Stone Sentinel: September 2019

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Welcome to the September 2019 edition of the Stone Sentinel.

The good news is the State Legislature has adjourned for the year. We can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Since January the legislature has debated several thousand bills. While some of the really terrible bills were defeated, others were passed by the Super Majority in both houses and have gone on to the Governor for his signature or veto.

Not everything was bad. I was proud to stand up and vote in favor of bills that will improve the lives of hard-working Californians.

Information on these bills – called ’The Good and the Bad‘ -- is included with this newsletter.

In addition, two of my bills are currently on the Governor’s desk waiting for his signature. Information on that legislation is also included in this newsletter.

Looking forward, I will be spending the next several months traveling across the 28th Senate District and meeting with the people of Riverside County.

This month I have also launched my annual “There Ought to be a Law” competition for high school students of the 28th District. Details are inside the newsletter. If you know any high school students who want to get involved with state government, please pass along the information to them.

As always, thank you for the honor of representing you in Sacramento and please call any of our offices if we can be of any assistance.

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The Good and the Bad

Picture of the Senate Chamber

The 2019 Legislative Session was certainly one of the more interesting in recent history. As a Legislature, we had many important issues to address including how to craft a responsible budget, deal with ongoing wild fire liability, how to help reduce homelessness, and work towards solutions on a multitude of other issues.

With 2019 now in the rear-view mirror, it is instructive for all of us as policy makers to review what actually passed this past year. This document is intended to provide a brief summary of some of the most significant pieces of legislation that passed this year – although from my perspective, many of these legislative proposals were detrimental to California’s best interests.

In an attempt to summarize the actions taken by the Legislature this year, I have put together this document that gives a brief summary of some of the good pieces of legislation and some of the most egregious bills that were sent to the Governor.

With this being my fifth year in the State Senate, it is refreshing to note that the collegiality of the Senate has been better than it has ever been in my tenure. I credit much of this to the civility and the respect the current Pro-Tem has shown to the Republican Caucus.

I hope you find this information useful, and I will continue to keep you updated on the status of important legislation that the Senate considers. Thank you for the opportunity to represent you, and please feel to reach out to me or my office with any questions.

2019 Legislation - The Good

AB 2 (Santiago)

Authorizes California community colleges to waive the cost of tuition for two years. Passage of this bill allows California to foster academic excellence among adolescents and promote the pursuit of higher education.

AB 753 (Eduardo Garcia)

Establishes a new compact between the State of California and the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. It will allow the State to fairly regulate gaming practices while ensuring revenue generation for tribal government programs.

SB 22 (Leyva)

Requires law enforcement to establish protocols to promptly analyze and test rape kit evidence. Passage of this bill allows sexual assault survivors equal access to justice in a timely manner.

SB 159 (Wiener)

Allows pharmacists to furnish HIV PrEP and PEP to patients. This bill increases access to preventative health care to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS. In addition, it removes barriers for sexual assault victims seeking timely access to HIV medications. With the appropriate protocols and an increase of accessibility we will greatly reduce the morbidity and long-term-sentence of patients that will come down with AIDS. This bill not only saves lives, but also give hope to those who are at risk of HIV and AIDS.

SB 163 (Portantino)

Expands health-care coverage for autistic individuals. Those with autism require additional behavioral services that can be extremely pricy. This bill greatly helps curb the challenging circumstances that families must deal with on a daily basis.

SB 305 (Hueso)

Prohibits specific health care facilities from interfering with a terminally ill patient뱙s use of cannabis within the facility while ensuring the use and storage does not cause harm to other patients.

SB 393 (Stone)

Authorizes a court to impound a vessel of a registered owner who is convicted of boating under the influence and his or her actions resulted in the unlawful killing of another person. The impoundment would be at the owner’s expense for one to thirty days.

SB 496 (Moorlach)

This bill protects a population of individuals vulnerable to financial abuse. It requires broker-dealers and investment advisers to report suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult. It also allows specific entities to notify any previously designated trusted contact and temporarily delay transactions from the account of an elder to the account of a suspected abuser.

SB 569 (Stone)

Allows a pharmacist to fill a prescription for a controlled substance for a patient who cannot access medications as a result of a declared emergency regardless of whether or not a security form has been filled. This bill will prevent patients from experiencing unnecessary pain due to technical requirements.

SB 670 (McGuire)

This bill will help save lives by requiring the Office of Emergency Services to have a plan set in place to notify communities of a disaster in a timely manner for evacuation. Passage of AB 670 ensures that small rural communities more prone to fires and gas leaks will be notified and will have enough time to get their families out of harm’s way.

2019 Legislation - The Bad

AB 5 (Gonzalez)

AB 5 will mean the end of the independent contractor status for hundreds of thousands of Californians. By basically ending the independent contractor model for hundreds of thousands of working men and women in California, we’re telling families they can no longer work on their own terms and under their own conditions. AB 5 is a way to force people out of careers they enjoy. It’s a way to force people into labor unions they don’t want to join. It’s a way to give trial lawyers new targets now that they’re running out of ADA lawsuits to file.

SB 276 (Pan)

Mandates that if a child needs a vaccination medical exemption, their health care provider must submit a request form to the Department of Public Health. While the discovery of vaccines is one of the greatest medical advancements of all time, SB 276 greatly overreaches the power of the state. The bill’s intent is to go after the unscrupulous doctors selling fake medical exemptions, but if bad doctors are the problem, then bad doctors warrant discipline and sanction. The California Medical Board should deal with these doctors not the State. Furthermore, creating a database as provided in SB 276, could may very well be a violation of HIPPA. It is a grave overreach of government power and ultimately violates innocent children’s privacy.

SB 714 (Pan)

Companion bill to SB 276 which will establish a new bureaucracy within the State Department of Public Health to review physician-written immunization medical exemptions under specified circumstances. This redundant bureaucracy which will simply be doing what the California Medical Board should have been doing this whole time. Additionally, the DPH will incur costs in the millions annually to administer the new exemption review process.

AB 290 (Wood)

Potentially disrupts lifesaving dialysis treatments for tens of thousands of Californians. This bill slashes what private insurers pay for these patients to Medicare rates which are below the cost of care, making it more difficult for outpatient dialysis clinics to cover their costs. If clinics can’t cover their costs, they could cut back or close. New ones will not be built. Without the ability to dialyze in an outpatient dialysis clinic, patients will be forced into the hospital emergency room at a much higher cost to the health care system and to taxpayers.

AB 377 (Eduardo Garcia)

Amends the definition of MHKs to prohibit the production, manufacturing, processing, freezing, or packaging of milk or milk products, including, but not limited to, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, and butter. It also places restrictions on who can deliver the home baked goods, how these business can promote their products, and adds additional labeling requirements. We have an obligation to make sure the food Californian’s purchase is safe, but AB 377 is just another attempt to wrest local control away from cities and over regulate a growing industry whose roots are based in the home kitchens we grew up in.

AB 392 (Weber)

This bill is designed to question split second decisions with vague language and inconsistent phrases that will be used to vilify peace officers in the future. Current law recognizes that officers are forced to make split second decisions under tense, uncertain, and unsafe circumstances. In that split second of time they do not have the luxury of time or benefit from hindsight. While we can appreciate the author’s intent, this change will likely result in law enforcement that is hesitant to take action in critical situations and potentially lead to officer deaths.

AB 403 (Kalra)

Establishes yet another anti-business policy. This bill extends the timeframe in which a person has to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner from six months to two years. Furthermore, it authorizes the court to waive the attorney fees for the plaintiff but not for the defendant. If California continues creating policies that are business unfriendly we are going to see these companies simply cross the state border resulting in a loss of revenue and employment opportunities.

AB 508 (Chu)

Allows the State Water Board to order consolidation without obtaining the consent of domestic well owners. This is problematic since a domestic well can serve up to four connections (residences) which do not have to be on the same property. If one residence agrees to consolidation and the others do not, the others will be forced to pay the higher fixed costs to operate the domestic well. This infringes upon the rights of well owners and is completely un-democratic.

AB 1014 (O’Donnell)

Requires hospitals to provide notice at least 180 days before a planned reduction or elimination of emergency medical services and at least 90 days before reduction or elimination of supplemental services. All across California we see hospitals bleed millions of dollars to manage crowded emergency rooms. This is especially seen in places where the homeless crisis has spiraled out of control. It is unfair to demand these hospitals keep their emergency room doors to provide shelter for a population they did not create nor plan for. This bill may ultimately force hospitals who cannot afford the uncompensated care to go bankrupt and shut down completely.

AB 1066 (Gonzalez)

Would have provided unemployment benefits for workers that have been on strike for three weeks. This bill was an attempt for Unions to eliminate the need to create a reserve for their striking members. It would remove a striking workers incentive to come to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith. Preventing this bill from passing ensures that unemployment benefits go to people who genuinely need it, not people who voluntarily left and are still actually employed.

*** THIS BILL WAS NOT PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE THANKS TO THE UNITY OF THE SENATE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS ***

AB 1130 (Levine)

Expands the ability for trial lawyers to sue businesses under the California Consumer Privacy Act’s (CCPA) onerous private right of action, which creates significant class action litigation risk for breaches or unauthorized disclosures of biometric data without any consideration of harm. Out of fear from prosecution, businesses will not be incentivized to invest in this safer technology to verify identity.

AB 1399 (Bloom)

Specifically states that the Ellis Act cannot be used to remove rental units on a piecemeal basis. This bill unfairly prohibits property owners who want to maintain their ability to remove their property from the market when they see fit to do so. Essentially, this legislation makes it more difficult for a private property owner looking to sell a unit currently being leased to a tenant. This will certainly have a dampening effect on rental property investment and development.

AB 1440 (Levine)

Changes the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources long standing mandate to encourage oil production in the state. Gasoline prices are a huge issue in many regions in California. Some Californians even have to make the decision of whether they will be spending their limited income on gas or groceries or their medications. While protecting the environment is important for future generation to come the fact of the matter is that someone needs to supply the current fuel needs of Californians. Even if the State decides to discourage oil production here, we will simply buy it from somewhere else. Passage of this bill does not solve a problem, it simply outsources thousands of jobs and will ultimately lead to higher gas and oil prices.

AB 1482 (Chiu)

Will enact the most severe statewide rent control measure our state has ever seen. There are many reasons to be opposed to this bill including the fact that Californian voters overwhelmingly rejected rent control when they voted no on Proposition 10. In addition, this bill will create major housing market instability. As we all learned in school, when there is a high demand of a product, but low supply, the price of that product increases. Housing investors and developers are not dumb. They know that rent control provides no market stability and who would risk their money, time, and investment on instability? AB 1482 will discourage investment in housing, slow housing construction, and limit tenants’ ability to find homes.

AB 1505 (O’Donnell)

Establishes unfair policies targeted against charter schools. This bill allows a local governing board to deny a charter petition for an expanded broad number of reasons. It also limits the review of the charter denial appeals to the State Board of Education and alters renewals from 5 years to 2-7 years.

AB 1747 (Gonzalez)

Prohibits California law enforcement agencies from sharing databases with federal immigration enforcement agencies. It is the duty of our peace officers to ensure the safety of all Californians, regardless of immigration status. Peace officers must collaborate with federal law enforcement agencies to avert very real threats posed by foreign transnational criminal cartels, terrorists, and other statewide and national threats. Sharing information helps to make sure that there is success in operations. Sharing information keeps Californians safe.

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Senator Stone Speaks Up for the People

Senator Stone pictured speaking on the Senate Floor

The state Senate wrapped up work for 2019 legislative session early in the morning of September 13th.

As he has done in previous years, Senator Stone stood up to speak on behalf of the hard-working people and the businesses of California that often have little or no other voice in the State Capitol.

Here are a few examples of the Senator speaking to support good legislation, and speaking out against bills that raise taxes, hurt working families, and continue to drive businesses from the State of California.

To see even more of his floor speeches this session visit his website - www.Senate.Ca.Gov/Stone -- or his Facebook page - www.facebook.com/SenatorJeffStone.

Senator Stone opposed AB 5 which will harm gig economy workers.
Watch the video here: https://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-opposed-ab-5-which-will-harm-gig-economy-workers

Senator Stone opposed SB 714 which break a promise made to parents.
Watch the video here: https://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-opposed-sb-714-which-breaks-promise-made-parents

Senator Stone supported SB 206 which allows college athletes to profit from endorsements.
Watch the video here: https://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-supported-sb-206-allow-college-athletes-profit-endorsements

Senator Stone opposed AB 1482 which imposes statewide rent control.
Watch the video here: https://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-opposed-ab-1482-which-imposes-statewide-rent-control

Senator Stone supported Luka’s Law which provides support for children with autism.
Watch the video here: https://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-supported-lucas-law-which-provides-support-autistic-children

Senator Stone opposed AB 290 which will hurt low-income dialysis patients.
Watch the video here: https://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-opposed-ab-290-which-will-hurt-low-income-dialysis-patients

Senator Stone supported AB 598 to provide hearing aids to children.
Watch the video here: https://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-supported-ab-598-provide-hearing-aids-children

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Two of Senator Stone’s bills await Governor Newsom’s Signature

Picture of the State Capitol building

SB 569

Senate Bill 569, which would allow pharmacists to dispense controlled substance without a security form during a declared disaster, is now on Governor Newsom’s desk awaiting his signature.

The California State Board of Pharmacy received information on challenges during recent declared disasters, including the recent Camp Wildfire. During this fire, many individuals were displaced and significant damage occurred to infrastructure and healthcare facilities. One of the challenges identified to the Board of Pharmacy was limited access to prescription medications including controlled medications for pain, ADHD, depression, and anxiety treatment.

Existing law establishes requirements for controlled substance security forms, including required elements that must be included on the printed security form. But, there is currently no exemption from these requirements for a declared disaster. In addition, during a declared disaster many patient care areas occur in emergency shelters, public schools, and even churches. These non-traditional medical patient care settings may not have access to compliant controlled substances security forms.

Senate Bill 569 will fix this by creating a limited exemption to the controlled substances forms requirements during the initial phase of a local, state, or federal declared disaster.

SB 393

SB 393 will allow boats driven by intoxicated individuals to be impounded for up to 30 days.

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.

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Upcoming Events

Here are two upcoming events Senator Stone has planned in the 28th Senate District

September 30, 7am to 5pm - Blood Drive

October 24, 1:30pm tp 3:30pm - Technology Training Workshop: Intro to Tablets

Please visit the Senator’s Facebook page - www.facebook.com/SenatorJeffStone -- for other upcoming events in the 28th District.

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Hello and Goodbye

This month we welcomed a new member to Team Stone in our Indio office and said goodbye to our Senate Fellow who has done such a great job for us all year in Sacramento and to our summer intern in the Murrieta office who is heading off to college.

Photo of Norma Olivas

Welcome to the newest member of Team Stone.

Norma Olivas was born and raised in the Coachella Valley. She is fluent in both English and Spanish. She was employed with a local farming company for 27 years in the Human Resource Department. Eventually the company shut their doors.

In her free time Norma likes to spend her time writing. She has authored one book and dedicated it to both of her beautiful kids. She is currently working on her second book.

She is looking forward to an exciting career with Senator Jeff Stone and is excited to be part of Team Stone.

Photo of Senator Stone and Claire Marks

Senator Stone presented a Senate Resolution to Claire Marks who has worked in his Capitol office as a Senate Fellow this year. Thanks Claire for all your hard work for the people of California.

Photo of Senator Stone disctrict staff

Team Stone said good luck to Audy McAfee (second from left) who has been a summer intern in Senator Stone’s Murrieta office. Audy, who was the Temecula Valley High School Student of the Year, is heading off to UC Santa Cruz. The team presented her with a certificate from Senator Stone and ice cream.

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There Ought to be a Law

Team Stone picture at the groundbreaking ceremony for De Portola Estate Winery

Have you ever said to yourself, “There Ought to be a law…”?

Once again in 2019, 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.

Past winners of the competition include Roberto Ortega, a senior at Shadow Hills High School in Indio. 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 Ortega testifying at a committee hearing

Alyson White, a senior at Rancho Mirage High School, was also a winner of the competition. Her proposed law would have increased the penalties for those who abuse animals.

Senator Stone and Alyson White testifying at a committee hearing

Both Alyson and Roberto were guests of Senator Stone in Sacramento where each testified before a Senate committee.

The deadline for students to submit their proposed legislation is December 20, 2019. For more information and an entry form visit: www.Senate.Ca.Gov/Stone .

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Team Stone on the move

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.

 District Director Glenn Miller presenting a certificate to Bernie Truax

Team Stone attended the ground-breaking ceremony for The Truax Hotel in Old Town Temecula. District Director Glenn Miller presented a certificate to Bernie Truax from Senator Stone and thanked him for his many contributions to the Old Town district .

 District Representative Consuela Arias presenting a certificate at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Tiffany Pineda Farmers Insurance Agency.

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Tiffany Pineda Farmers Insurance Agency. District Representative Consuela Arias presented a certificate from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy MWCOC)

 District Representative Darrell Connerton attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Regional Agricultural Pipeline Conversion project

District Representative Darrell Connerton attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Regional Agricultural Pipeline Conversion project which will bring in more recycled water to Lake Elsinore. Darrell presented certificates from Senator Stone to the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, the City of Lake Elsinore and Riverside County Watershed Protection.

District Director Glenn Miller and District Representative Debbie Herrera presenting a certificate at the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of Noon & Associates CPAs

Team Stone joined with the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of Noon & Associates CPAs on Ynez Road in Temecula. District Director Glenn Miller and District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy Jimmy Fu photography)

District Representative Darrell Connerton presenting a certificate at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Brookfield Residential at Audie Murphy Ranch in Menifee.

Team Stone attended the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce “double ribbon” cutting ceremony for Brookfield Residential at Audie Murphy Ranch in Menifee. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented certificates from Senator Stone. (Photos courtesy MWCOC)

Picture from Intro to Tablets Workshop at the Mary Phillips Senior Center in Temecula

Team Stone joined with AT&T to present an Intro to Tablets Workshop at the Mary Phillips Senior Center in Temecula. District Representative Consuelo Arias and several office interns joined with Julio Figueroa of AT&T to provide basic IPad instruction to a group of eager senior citizens.

 District Representative Darrell Connerton presenting a certificate at  the grand opening and ribbon cutting for The Lakes Keller Williams Realty

Team Stone joined with the Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce for the grand opening and ribbon cutting for The Lakes Keller Williams Realty located on Canyon Estates Drive in Lake Elsinore. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

 District Representative Consuela Arias presenting a certificate at the ribbon cutting ceremony for  Dependable Home Watch Service.

District Representative Consuelo Arias joined the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting celebration for Dependable Home Watch Service. Consuelo presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Picture from the Idyllwild Townhall Meeting on August 27th

Team Stone attended the Idyllwild Townhall Meeting on August 27th where Caltrans provided an update on construction on SR-74 and 243. District Representative Darrell Connerton represented Senator Stone.

District Director Glenn Miller at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Manhattan in the Desert

Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Manhattan in the Desert located on East Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. District Director Glenn Miller presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

District Director Glenn Miller at the ribbon cutting ceremony for  Sun Community Federal Credit Union

District Director Glenn Miller joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce to welcome Sun Community Federal Credit Union located at 82-195 Avenue 42 in Indio. Glenn presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

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