Troops Kick-off Ceremony for USMC 1st Sgt. Marcus Wilson in Menifee. Thank you 1st Sgt. Wilson for you service to our nation and thank you Homes For Our Troops for all you do for these heroes.
Each 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 a few of the places Team Stone has been recently.
Team Stone joined with five area chambers of commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Assistance League of the Temecula Valley. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone and thanked the volunteer organization for all they have done for thousands of children in the region.
Team Stone joined with the City of Lake Elsinore for the ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly renovated McVicker Canyon Skate Park. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone to Mayor Steve Manos.
District Representative Josie Bernal attended the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand reopening of Denny's on Varner Road in Thousand Palms. Josie presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
Team Stone was honored to attend the John F. Mealey College Scholarship Awards Ceremony & Luncheon in Indio. District Representative Josie Bernal presented certificates to these outstanding students from Senator Stone.
Team Stone was happy to attend the ribbon cutting for the brand new Popeyes restaurant on Winchester Road in Murrieta. District Representative Debbie Herrera congratulated owner David Beshay and his team and presented a certificate from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce)
Team Stone was honored to attend the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce and City of Lake Elsinore ribbon cutting ceremony for Launch Pointe, a beautiful addition to the recreation opportunities on Lake Elsinore. District Director Glenn Miller and District Representative Darrell Connerton represented Senator Stone.
District Representative Debbie Herrera joined with the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce to welcome Gruttadauria’s 1914 Bakery to Commerce Center Drive in Temecula. Debbie presented a certificate from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy TVCC)
District Representative Consuelo Arias joined with the Greater Coachella Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant on East Palm Canyon in Cathedral City. Consuelo presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
Team Stone was happy to attend the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers on Margarita Road in Temecula. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy Jimmy Fu Photography)
Team Stone attended the Murrieta State of the City presentation. District Director Glenn Miller and Communications Director John Hunneman represented Senator Stone and heard a great presentation from Mayor Kelly Seyarto about all the wonderful things happening in Murrieta.
District Representative Consuelo Arias joined with the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Old Town Slider. Consuelo presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
Team Stone attended the City of Lake Elsinore groundbreaking for Camino Del Norte. District Representative Darrell Connerton congratulated the city on behalf of Senator Stone.