Stone Sentinel

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2019 Edition of the Stone Sentinel.

The Legislature is back in Sacramento and I am looking forward to a productive year working for the people of the 28th Senate District.

There is much to do and my staff and I are putting together a legislative package to benefit business owners, veterans, seniors and hard-working families across the state.

All bills for the coming year must be submitted by February 22nd.

Check out my website – www.senate.ca.gov/Stone – like me on Facebook – www.facebook.com/SenatorJeffStone – and follow me on Twitter – @SenJeffStone – to track the progress of legislation and to keep on top of all the action here in Sacramento.

Often I hear from citizens who say they have little input into how their government works. In the next few months, as hundreds of bills are submitted, they will come before committees in the Senate and Assembly for debate and consideration.

Committee work is the backbone of what goes on in Sacramento and your thoughts and opinions matter.

Senator Stone at a committee hearing

In addition to input from staff, interest groups, legislators, and paid lobbyists, this is the chance for you, the general public, to have input and influence on legislation that is being debated.

Your voice needs and deserves to be heard in Sacramento, now more than ever.

Traveling to Sacramento is often difficult, time consuming and expensive for those of us in Southern California.

While I encourage you to come to Sacramento, you are always welcome to offer input and express your opinions to our staff. In my office, your voice will be heard.

Once again I will be serving on several important Senate Committees, including two new ones.

I was recently appointed Vice-Chairman of the newly formed Health Committee which will focus on bills relating to public health, alcohol and drug abuse, mental health, health insurance and managed care, and related institutions.

I was also named Vice-Chair of the Human Services Committee, another new committee, dealing with bills relating to CalWORKs and other welfare programs; CalFresh; child welfare and foster care; services to persons with disabilities, including those provided by regional centers and the state’s developmental centers; in-home supportive services (IHSS); community care licensing; and, social services and rehabilitative services.

I have also been appointed to the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and the Transportation Committee.

In addition, I am returning to my positions as a member of the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and the Environmental Quality Committee.

I look forward to hearing from you about legislation and any other issues where my office can be of service.

Thank you for the honor of reelecting me to represent you here in Sacramento.

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Back to Work

Senator Stone speaking with newly-elected Senator Shannon Grove
Senator Stone and newly elected Senator Shannon Grove from the Central Valley shared
a conversation on the Senate floor as the legislature met for the first time in 2019.

The elections are over; the Holidays have come and gone; and the California Legislature is gearing up for a busy new year.

There are many needs facing our great state, and among those needs is how we can best provide access to quality healthcare to the millions of people who too often turn to emergency rooms for their medical services.

As the new Vice Chair of the Senate Health Committee, I look forward to working with our new Governor to create a healthcare system in California that focuses not just on people having insurance, but also one that provides for genuine access to quality care for the people who depend on government services. Millions of people depend on Medi-Cal for services, but the problem is that we have too few doctors able to take these patients because the reimbursement rates are simply too low.

With a projected budget surplus of $21 Billion, we have a tremendous opportunity to create a workable healthcare system that lets people receive the services they need without increasing costs to consumers. We can use the budget surplus to increase Medi-Cal reimbursement rates paid to doctors and healthcare providers so these professionals can afford to operate in our communities.

Over 10 years ago, the Medi-Cal reimbursement rate paid to healthcare professionals was cut – and that has resulted in many providers either going out of business or simply being unable to stay alive to keep providing the services that help our communities stay healthy. As Vice Chair of the Senate Health Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the medical industry to find a way to increase reimbursement rates to let doctors and medical professionals do what they do best – keep their patients healthy.

Here in Riverside County, we have several challenges that need the attention of the Legislature – we need more doctors in our community; we need more access to affordable and quality healthcare; and we need a system that lets medical professionals properly treat patients in our local neighborhoods.

As the Legislature gets to work over the coming months, I will be focused on working to create a healthcare system that is affordable for families, accessible to patients, and functional for the doctors, nurses, and medical professionals who work every day to provide the essential services to keep Californians safe and healthy.

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Statement from Senator Jeff Stone on Governor’s Proposed Budget

BUDGET: clip art of currency

Senator Jeff Stone released the following statement regarding the Governor Newsom’s proposed budget for 2019-20:

“Governor Newsom certainly came out with an ambitious budget full of outside-the-box thinking.

I appreciate his commitment to ensuring we have an adequate Rainy Day Fund and am encouraged that the Governor seems to recognize that California may face a recession in the coming years.

While the Governor may have the best of intentions, it was disturbing to hear about the hundreds of millions of dollars he proposed for new and expanded spending that will require future tax increases if our state’s economy falls into even mild downturn.

I look forward to working with the Governor to craft, pass and implement a responsible budget that protects taxpayers, provides essential services for our fellow Californians and sets an agenda that encourages economic growth in the coming years.”

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Stone Success Stories

Success Stories

Many of you see Senator Stone’s staff as they travel across the 28th Senate District attending meetings, ribbon cuttings, business events and workshops.

However, that is only a small part of what the staff does each day for the people of the communities Senator Stone represents.

Senator Stone’s offices in Indio and Murrieta assist residents of the 28th Senator District in many ways.

If you have a question or a problem dealing with a state agency, such as the DMV, Franchise Tax Board, or are having difficulty obtaining a state license or possibly about to lose your home, contact the Senator at his website—www.senate.ca.gov/Stone—or call one of his offices in Riverside County.

Here are just a few recent examples of what we call “Stone Success Stories.”

  • Helped a constituent get a 2017 tax return of more than $58,000.
  • Assisted a Murrieta resident, whose relative had died overseas, in getting the body released and transported back to the United States.
  • Hosted a Mobile Home Titling Workshop to assist the residents of the Eastern Coachella Valley.
  • Helped a Temecula resident obtain his REAL ID with the DMV.
  • Assisted a Murrieta resident with their LiveScan with the Department of Justice.

For assistance in the Coachella Valley and Eastern Riverside County contact:

Indio District Office – 45-125 Smurr Street, Indio, CA. 92201 – (760) 398-6442.

For assistance in Southwest Riverside County contact:

Southwest Office – 25186 Hancock Ave, Suite 320, Murrieta, CA. 92562 – (951) 894-3530

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AARP Honors State Senator Jeff Stone as Caregiving Champion Senator Stone among bipartisan group of “Capitol Caregivers”

Senator Stone with members of the AARP

In recognition of his leadership in securing funding for vital research into the needs of Californians for Long-Term Support and Services, AARP has named State Senator Jeff Stone a 2018 “Capitol Caregiver,” joining a bipartisan group of 58 state legislators and governors from 20 states.

These elected officials have advanced policies to help family caregivers, who are making it possible for older Americans to live independently at home – where they want to be.

“AARP is grateful to Senator Stone for being a champion for California’s family caregivers this year,” says Nancy McPherson, state director of AARP, which serves more than 3.3 million members age 50 and older in California. “Senator Stone provided critical leadership in securing funding for the first time, for the collection and analysis of Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) data using the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).”

More than 4.5 million Californians provide unpaid care for their older loved ones as family caregivers – work that, if paid, would be valued at about $57 BILLION annually. Family caregivers help with bathing and dressing, meal preparation, managing finances, transportation, grocery shopping and more. Family caregivers often also perform medical tasks like wound care, injections, and complex medication management.

“Family caregiving is one of these rare issues that crosses geographic and political lines,” says McPherson. “This isn’t a Democratic issue. It’s not a Republican issue. It’s a family issue.”

Watch the video presentation here: https://stone.cssrc.us/content/aarp-honors-state-senator-jeff-stone-caregiving-champion

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Deadline for of Senate Fellowships Approaches

California Senate Fellows Program

The deadline for submitting application for the 2019-20 California Senate Fellows Program is February 11, 2019.

The program provides college graduates an opportunity to become full-time Senate staff members at the state Capitol in Sacramento for 11 months beginning in October 2019. Fellows are assigned to the personal or committee staff of a Senator and also participate in academic seminars with Senators, senior staff, journalists, lobbyists, and state government officials. The fellowship program is jointly operated by the California Senate and the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento.

Fellows are paid a stipend of $2,698 per month plus health, vision, and dental benefits. They earn 6 units of graduate credit from California State University, Sacramento for the academic portion of the program.

“Being a Fellow provides an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the legislative process,” said Senator Stone. “Whether your career goals are in the public or private sector, the Senate Fellows program provides valuable training.”

Former Senate Fellows include current members of Congress and the California Legislature, judges, and numerous other elected officials and community leaders.

Senator Stone said Fellows experience the broad range of activities conducted in busy Senate offices. Responsibilities include researching public policy issues, helping develop legislative proposals, analyzing and staffing legislation, assisting with constituent inquiries and casework, participating in meetings as the Senator’s representative, writing press releases and speeches, and performing other delegated tasks. A five-week orientation at the beginning of the program provides background on state government, the legislative process, and major policy issues.

Anyone who will be at least 20 years of age and a graduate of a four-year college or university by September 1, 2019, is eligible to apply. There is no preferred major. Individuals with advanced degrees and those in mid-career are encouraged to apply.

Brochures can be requested online and are also available in the Senator’s Indio and Murrieta offices.

For more information, or to apply, visit the Senate Fellows web site (www.csus.edu/calst/senate).

Eighteen Fellows will be selected in May after an initial screening of applications and a subsequent panel interview of finalists.

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Jeff in the District & Sacramento

With the legislature back in session, Senator Stone spends much of the week in Sacramento and returns home on weekends to meet with the people of the 28th Senate District.

Here are a few of the people Senator Stone has met with recently both in Riverside County and in the State Capitol.

Senator Stone attended the Indio City Council meeting

Senator Stone attended the Indio City Council meeting to thank and present certificates to outgoing Councilmembers Troy Strange and Mike Wilson and to Martha Summons, a long time city employee who is retiring.

Senator Stone welcomed PTA representatives from Lake Elsinore to his Sacramento office

The California State PTA held their Legislative Conference this week and Senator Stone welcomed PTA representatives from Lake Elsinore to his Sacramento office

Senator Stone visited Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and discussed key health related issues with their leadership

Senator Stone visited Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and discussed key health related issues with their leadership.

Senator Stone welcomed these Certified Public Accountants from the 28th Senate District to the Capitol

Senator Stone welcomed these Certified Public Accountants from the 28th Senate District, who are members of the California Society of CPAs, to his Capitol office.

Senator Stone speaking on the Senate Floor

Senator Stone paid tribute to retiring CAL Fire Director Ken Pimlott on the Senate floor.

Watch the video here: https://stone.cssrc.us/content/senator-stone-pays-tribute-retiring-cal-fire-director-ken-pimlott?fbclid=IwAR3RznzMaiUixXGh_6MIQjhyO5QKrbuKIlBeqmebJa2JtbdEZYEPEetBp2A

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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 joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce to welcome Ragus Leather Shop and Shoe Repair

Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce to welcome Ragus Leather Shop and Shoe Repair on Calle Tampico in La Quinta. District Director Glenn Miller presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for As Time Goes By

Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce for the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for As Time Goes By on Calle Tampico in La Quinta. District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone congratulated David Beshay of Beshay Enterprises at the grand opening of his latest Jack in the Box location on Lakeshore Drive in Lake Elsinore

Team Stone congratulated David Beshay of Beshay Enterprises at the grand opening of his latest Jack in the Box location on Lakeshore Drive in Lake Elsinore. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new offices of Tyler and Bursch, LLP

Team Stone joined with the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new offices of Tyler & Bursch, LLP on Las Brisas Road in Murrieta. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone presented certificates from Senator Stone to the Student of the Month recipients

What better way to begin the day, and the New Year, than with a Student of the Month breakfast ceremony? District Representatives Debbie Herrera and Consuelo Arias presented certificates from Senator Stone to these fine students from Temecula.

Team Stone joined with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the BUZZ Trolley Ribbon Cutting & Re-Launch

Team Stone joined with the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the BUZZ Trolley Ribbon Cutting & Re-Launch. District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone honored VFW Post 3699 on their 80th Anniversary

Team Stone honored VFW Post 3699 on their 80th Anniversary and for their dedication to their Annual 29 Palms Marine Base Christmas party. Over 1,300 Marines were fed and presented with a gift of thanks. District Director Glenn Miller presented a Senate Resolution on behalf of Senator Stone.

Team Stone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for The Roblero Pit

Team Stone joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for The Roblero Pit on Highway 111 in La Quinta. District Representative Monica Idnani presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

District Representative Darrell Connerton attended the Lake Elsinore City Council meeting to thank outgoing City Councilman Daryl Hickman

District Representative Darrell Connerton attended the Lake Elsinore City Council meeting to thank outgoing City Councilman Daryl Hickman, on behalf of Senator Stone, for his many years of service to that city.

Team Stone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Brad Schmett Real Estate Group

District Representative Monica Idnani joined with the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony for Brad Schmett Real Estate Group on Main Street in La Quinta. Monica presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

Team Stone represented Senator Stone at the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast

The Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast brings business owners, big and small, together to meet and learn. Communications Director John Hunneman represented Senator Stone and heard an informative presentation from Daneen Ashworth, of Compass HR, on new laws that will impact businesses in 2019.

Team Stone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony in Rancho Mirage for Solar Gain West

District Representative Monica Idnani attended the ribbon cutting ceremony in Rancho Mirage for Solar Gain West. Monica presented a certificate from Senator Stone.

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