Our office is here to serve you. If you’re having difficulties with a state agency, need a question answered about pending legislation, or want to know more about upcoming events, please give us a call at (909) 919-7731. You can also email me at Senator.Morrell@sen.ca.gov.
Learn more about what I’m working on in Sacramento and what’s happening around the district!
Members of my staff hold regular monthly office hours across the 23rd Senate District. If you have an issue or concern that you would like to share in person but can’t make it to our main office, please plan to stop by. You can view the entire schedule here.
Since we last touched base, things continue to move along at the Capitol. Bills that have made it through committee are now heading to full votes of both the Senate and Assembly. Measures must pass out of their respective houses of origin (e.g. Senate Bills must pass out of the Senate and vice versa) by June 3. I include some highlights below.
The Governor also released the revised version of his proposed state budget. The Legislature has until June 15 to pass its own to his desk for consideration. You can read the full Senate Republican analysis here.
Additionally, things have been busy around the 23rd Senate District. In this newsletter, you will find information about upcoming events including an opportunity for seniors to learn about common scams and the 2016 Women of Distinction ceremony.
This month, we also recognized National Military Appreciation Month as well as the Memorial Day holiday. I recently shared a quote from President James Garfield about our men and women in uniform, and in particular those who have lost their lives for our nation. He said, “... they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.” His words still ring true today.
It is a privilege to represent you in the State Legislature. I’ll keep you posted.
Digital You Workshops. In May, our office teamed up with AT&T to host workshops in Menifee and Redlands to help seniors navigate new technologies, including tablets and smartphones. Thanks to AT&T’s Julio Figueroa for being on hand to facilitate this program! Be sure to look for other workshop opportunities in the future.
California Coalition for Youth. I had the opportunity to meet with the California Coalition for Youth during their time in Sacramento. Thanks for sharing your stories and for the work you’re doing in our community and around our state!
Realtors in Sacramento. The California Association of Realtors made their annual visit to the Capitol recently to talk about their priorities for the year ahead, including the protection of key property rights. I was glad to meet with so many folks from all around the 23rd Senate District! From top to bottom: realtors from Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, Rim of the World, and other mountain communities; representatives from the East Valley Association of Realtors; representatives from various realtor groups from around San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
San Bernardino City Unified School District. I met this month with officials from San Bernardino City Unified School District to discuss education priorities, including returning more control to local communities. From left to right: Dr. Dale Marsden (Superintendent), student Melissa Arellano, student board member Danielle Candray, myself, School Board Member Dr. Margaret Hill, and student board member Benjamin Montelongo.
New Eagle Scout. Earlier this month, I had the privilege of being on hand to celebrate with Harrison Cole Trawnik and his family of Troop 634 in Rancho Cucamonga as he was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout. Congratulations on this achievement!
San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce. In May, the chamber’s leadership program held a government day where I had the opportunity to talk with participants about my experience in Sacramento and discuss the outlook for businesses and job creators in California. Thanks to Judi Penman for inviting me to speak.
Goodwill Southern California Turns 100. This year, Goodwill Southern California celebrates its 100th anniversary. It was a pleasure to join the community in recognizing the work this nonprofit does throughout our region. To read more about Goodwill, click here.
This month, the Governor released a revised version of the budget he proposed back in January.
While revenues are expected to continue to experience strong growth in 2016-17, the “May Revision” predicts expenditures will continue to increase at a rapid clip through 2019-20.
As shown in the chart above, General Fund expenditures will generally grow faster than revenues over that period. Driven by policy changes including the new minimum wage mandate (which will cost taxpayers billions), it is this excess expenditure growth that threatens the state’s financial condition.
The Governor’s office forecasts operating deficits of $1.7 billion in 2018-19 and $4.1 billion in 2019-20, along with an overall General Fund deficit in 2019-20 of $2.7 billion (which accounts for reserves apart from the Rainy Day Fund).
As the final budget comes together in the weeks ahead, these looming deficits underscore the need for spending restraint. To read a full analysis of the Governor’s May Revision, click here.
In recent weeks, the Assembly and Senate have considered hundreds of bill proposals including several of my bills. Here are some of the highlights from the past month:
- Senate Bill 1136 requires that the legislature and the public regularly receive more detailed information regarding the spending of money generated by the controversial fire prevention fee. While I still support efforts to overturn the fee - which I believe is an illegal tax - this bill brings added transparency to the program and ensures that the public has access to this information in the years ahead. Read more about the bill here.
- Senate Bill 1155 removes a barrier for veterans seeking work in California and encourages immediate entrance into the civilian workforce by waiving the application and initial license fees paid to the state in order to receive an occupational license. This policy shift will help veterans as they apply for jobs. SB 1155 passed two Senate policy committees with unanimous support as well as the Senate Appropriations Committee. It is now pending consideration on the Senate Floor. Read more about the bill here.
- Senate Bill 1209 provides that a citation against a licensed contractor shall continue to be disclosed if that contractor applies for a new license or joins another existing license within the aforementioned five-year window, protecting consumers and upholding the integrity of the contracting industry. It passed out of the Senate and is currently pending in the Assembly.
- Senate Bill 1457 would allow for a more user friendly approach to participating in released time studies. Released time refers to programs in which students leave school during the day to participate in moral and religious instruction. Under these programs, public school students have an opportunity to receive a small amount of private education, at no cost to their parents or to the school. Currently, these programs exist in 32 states, including Ohio and South Carolina, and serve more than 260,000 students. SB 1457 is currently pending approval on the Senate Floor.
Did you know that 1 in 5 seniors has been a victim of fraud?
Seniors are the most targeted group and new scams are being developed constantly.
Please join our office and the Contractors State License Board for a free seminar on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams relating to home repair, insurance, finances, identity theft and more.
For more information, please contact the District Office at (909) 919-7731.
Each year, we host the annual Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony & Dinner to recognize extraordinary women from around the 23rd Senate District who have positively impacted their community.
The 12th Annual Women of Distinction event will be held at the Goldy S. Lewis Community Center located in Central Park in Rancho Cucamonga on Friday, October 7.
The nomination window for this year’s event is now open through August 1, 2016.
For more information, including a nomination form, you can visit the website here. For questions, please contact Melissa Boyd at (909) 919-7731.
Patriot Spotlight: Paul Moore
Paul Moore of Sun City was recognized at this year’s Patriots of the Past, Present, and Future with the Patriot of the Past Award for Business. Paul decided to join the military the day after Pearl Harbor. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps and would not end his service until 21 years later as an Air Force Major. Following his military career, Paul became manager of the Loan & Investment Department of Sun City’s first financial institution where he had a direct hand in the growth and development of the city. During his career, Paul was incredibly active in his community, assisting with its spiritual, cultural, commercial and civic development. He has lent his expertise to many individuals and businesses that would go on to make areas such as Menifee and Lake Elsinore what they are today.
Paul was not able to be at the event to accept the award in person. Attending on his behalf was his daughter Donna Cabana, granddaughter Kristina Hampton and her two daughters, Moore’s great-granddaughters, Aurora and Scarlett Hampton of Menifee, who were nominated as Patriots of the Future in the Community Service Category. They visited Moore the next day to share photos and present him with his award.
Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters is longtime observer of California politics. Occasionally, he pens a piece that is spot-on in its analysis of what’s happening at the Capitol.
In light of the passage of several gun control measures in Sacramento, Walters wrote a column pointing out what he describes as ideological hypocrisy. Here’s an excerpt:
“Increasingly... the state’s dominant politicians want to subject dissenters to discrimination and legal harassment - even infringement of constitutional rights.”
“Smoke a cigarette, own a gun, cut a tree, pan for gold, question the ‘inconvenient truth’ of human-caused global warming, utter an impolite joke or even drive a gasoline-powered car and you may run afoul of an ever-tightening web of laws and rules that punish your heresy - promulgated by political figures who talk constantly about their respect for civil rights.”