Stone Sentinel: March 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

Welcome to the March 2018 edition of the Stone Sentinel.

March is a very busy month in Sacramento.

During the month, thousands of bills submitted by both Assembly and Senate members—including 20 of my own—are assigned to appropriate committees to be heard after the legislature returns from Spring Break in early April.

This is the beginning of the “sausage making” that will take place in the coming months as all of this proposed legislation grinds through the process of either becoming law or being rejected.

To follow the legislation I have submitted please visit my website at http://stone.cssrc.us and click on the Legislation tab.

snapshot of Senator Stone's website

This is also a historic month in Sacramento as Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) becomes the Pro Tem—or leader of the Senate—and the first woman to hold this powerful position.

I look forward to working with Senator Atkins and hope that her leadership will lead to much more congenial and cooperative relations between both political parties in Sacramento and focus more on the real issues that face us here in California.

Thanks, as always, for your support, and if we can be of any assistance please contact our offices in Sacramento, Indio and Murrieta.

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Senator Stone Welcomes Visitors to Sacramento

Senator Stone Welcomes visitors to Sacramento

March Madness is here as college basketball fans are glued to their televisions to see if their favorite men’s or women’s team might ultimately win the national championship.

There is always a bit of Madness here in Sacramento, but unfortunately it’s not limited to March.

Watch the video: http://district28.cssrc.us/content/march-madness-comes-sacramento

During this month, bills I’ve submitted and co-authored are being assigned to various committees for hearings that begin in the coming weeks.

Before the bills are heard in committee, legislators have opportunities to meet with people and groups from around the state to talk about the legislation. We educate people about what the bills do and ask them to join in supporting what we believe to be good ideas.

That’s just what I’ve been doing this week. Each day, from the time my office door opens in the morning until we turn the lights off at night, people and groups come by to meet with me and my staff.

Some of these people represent large interests in our state who want to make sure their voice is heard in the State Capitol.

But many of them are small groups – builders, farmers, teachers, water experts, city councilmembers, local business owners and people from Riverside County who happen to be up in Sacramento for any number of reasons.

It’s always great when visitors to my office come from the 28th Senate District. Many of those who visit are old friends who I’ve known since my days on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and the Temecula City Council.

It’s often easy for some legislators to get caught up in the Madness of Sacramento and forget the reason they were sent here in the first place.

I never forget that I represent you, the people of Riverside County and meeting with groups from the district lets me know how I can better serve you as a State Senator.

If you, your group, or your family is planning a trip to Sacramento and would like to visit my office, or go on a tour of the State Capitol, please call my Sacramento office.

We’d love to see you.

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Tammy Wilson named Woman of the Year for 28th Senate District

Senator Stone with Tammy Wilson, Woman of the Year for the 28th Senate District

Tammy Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Oak Grove Center, was honored as the Woman of the Year in the 28th Senate District by State Stone.

Wilson, along with other outstanding women from across California, were honored at a luncheon at the State Capitol and recognized on the floor of the State Senate.

“The dedication, compassion and excellence that Tammy and her staff bring to the students at Oak Grove are simply amazing,” said Senator Stone. “She has made a difference in the lives of thousands of young people in her many years at Oak Grove.”

Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/2HMsvM5

Oak Grove Center is a nonprofit residential, educational and treatment center—with multiple campuses in Riverside County—for children throughout California with psychological, emotional and behavioral problems and special needs.

Wilson, who has degrees in psychology and family therapy, began working at Oak Grove in 1991, two years after the Murrieta campus opened.

She has been the CEO since 2005.

Oak Grove serves 76 students who live on their Murrieta campus and up to an additional 100 students who attend their nonpublic school. Another 50 students attend their Perris campus.

Their newest campus, Oak Grove in the Desert at Bermuda Dunes has been providing services to youth and families in the Coachella Valley since 2010.

Wilson provides leadership to the 350 staff members and special needs youth that Oak Grove serves on three campuses in Riverside County.

Oak Grove offers at-risk children a wide spectrum of services including education, sports and arts programs, programs for autism and independent living, outpatient service, addiction recover and release programs and much more.

“Her leadership and fundraising over the years have allowed the campuses to expand and offer new programs including science and art,” said Senator Stone. “It has also helped to build a new gymnasium on the Murrieta campus.”

In addition to her responsibilities at Oak Grove, Tammy is an active community volunteer. She is a member of the Temecula Rotary Club, the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce and the Loma Linda University-Murrieta Community Partnership Council.

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Nominations still being accepted for Senator Stone’s Veterans Service Award

Senator Stone standing with those recipients of the Veterans Service Award

Nominations are still being accepted from individuals and groups for the 2018 Veterans Service Awards presented by State Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County).

The deadline to submit applications is April 20, 2018.

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

Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/2CetNfz

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

“We’ve had a number of outstanding candidates nominated so far,” said Senator Stone. “I’m looking forward to sitting down with the veterans on my staff and reading about the many accomplishments of these men and women.”

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.

“This award is just a small token of our thanks and appreciation for what these veterans have done, not only during their time in uniform, but after they returned home,” Senator Stone said.

Award recipients must be residents of or work in 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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Senate Bill 1222 provides relief to California small miners

image of a miner at work

Senate Stone has introduced legislation to clarify vague language and assist small miners who depend on low impact mining for their livelihood.

Existing California law bans the use of suction dredge equipment in the pursuit of valuable minerals, without certain permits through the water board and the Department of Fish and Game. As currently written, this law inadvertently affects the low impact methods of mining through the abstract definition of “mechanized or motorized system of removing or assisting in the removal of minerals.”

Watch an informational video here: http://bit.ly/2GHonxt

While the law requires permits to suction dredge in California, the law’s vague language has inadvertently caused enforcement of the use of driving a vehicle to the river to gold pan and the use of a dry wash which does not include the use of water in its operation to remove minerals. These low impact methods are the means of survival for the everyday Californian gold miner, who lacks the funding for heavier methods of gold extraction and lacks the funds to press for permits or special licenses. This has led to the loss of income to those who depend on low impact mining for their livelihood, methods that are not damaging the environment.

SB 1222 refines the definition of what a suction dredge is to an accurate description of that method of mining, while not changing the suction dredging permitting requirements as the law currently requires. Where the current definition could be interpreted to include vehicles both gas and electric driving to the river, SB 1222 will limit the law to not affect the low impact, environmental friendly methods of valuable mineral recovery.

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A New Face in the Sacramento office

Rajan Vaidya, staff at Senator Stone's Sacramento office

Please give a warm welcome to Rajan Vaidya who will be doing a six week internship in Senator Stone’s Capitol office.

Rajan Vaidya is a 4th year student pharmacist from the KGI School of Pharmacy. He serves as the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) Student Trustee, where he represents student pharmacists from across the state. He brings policy experience from his involvement both at a state-wide level and at the national level.

His future plans include post-graduate training in healthcare policy and healthcare advocacy.

Rajan is currently completing his pharmacy rotation with Senator Stone’s Capitol Office where he hopes to gain experience in developing state policies and supporting the Senator with his legislative agenda.

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Honoring the State Champs from Great Oak High School

Senator Stone honored both the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams of Great Oak High School in Temecula

On Friday, March 9th, Senator Stone honored both the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams of Great Oak High School in Temecula who each won the CIF Division 1 State Cross Country Championships for the fourth consecutive year.

Senator Stone honored both the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams of Great Oak High School in Temecula

Both teams competed in the California State Championship held in November in Fresno.

Senator Stone speaking at the Great Oak High School event

This was the fourth CIF State title for the Boys team—all consecutively—and the sixth title for the Girls team in the past seven years.

Senator Stone congratulating each student recognized at the Great Oak High School event

In total, under head coach Doug Soles, Great Oak High School has won 11 state cross country championships in the past decade.

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Meet the Senator

Whether he’s traveling across the 28th Senate District or welcoming people to his Capitol Office, Senate Stone always enjoys spending time listening to the people he represents.

Here are just a few of the people and groups who have met the Senator recently.

Senator Stone was the guest speaker at the Second Annual Coachella Valley Unforgettable Heart Awards breakfast

Senator Stone was the guest speaker at the Second Annual Coachella Valley Unforgettable Heart Awards breakfast. It was great to honor people doing such wonderful things in the Coachella Valley.

Senator Stone welcomed members of the California Travel Association to his Sacramento office

Senator Stone welcomed members of the California Travel Association to his Sacramento office.

Senator Stone was honored to speak to students during Career Day at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Coachella

Senator Stone was honored to speak to students during Career Day at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Coachella.

Senator Stone joined his colleagues to mark the 75th Anniversary of Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow

Senator Stone joined his colleagues to mark the 75th Anniversary of Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow. A proclamation was presented to base commander Colonel Sekou Karega.

Senator Stone got to meet with dozens of high school students at the Youth Development Day he sponsored at the Indio Performing Arts Center

Senator Stone got to meet with dozens of high school students at the Youth Development Day he sponsored at the Indio Performing Arts Center. Thanks to all who attended.

Senator Stone met with these members of the Alzheimer’s Association

Senator Stone met with these members of the Alzheimer’s Association during their annual State Advocacy Day in Sacramento.

Senator Stone helped to congratulate the winners at the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 52nd Annual Awards Gala

Senator Stone helped to congratulate the winners at the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 52nd Annual Awards Gala held at the Pechanga Resort and Casino.

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Team Stone on the Move

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 at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Sanctuary Palm Springs. Photos courtesy of PSCC

Team Stone joined with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce for the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for Sanctuary Palm Springs, a first of its kind home from LGBT foster youth and their allies. District Representative Consuelo Arias presented a certificate from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy of PSCC)

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce to welcome BIZ2BIZ as a chamber member.

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce to welcome BIZ2BIZ as a chamber member. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Batteries Plus Bulbs

District Representative Consuelo Arias joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Batteries Plus Bulbs on Highway 111. Consuelo presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone at the dual ribbon cutting ceremony for Affinity Real Estate & Mortgage/Training and Harvest Time Group-A Professional Financial Consulting Team

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce for the dual ribbon cutting ceremony for Affinity Real Estate & Mortgage/Training and Harvest Time Group-A Professional Financial Consulting Team. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented certificates from Senator Stone to both businesses.

Team Stone at the ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration of Jerome’s Dream Shop

Team Stone joined with the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration of Jerome’s Dream Shop on Ynez Road in Temecula. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone at the re-opening of the remodeled Reading Cinemas

District Representative Debbie Herrera and the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce helped to celebrate the grand re-opening of the remodeled Reading Cinemas in Murrieta.

Team Stone at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Mind Discovery Center

Team Stone joined with the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Mind Discovery Center on Nicole Lane. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the monthly meeting of the Southwest California Legislative Council

Team Stone attended the monthly meeting of the Southwest California Legislative Council and heard a presentation from Riverside County Assessor-County Clerk -Recorder Peter Aldana. District Director Glenn Miller updated the council and business leaders on Senator Stone’s legislative agenda for 2018.

Communications Director John Hunneman attended the Student of the Month breakfast

Communications Director John Hunneman attended the Student of the Month breakfast recognizing these great young men and woman—shown here with their proud families—from Murrieta. John presented certificates on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new, larger location of US Healthworks

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new, larger location of US Healthworks in the Murrieta Spectrum Shopping Center. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone

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